If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) should be honored that a pro-China group in Hong Kong called the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands (ACDDI) is copying its playbook and calling for demonstrations in front of Japanese embassies and consulates all over the world on Sept. 18 to protest Japan’s occupation of its islands.
The group’s goal, according to its spokesman David Ko, is to urge ethnic Chinese all over the world to join the anti-Japan protests. The date was selected because it is the 81st anniversary of the Manchurian Incident, the staged bombing of a train track that Japan used as a pretext to invade northeastern China on Sept. 19, 1931, which ignited a war with Japan that lasted until 1945.
[This pretext is familiar to Filipinos because it is similar to the staged assassination attempt on then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce-Enrile that Ferdinand Marcos used to justify his declaration of martial law on Sept. 22, 1972.]
As the HK Action Committee is aware, the USP4GG organized demonstrations in front of China embassies and consulates all over the world on May 11 to protest China’s illegal occupation of the Scarborough Shoal (which China calls the “Huangyan Island”). US Pinoys recently concluded a Global Day of Prayer for Justice and Peace in the Scarborough Shoal on Aug. 21, the 29th anniversary of the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, which cowardly assassination inspired the People Power revolution that overthrew the Marcos Dictatorship.
The difference is that while some members of USP4GG were just wistfully thinking about sending some US Pinoys to the Scarborough Shoal, the HK Action Committee actually did it. The group sent a boatload of 14 activists to the Diaoyu Islands, landing on the largest of the islands, Uotsuri, on August 15, the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the allies in WW II.
As expected, Japanese authorities immediately detained the 14 HK activists and then deported them all on Aug.17. Their arrests, also as expected, led to the eruption of anti-Japan protests in Chinese cities over the weekend, which in turn prompted a retaliatory landing by 10 Japanese activists on the same island on August 19.
After waving Japanese flags and draping one over a lighthouse, the Japan group led by Eiji Kousaka, a parliament representative from Tokyo, told the press that they went to the island “to show clearly that this is Japan’s territory.”
The counter-landing of Japanese activists on the Diaoyu Islands incited fierce anti-Japan protests in cities all over China on August 19. CNN reported that “protesters toppled Japanese-made cars, burned Japanese flags, and shouted that the island is Chinese territory and that Japan should get out, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper.”
China’s government media reported that up to 2,000 people carrying Chinese flags and banners demonstrated in Shenzhen, overturning Japanese cars, attacking Japanese restaurants and burning images of Japanese flags. The anti-Japan protests spread to Qingdao, Taiyuan and Hangzhou and cities across China, from northern Harbin to south-western Chengdu. In Guangzhou and Shenyang, protesters rallied in front of the Japanese consulates.
China’s claim to the islands is based on an 1893 decree by Dowager Empress Cixi, awarding the islands to a Chinese medicine-maker for use in cultivating herbs.
Japan’s claim is based on documents showing that the islands’ current Japanese owner, Kunioki Kurihara, bought them some 40 years ago from ancestors who have owned them since the 1890s.
On February 27, 2009, while on a state visit to the US, then Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso declared that the Senkaku Islands were protected under the Japan-US Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. He reiterated this claim in his address to the Japanese Diet (parliament).
This claim drew a sharp rebuke from China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman who said “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islets which have been China’s inalienable territory since ancient times. The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States, as a bilateral arrangement, should not undermine the interest of any third party including China. Any attempt to cover the Diaoyu Islands under the Treaty is absolutely unacceptable to the Chinese people.”
Unlike the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) which is only 124 nautical miles (nm) from the Philippines and more than 550 nm from the closes China port of Hainan, the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands are approximately 120 nm northeast of Taiwan, 200 nm east of the Chinese mainland, and 200 nm southeast of Okinawa. The disputed islands are almost equidistant from both countries.
Chinese activists are taking another page from the USP4GG playbook. They are calling for a boycott of all Japanese products to protest Japan’s occupation of the Diaoyu Islands. One example is a photo prominently displayed on the Weibo Chinese website showing a sign posted outside a gas station declaring the owner’s refusal to serve gas to Japanese cars.
That is how China is dealing with a major economic power like Japan. Meanwhile, how is it dealing with the pesky Filipinos? Well, the Chinese government media conducted a TV poll posing a question which was answered by the title of this youtube video: “80% Chinese want to slap Filipinos in the face”. Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7Ea43WLAMs.
Is China truly an ancient civilization?
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