It looked for a while that Beijing-Tokyo relations were improving in the aftermath of the Diaoyu island incident but another
Christian Science Monitor writes:
While just last month the Chinese government seemed keen not to allow anti-Japanese protesters to stir the pot, on Saturday thousands of people gathered in multiple cities throughout China to protest Japan’s claim over the island chain in the East China Sea, with mobs at times turning violent.
Now we all know very well that the government could shut down (or at least heavily monitor) any protest with a simple snap of a finger, so we can only conclude its somewhat enjoying the ruckus created by these mobs. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily is reporting that the anti-Japanese protests were organized by government-sponsored university groups. The indifference is also reflected by the attitude the Chinese Foreign Ministry takes towards the demonstrations. While Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan termed the protests “regrettable” but a Chinese ministry official described it as “understandable.”
But things are getting really out of hand. The CSM article continues:
Protesters vandalized Japanese businesses and smashed the windows of Japanese-brand cars, according to local media reports. One woman in Chengdu was eating at a restaurant along the demonstration route when marchers mistook her dress for a kimono, consequently demanding that she strip out of her clothes, according to the Associated Press.
That’s right. Sun Ting was dining at a restaurant with a friend when a group of university student protesters surrounded her and demanded she take off the ‘kimono’. “They had completely lost their senses,” Sun says, “They were relentlessly saying, ‘If you don’t take it off, we won’t let you leave,’ and ‘We need to burn it!'” Sun tried pointing out that it wasn’t a kimono – quite ironically, it was a traditional Han dynasty outfit (you know, the glorious CHINESE dynasty from before China even began tremendously influencing Japanese culture) – but as she relates, one student leader said to her, “Doesn’t matter, we need to satisfy the masses!”
Left with no other option and facing a very angry horde, Sun Ting and her friend went into the restaurant bathroom to take off the dress. Sun only had a shirt on left but luckily a fellow diner had the heart to give her a pair of pants he’d originally bought for his girlfriend.
The most disheartening thing about the whole incident is that it’s a group of university students behind this–they should know better–but as our government has the maturity of an 8-year old on these matters, they’re allowed to continue their sprees.