Malaysia returns to the PRC’s South China Sea media cauldron

The Foreign Ministers of China and Malaysia, Yang Jiechi and Anifah Aman, shake hands in Kota Kinabalu, August 12, 2012

There was a post here last year about the KD Pari, a Malaysian Navy fast attack craft that sort-of-sank while allegedly chasing a Chinese ship near Swallow Reef. It still continues to attract traffic from the search engines, which hints at a general dearth of information on the Malaysian dimension to the South China Sea disputes.

Malaysia usually gets little noticed in the Chinese media too, when it comes to the South China Sea issue, but that changed with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Amin’s comment on August 12 that Southeast Asian states should sort out their South China Sea claims before negotiating with China. At a press conference right after his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi (who wasn’t in attendance), Anifah said:

There are overlapping claims by member countries. Let us discuss these among ASEAN countries first before we talk to China . . . We can only achieve this objective in the South China Sea if all parties agree. Then China can appreciate this and realise it is ASEAN’s wish.

Although Malaysia’s official Bernama news agency did not report these comments, they were still picked up, translated and introduced into the Chinese media by the Huanqiu Shibao. This led in turn to the following report from Yunnan TV. As the summary translation indicates, it struck an indignant tone that painted Malaysia as yet another addition to the list of hostile anti-China forces.

Summary translation follows after the jump…

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Professor Chen Jie explains the Spratly triangle

–Note: apologies to email subscribers for the incomplete draft sent out just now. I didn’t realise the Iphone app could interpret an errant finger swipe as an instruction to “publish now”. I will hopefully finish it off today after i’ve spoken to some more friends.–

In the dispute over the Spratly Islands, a China-Vietnam-Philippines triangle of active claimants has taken shape, with external great powers the US, India, Russia and perhaps even Japan lurking, anxious about possible trouble and eager to seize any strategic opportunity. The interview translated here, recorded in November 2011 following several months of intense diplomatic maneuverings, offers an excellent recap of how we arrived at the more direct competition of 2012, as well as touching on the issues raised in the previous post.

The three sections, indicated by the host’s questions in bold, canvass:

  1. Vietnam’s diplomatic triple-dealings with China, India and the Philippines in October 2011;
  2. The connections between great-power politics and Vietnamese ruling-party politics; and
  3. The difference between the Philippines’ and Vietnam’s approaches.

The interview was broadcast by the multilingual Australian SBS Radio with with Jie Chen 陈杰, Professor of International Relations at the University of Western Australia. Professor Chen is an expert on Southeast Asian and Chinese foreign policy who is supervising my PhD project.

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“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

—– SORRY FOR THE UNREADABLE UNDERLINING YESTERDAY, MOUSEOVER TRANSLATIONS ARE NOW IN EFFECT, THANKS ONCE AGAIN DANWEI.COM —-

[. . .] 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.

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Several-hundred-person anti-Japan rallies in Hangzhou

Going to start posting some straight translations of forum threads. Apologies to those email subscribers who may find this rough data inconvenient.

Please note there is no implication that these conversations are representative of any significant proportion of the PRC population.

As a non-native reader of Chinese i especially welcome clarifications, corrections and comments. { brackets } indicate summary. Bold = caught my attention for some reason. Headlines written by portal staff.

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Topic: Several-hundred-person anti-Japan rallies in Hangzhou – QQ.c0m/XH

主题:杭州主城区发生数百人反日集会游行活动

我要发帖(已有2126条帖子,共48586人参与) approx 6pm
我要发帖(已有16028条帖子,共150246人参与) 11.55pm

1. “Boycott Japanese goods” “Give back the Diaoyu Islands” [31070]

2. I think our government is making a clear move, if not then just give Diaoyu to the others! I suggest the following: 1.) demote the embassy to charge d’affaires level; 2.) freeze all economic exchange; 3.) set a date for Chinese people in Japan to return 4.) set Japanese residents in China a date to leave by. 5.) make sure no Chinese people who have worked for a Japanese company does not leave the country; 6.) eliminate Japanophiles, and do a statistical survey of pro-Japan elements; 7.) eliminate Japanese vehicles from the military and government and make sure no car electrical systems or GPS installed by Japanese people leaks our military secrets, the Japanese haven’t not committed vile acts. [26520]

3. Every Chinese person with a conscience should boycott Japan should do their own boycott, buying one less is a contribution. [10575 – rose 2 places in past 6 hours]
IN REPLY TO (earliest first)
If I see a newly bought Japanese car I will smash it, a *forced* Japan boycott! –> You can’t only boycott cars, what about cameras? TVs? Fluorescent lights? If the government doesn’t oppose [Japan], is there any use in your opposition? -> Unity is power, don’t you know?

4. I think it’s not just Hanzhou, the whole country should resist. [9605]

5. {Don’t buy Japanese products} [5645]

6. I love you Hangzhou people to death! [4090]

7. A pity i’m not there, if I was I would definitely join you!!! Unite!!! [3285]

8. At last the mainland is doing something, bravo! I support…down with Japanese imperialism! Boycott Jap goods! Defend Diaoyu to the death [3020]

9. Popular news websites in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, fuck, who shut them down? [2125]

10. “Boycott Japanese goods” “Give back the Diaoyu Islands” [2115]

Most recent comment:

“Supporters…the Communist Party doesn’t want China’s historic land, the Chinese brethren 中华同胞 should unite with all the force it has, and resist to the end…unless the Chinese nation 中华民族..to fight to the end..?”