Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Liuzhou Boycotts Japan

Not wishing to be outdone by a bunch of Beijingers or Shanghainese, about 200 Liuzhou sheep students took to the streets this morning (16th September 2012) to protest about Japan’s  “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands (钓鱼岛) and to call for a boycott of Japanese goods (while photographing each other with their Japanese cameras). The officially sanctioned demonstration appeared to be led by a teacher, and I’m in no doubt that many of the students were ordered to spontaneously demonstrate. Seen it before. See below.

Of course, few of the demonstrators had heard of the islands a week ago, even fewer could find them on a map (they struggle to find Liuzhou), and I’m willing to bet not one of them knows why both China and Japan are laying claim to a bunch of uninhabited and uninhabitable islands. In fact, what they are arguing about is whether or not the islands belong to Taiwan or Japan. Even the communist PRC are claiming them for Taiwan and not for the mainland.

Why? Nothing to do with historical claims or fishing rights.  It’s the usual. Oil.

Anyway despite this demonstration being a state approved, racist hate-fest, a good natured crowd gathered in Liuzhou square, marched down the pedestrian street, swung right at McDonald’s, passed the two department stores then headed back up Longcheng Road (龙城路), then back to the square, stopping only to chant slogans and sing patriotic songs outside KFC, perhaps under the misapprehension that it stands for “Kyoto Flied Chicken”.  In fact, it wasn’t very well organised and, unable to find Liuzhou’s Japanese embassy or consulate on which to vent their anger, the leader had to ask the cops where to go next at every junction.

They did not, I’m happy to say target any Japanese restaurants or shops selling Japanese goods. (All the Japanese restaurants in Liuzhou are Chinese owned anyway, except for one – It’s Thai owned!)

Anyway, apart from land grab victims outside the government offices, this is the biggest (only) demonstration I’ve seen since America accidentally bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999.  On that occasion, there was a huge rally in Liuzhou Square. Hundreds of students and workers were ordered to the square to demonstrate. I spoke to a few. None knew why they were there; just that they had been told to go. There were only about 12 foreigners in town then, and the local government contacted us all in the morning and told us to stay home for our own safety, so of course we all jumped on buses, leapt into taxis etc and headed for the square. It was like a big street party.

As was today’s. But today’s demonstration was carefully controlled by the cops who lined the streets on both sides as the march progressed, although they, to be fair, were pretty laid back and didn’t for once object to a laowai in their midst snapping away – at least so long as I wasn’t a Japanese laowai!

Anyway,  no doubt the kids today had great fun shouting and exercising their right to criticise any government they dislike, except their own – which is exactly how the party wants it. It is just manipulation.

Now that the demo is over, they are all off to sing karaoke, mess about with their PlayStations and swap manga comics.

So, here are a few more pictures.

Boycott Japanese goods; Everyone’s duty

 

Tags: , , , , . This entry was posted on Sunday, September 16th, 2012 at 2:35 pm and is filed under China News, History, Liuzhou News, Propaganda, Strawberry Fields. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Liuzhou Boycotts Japan”

  1. Matt Says:

    Someone should inform them that Japan has peacefully controlled these islands for the past 40 years continuously, and China hasn’t controlled them for over 100 years! This whole “sale” became a good excuse to stir up some nationalism while their VP and heir apparent to the presidency has gone MIA.

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Well actually, the missing candidate has reappeared. As usual news about nothing is better than news about anything.

    But I think you have, like most people, missed the oil connection.

  3. Alex Says:

    America accidentally bombed the Chinese embassy….? Usually you are not out of touch with reality. This was quite deliberate and about parts of the downed stealth fighter. Just as they are bombing accidentally all around the world where it fits their interests.

  4. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Do you have any evidence for that? It is was totally against America’s interests to bomb the embassy at the time. It was days before the 10th anniversary of Tian’anmen Square – the last thing they wanted was to give the Chinese government a propaganda scoop. I am no lover of American foreign policy, but I do not make the childish mistake of assuming that everything they do is deliberate. They ain’t that clever.

  5. » Top-of-the-Week Links, Diaoyu Islands Edition: Yes, there are plenty of Chinese who oppose these protests, the reincarnation of Mao, and Laowai Comics Beijing Cream Says:

    […] And in Liuzhou… “Not wishing to be outdone by a bunch of Beijingers or Shanghainese, about 200 Liuzhou sheep students took to the streets this morning (16th September 2012) to protest about Japan’s  “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands (钓鱼岛) and to call for a boycott of Japanese goods (while photographing each other with their Japanese cameras). The officially sanctioned demonstration appeared to be led by a teacher, and I’m in no doubt that many of the students were ordered to spontaneously demonstrate.” [Liuzhou Laowai] […]

  6. Ray Says:

    …. And then the air raid sirens went off today ……. ! Spine chilling if you have lived through them in the past.

  7. Matt Says:

    I have to disagree to your claim that I have missed the oil connection. Ultimately, in an international relations level, this does come down to oil. Although, these protests are not based on the common man’s feeling that China deserves the rights to the oil fields, rather a We hate Japan and these islands make us hate them more!. Additionally, the fact that these protests seem to be state-sanctioned (as alluded to in your entry and by other China observers) indicates to me that the government is amping up this situation to divert attention of Party’s recent infighting and instability as we approach the transition of power. Like how in 1999 the Anti-U.S. protests diverted the populace’s attention from the 10th anniversary of Tiananmen.

  8. orsonling Says:

    I saw this on Weibo: How to know a demonstration in China is spontaneous or organized? If Xinhua News Agency says it’s spontaneous, then it’s organized. Vice versa 🙂

  9. steve Says:

    During this day of self proclamation and proof to the world that the Chinese govt supports free speech and the freedom to hold demonstrations . I wonder how many Chinese demonstrators burned their own Japanese brand name cars destroyed their Japanese brand name big screen TVs or stopped eating sushi?
    The anti-Japanese protesters did attack and damage US Ambassador Gary Locke’s car in Beijing. But I think this act had more to do with Gary Locke’s choice of vehicle than ‘govt sponsored protests’ over the islands. Gary wasn’t driving a Wuling made in Liuzhou.

  10. Da_Wei Says:

    Saw a few upturned Japanese cars recently… Pointless execise as they are owned by Chinese citizens, so it doesn’t hurt the Japanese at all… BUT it did lead to this sign in someone’s back window : 车是日本车,心是中国心!

  11. Cleo Says:

    I think that Southern China has long been targeted by Japan as somewhere from where they can claim common ancestry. They do it to Toisan near Canton as well but they probably never cast Mako (who is not handsome) as a local Southern Chinese in a movie:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bird_People_in_China

    According to the sarcastic Wikipedia writer, “The film shares the same humanistic message and feel found in most of Miike’s works.”

    It was no accident that Eli Roth cast him in “Hostel” as an addicted customer.

  12. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    What on earth are you talking about and what relevance has it to this article?

    None.



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