Liz Carter and David Wertime

Han Han to Japanese Car Vandals: You Are Not Patriots

Han Han is smiling here, but his disdain for current violent protests is clear

Mega-famous Chinese blogger Han Han has just taken to Weibo, China’s Twitter, to denounce the violent anti-Japanese protests currently sweeping through China, many of which involve smashing Japanese-made cars. His latest Chinese-language post, entitled “Chess pieces that jump off the board,” (跳出棋盘的棋子) has already garnered over 126,000 retweets and over 25,000 comments. The chess metaphor loses much in translation, but Han’s post makes a number of interesting points, among them:

Buying a Japanese car does not equate to a lack of patriotism. “No one who has bought a Japanese car thought they were supporting Japan’s violation of China’s territory; they just wanted an economical, fuel efficient car with easy upkeep.” Han, who in addition to being a famous writer is an accomplished race-car driver, further wrote that he himself used a Japanese car in rally racing.

Protests like these reinforce the Chinese government’s rationale for keeping tight social control: “One need only consider the past couple of days to see why the average person feels that ‘stability maintenance’ is a good idea, and ‘protests’ and ‘meetings’ are unwelcome words.”

China’s government does not want war and likely prefers to wait for the Diaoyu matter to resolve itself somehow: “You can see that it’s already established a system of power that is pleasing to those in power, so if there’s no problem, who wants to fight?”

It’s possible that someone in China’s higher reaches is backing these protests: “As far as looting and destroying things, this must be punished by law, or else I might suspect that there was some official backing behind all this.”

Destroying other Chinese people’s property in the name of patriotism is not patriotism at all: “I suggest that when media organizations cover news about Chinese people seriously violating one another’s rights, that they keep the word ‘patriotism’ out of it. How is this loving your country?”

Han’s post is available in its (much longer) entirety here

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Liz Carter and David Wertime