“Do not let patriotism become a G-string for violence”: China Youth Daily

China Youth Daily 中国青年报 front page, August 20, 2012

China Youth Daily, August 20, 2012, p.1

Cherish patriotic fervour, sternly punish violent smashing 呵护爱国热情 严惩打砸暴行

Cao Lin 曹林


[. . .] On the morning of the 19th of August, there were gatherings of different sizes in more than 10 cities including Beijing, Jinan, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou.

Xinhua journalists reported that in these cities the police were present at all the mass gatherings to maintain order, and the protest marches were on the whole peaceful. However, from numerous eyewitness descriptions, there were some places where extremely incautious and irrational behaviour occurred. Some people received some ulterior-motivated incitement, and smashed their compatriots’ Japanese cars. It was very unsightly.

{“Boycott Japanese goods” slogans are fine, displaying a clear mind, but smashing compatriots’ cars and ruining private property is “clearly stupid, seriously harming social order, the city’s image, and China’s image.”}

Several days ago a netizen somewhere in Sichuan sent a letter to local officials expressing their “concern about upcoming anti-Japanese rallies” in light of their deleterious effects last time. The local officials replied, thanking them for the message, and saying that their concern was not without reason. In expressing anti-Japanese patriotism, [the officials said], some people had rushed onto the streets, blocking the way for Chinese people, smashing Chinese people’s cars and shops and harming their own compatriots. The result was helpful to Japan, and this kind of stupid thing cannot happen again.

[. . .] These stupid acts are not aiguo but haiguo. They will never attract praise and can only make real patriots feel ashamed.

In anti-Japanese rallies in April 2008 in some places similarly ugly behaviour occurred. Afterwards, those extremely small number of lawless elements mixed in with the students, who had taken the chance to throw rocks and smash shops, were punished according to the law. We hope that the police will be equally unforgiving and show no quarter once again. We respect patriotic sentiment, and cherish young people’s patriotic fervour, but lawless behaviour absolutely cannot be tolerated, and we reject patriotism’s use as a cover for hooliganism. Do not let patriotism become a G-string for violence or a get out of jail free card. Anti-Japan demonstrations cannot become an opportunity for those with ulterior motives to benefit from a crisis.

This is a country under the rule of law, and everything must be legal. According to the ‘PRC gatherings and demonstrations law’ and relevant regulations, any rally or demonstration must by approved by the PSB, and once approved it must proceed in accordance with the law. Any such activities that proceed without police authorisation or not in accordance with the approved objectives, methods, signage, slogans, commencement times, locations and routes, or which give rise to situations that harm public safety or social order, is illegal conduct. [. . .]

Sternly punish smashing, “patriotism” is not a cover for hooliganism — this attitude can make patriotism more powerful. [One may] rationally express protest and boycott Japanese goods, [but] first we should boycott stupid behaviour that “hurts one’s friends and benefits one’s enemies”.


The top comments on the NetEase thread were overwhelmingly derisory of the protesters and many explicitly expressed support for the CTD article. They didn’t appear manufactured either, with a lot of denunciations of the protesters couched in dry humour and apathy.

话题:中青报:打砸同胞日系车不是爱国是害国 | 热门跟贴 (跟贴11947条 有207556人参与):

  1. Fenqing粪青 = stupid fucks. There’s not need to explain. If you go to Japan and smash, I’d give you my thumb. [36251 dings]
  2. Who educated this gang of stupid-fuck patriotic traitors? [19437]
  3. [A reference to the novel Farewell My Concubine]: Duan Xiaolou: “These advisers and generals are all the bloody same, the Japanese troops are outside the city, go and fight them, but the only ones they dare to bully are the Chinese.” Na Kun: “Pfftt, none of the students have wives, have they? Nor have they got money to find a girl. They’ll always look for somewhere to let off steam.” [14064]
    段小楼:“一个个都他妈忠臣良将的摸样,这日本兵就在城外头,打去呀,敢情欺负的还是中国人!” 那坤:“瞎哄哄,学生不都没娶过媳妇吗?又没钱找姑娘,总得找个地界煞煞火不是!”
  4. I support this article. There are too many brain-dead 脑残 in China! [12099]

At first it seemed possible, even likely, that NetEase may have been told to make sure the top comments were supportive of the article. After all, the China Youth Daily is a paper of some importance, especially with Hu Jintao in power.

However, the top comments over at Phoenix expressed very different views. That makes this another example of what i believe may be NetEase’s somewhat liberal editorial bent. If it turns out i’m onto something (and i hope to find out when i travel to China soon), the question will be whether company ideology or readership is behind it.

中国青年报:砸同胞日系车的蠢行不是爱国是害国[查看原文] 176044人参与 | 评论4296条:

  1.  {China and Japan will fight a war sooner or later. Drive them out.} [27385 recommends]
  2. {Although the cars belonged to Chinese people, I support this behaviour. We want our compatriots to remember not to buy Japanese next time.} [20574]鄙人认为:打砸虽然是同胞的车,但是车毕竟是日本车。要同胞记得以后不要买日本车。我赞同这个行为。如果大家都联手不买日本货,日本货不是不可替代。小日本就不会那么嚣张。
  3. {Look at South Korea, they boycott Japanese goods and got Samsung out of it.} [13008]
  4. Good smashing, they shouldn’t have bought them. [10630]

Sentiment among comments on this Sina thread were much the same, but it did reveal that the company was actively deleting posts:

曹林:呵护爱国热情 严惩打砸暴行 | 参与1036人,跟帖213条:

  1. I support this stupid yet effective behaviour. If this so-called stupidly was happening everywhere around the country then little Japan would be defeated without a war. [20 supports]
  2. DELETED before 21:00 20/8 Compatriots, drive the Japanese devils out of China, don’t leave one behind. 
  3. Not necessarily all those who drive Japanese cars are bad people, but every day when we cross the road, people driving Japanese cars try to bust through the pedestrians, honking the horn, so if you’re going to smash, smash those ones. Their personal quality is low. [12 supports]

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