Chinese march over Japan’s war ‘whitewash’

The weekend government-sponsored outings in China made it into the Australian papers yesterday, as Chinese diplomats act like schoolyard hillbillies and Japan shows them up and wipes the floor with their seriously practised diplomatic skills. Lots of photos from all over the place (taken on Japanese cameras too), including this one which is supposed to be Tianhe in Guangzhou.

Now Tianhe on a weekend is like a kleptomanic shoppers convention. It’s fucking crazy. These Computer City buildings are wall-to-wall ’emerging-middle-class’ hell-bent on simultaneously lightening their wallets and boosting their status. So whatever the official figure was for this particular protest, immediately knock off half coz that’s who would be there anyway, and then another third for the rent-a-gawk-crowd who seem to spontaneously materialise whenever a cab-driver wipes out a delivery tricycle. So the only people who were really there for the protest were the army slouches on the bridge.

Maybe not, but it’s not as though this particular strip of Guangzhou is deserted like a slowly rotting ghost-town on any day of the week. Walking on the road here is as common as driving on the footpath.

Two days of hostile demonstrations in China against Japan have widened the rift between the countries, at odds over Japan’s whitewashing of wartime atrocities and its bid to gain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Thousands of people marched yesterday in the southern city of Guangzhou to protest outside the Japanese consulate-general, as Chinese officials pleaded with demonstrators to express themselves in a “calm and sane” manner. Thousands also marched in nearby Shenzhen.

In Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura yesterday summoned China’s ambassador, Wang Yi, to deliver an official protest at Chinese police allowing protesters to hurl rocks, bottles and eggs at the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Saturday.

Ambassador Wang emerged after 30 minutes of talks to say that Beijing did not condone the violence. “The (Chinese) Government does not agree with extreme action,” Mr Wang said.

— The Age

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