Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Understand the demonstration in China

I wrote this article to denounce misinformation.

I am surprised by the mediocrity of the article I have read about the Chinese Japanese crisis.

So many wrong analysis:
  • Either the authors don't know anything or lack informations about the subject (journalists simply write without any other informations than what they find on the internet)
  • Either willingly, the authors want to create the buzz and attract more readers: they amplify the crisis, show only the worst of it!

I bring you my version of the events, my observations and reflexions.

I am talking here about the second wave of demonstration in Changsha and in China

Who demonstrates?

  • Older people, here former red guards!
They are relatively old people. They were only a few (50?) followed by their wives, families, friends and many curious onlookers.
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Some demonstrators holding billboards were asking for a return to Mao Tse Toung (we are in Changsha, the city of Mao Tse Toung)...

  • A few students
Only a few students demonstrate: Chinese students are very childlish as compared to western students. They focus on their studies and are still very naïve and kind. Also universities told students not to demonstrate.
Students who demonstrate are therefore only the one who belong to communist youths and to government associations (this is the same as for the former red guards: they belong to some association and are asked to demonstrate). 

  • Thugs
They are young people without any education. They often work in KTV, bars. They   sometimes have tattoo if they belong to some mafia. They are used for low tasks.

Police ask them to go and hit someone, break or demonstrate? In China you need to understand that they have close links to the police. 

For instance: a bar is going to sell drugs and make money with prostitution. Police closes its eyes in exchange for "a little something". Same goes for a restaurant, for a street vendor...

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Who doesn't demonstrate?

Farmers: They are kind and peaceful. They respect traditional values and accept their position in society.
Migrant workers
University students: Kind and naïve
Rich Chinese: they don't mind the island
Educated Chinese

How many manifestants?

200? 300?

Demonstrations are not followed and only marginal (not at all what I could read in so many blogs and newspapers?!)

You can easily inflate numbers as we can see from the photos:

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This photo is very interesting. It is the main avenue of Changsha Wuyi Road. We can clearly see the space between the beginning of the demonstration and the rest. Police organises. In the back you can see a few demonstrators and traffic jams.

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Also many manifestants came with their scooters and cars. This makes the demonstration grow even bigger.

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Many curious, take pictures and increase the crowd of "manifestants".

Manifestants are canalized by the police

Beijing central government, Hunan Province, Changsha city all display police, army: an amazing show of force!

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I didn't see it myself as I staid at home and at work. I have heard they even had tanks!

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The police escorts the demonstration.
It is funny that they progress in order according to their hierarchie.
In the first line, the special force SWAT, follow anti-demonstration police, then normal police and last city police. 

There is always a distinction (and antagonism, allegiances, politcal games) in China between three powers: Beijing, the Province, the city. You can also see this in then demonstration. Some depend on the central government, whiothers depend on the Province and the city.

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In front just behind the manifestants, a truck broadcasts a message continuously: "the island belong to China..."
Behind the SWAT police, rather aggressive

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Here they confiscate the manifestants flags! They receive orders to calm down the demonstrations.
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How do Chinese people react to demonstrations?

Chinese people don't like Japan as Japanese occupied China during the war and never apologized for the massacres...
They are therefore glad to observe anti-Japan demonstrations.

However, Chinese people don't understand that you can break their Japanese brand cars, as these cars are often produced in China and paid by a Chinese! The public opinion has therefore quickly condemn the violence.
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I observe a few people while their car was damaged. A driver was even hit and the angry crowd chased after him as you can see on the picture.
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Chinese government strategy?

Government uses population to put pressure over Japan. The government organizes demonstrations with the help of thugs, older red guards, a few young students... These demonstrations are magnified with the use of police and army, with the curious bypassers. Medias dramatize while focusing on a few broken stores and fives cars turned over!

Unfortunately these demonstrations are not followed by the Chinese population. Chinese government is watching. They throw a stone in the water and observe, see what happens.
In order not to take any risk, Beijing puts some tokens on the left and some tokens on the right. Beijing can then adapt its strategy according to the evolution of the situation without any risk.

  • On one side Beijing organizes demonstrations: army, media, thugs...
  • On the other side authorities calm down the situation: arrest a few people, take away flags

Chinese people started to criticize the violence on the internet and on the street. A few manifestants put forward Chairman Mao. Beijing stops the demonstrations.
They will continue the fight using the fishermen and the navy. China can show its muscle with different means.

Medias increase the facts and lie while showing a small part of the whole picture!

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Here a journalist, I think he is Japanese takes pictures of Chinese flags in front of some shop. Of course he won't explain why shops display Chinese flags!

Why Chinese display flags on their shops and cars?

  • Chinese people don't display flags to show that they hate Japan!
  • Chinese people display flags as they fear for the property. They display a flag in their Japanese brand car. They display flag on their shop when they sell Japanese products or if their job is next to a Japanese store!
  • A few Chinese people and this is a minority display flag in oder to show that they love China and support their country 
Here the shops nearby the Japanese shopping center Pin He Tang display flags in order to avoid confusion and consecutive degradation from a few thugs.

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A restaurant just in front of the "Japanese commercial center"

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This is the Chinese shopping center nearby the Japanese commercial center.

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This car doesn't risk to be vandalized.

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A Japanese car. The brand is hidden by the Chinese flag

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Some clever people found a way to make money

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Good idea: a Chinese flag on the scooter. It dissuades thieves?

The Japanese commercial center is heavily guarded. It seems a little too much?
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Are Chinese people nationalists?

I would like to adress this question. I have read and heard that Chinese are very nationalists....
I think that Chinese people love their country. They have a a strong resentment toward Japan. This is enough to support their country in case of a conflict, no matter what the conflict is about.

The logic is as follow:

  1. I am Chinese. I love my country
  2. I don't love Japanese who did so much wrong to us during the war
  3. I love my country therefore I support my government and China in the crisis with Japan

Facts don't matter.
However if you start to break their property, Chinese people don't support anymore and start to ask questions about the demonstrations.

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