Ming Pao: Rules for Anti-Japan Protests

The Hong Kong paper Ming Pao reports on the ongoing anti-Japan demonstrations sweeping China:
Strict Control Over Anti-Japanese Demonstrations: Public Employees Forbidden to Encourage or Take Part

Ming Pao Newsflash: Numerous mainland cities are experiencing days-long Anti-Japan protests in defense of China’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. Authorities have begun exerting increasingly strict control over the demonstrations. Police in the city of Changsha, Hunan Province, issued an edict urging authorities to “complete the work of influencing employee ideology,” forbidding municipal government employees from instigating or taking part in anti-Japan demonstrations and marches. The edict also orders public employees to immediately report any incidents to their superiors. Reports from the city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, also claim protests in defense of the Diaoyu Islands were met with suppression from the authorities. High level members of the Beijing media revealed they had received orders from above that allow the media to “report on nationalist sentiment, but breaking information from the street must be strictly controlled. Interviewing Diaoyu defenders is strictly prohibited.”

Yesterday, protesters numbering in the thousands gathered outside the gates of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. On Liangmaqiao East Street, where the Japanese embassy is located, the sidewalk was converted into a “designated protest area.” Those who wished to walk through the area opposite the gate of the embassy were forced to pass through a bus stop or “launching station.”

Demonstration Rules: Serious Expressions, No Playing with Cell Phones

Protesters were released in waves of about 100 people. More than 100 police officers stood by to maintain order. In each group, protesters who brought their own banners were ushered to the front of the pack. Chinese flags were passed out to those who came empty-handed. Each time a group of 100 amassed, a plain-clothed man with a megaphone would announce the “demonstration rules.” “We all know that everyone is very angry, but there are a lot of foreign media up ahead. This is a time to demonstrate the quality of Chinese citizens. Do not carry bottles of water or anything like that. Remember to sing the national anthem. Everyone must take part in chanting slogans. Facial expressions are to be kept serious—don’t laugh when you shouldn’t be laughing. And don’t play with your cell phones.”

Each “marching contingent” sang the national anthem about 30 meters from the front gate of the embassy. A young man lead the chanting of such phrases as “Give back my Diaoyu Islands” and “Little Japanese: Get out of the Diaoyu Islands.” There were also such slogans as “Long live the Chinese Communist Party,” “Long live the Chinese people” and “Long live the People’s Liberation Army.” A man shouting “Death to [Japanese Prime Minister] Yoshihiko Noda” and “Death to the emperor of Japan” was allowed to do so unmolested by the police. Anyone who strayed from the group, however, was quickly ordered to “return to the protest area.” After five minutes of chanting, police directed demonstrators to proceed out of the area. National flags were “reclaimed” to be used by the next group of protesters.

Four Arrested in Shenzhen for Destroying Japanese Cars

In Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, a city that has a history of destroying Japanese cars, police confirmed the arrest of four vandals. Shenzhen police stated that while they understood the patriotic fervor of city residents and even supported the rational airing of said sentiments, some people are purposefully stoking the crowds to destroy the private property of others. Such behavior would not be tolerated, the police said.

Translation by Little Bluegill.