Damien Ma, a China analyst at the Eurasia Group, has an article in The Atlantic this Tuesday on “A Taste of Mob Rule in China“, an overview of the anti-Japanese craziness that swept the streets of most major cities last month.
Ma’s entire piece is well worth a read, but what really stands out is his slightly surreal experience of being picked up by someone who claims to have been involved in the attack on US Ambassador Gary Locke.
After failing to flag down a cab in Beijing, Ma and his friends accept a ride from an unlicensed taxi driver:
Yet as soon as the car pulled away, I noticed there was something odd about the driver. Not only did his eyes seem to be glazed over, he was flooring the hatchback that felt like it would disintegrate if I kicked it. He then turns to us.
Driver: Are you guys Americans?
Driver: So did you hear about the attack on your ambassador 骆家辉 (Luo Jiahui, Locke’s Chinese name) earlier today?
Driver: I was the attacker. But the car was very well made, I couldn’t do much damage to it. (pause) You can check it out, they said they have my picture on the Internet now. Do you think I’ll have trouble getting a visa to the US in the future?
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