Archive for September 17th, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chinese Press Review: Making Patriotism Useful

Topics: Panetta’s Japan visit, arguing for civilized patriotism

Links within blockquotes added during translation – JR


1) Xinhua/Enorth, September 17, 2012

U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta: This is the Time to strengthen U.S.-Japanese Alliance

American defense secretary Leon Panetta who is currently visiting Japan held talks with Japanese foreign minister Koichiro Gemba and defense minister Satoshi Morimoto on September 17. He called for a strengthened U.S.-Japanese alliance, and hoped that Japan and China would solve their “Senkaku Islands” (this means the China Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands) dispute calmly and constructively.


In his talks with foreign minister Koichiro Gemba, Panetta said that for the security and for guaranteeing prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, this was the time for strengthening U.S.-Japanese relations. Koichiro Gemba said that the Japanese-American security system was an indispensable factor in protecting Japanese security and Asia-Pacific regional stability. From ow on, Japanese-American relations needed to be deepened, and Japan would handle Japanese-Chinese relations calmly, with the bigger picture in mind.


In a joint press conference with [Japanese defense minister] Satoshi Morimoto, Panetta said that America and Japan needed to to understand [or re-recognize] their alliance’s function, responsibility and abilities again, and deepen their relations as allies in the fields of information security, space development [or exploitation], internet security, missile defense, and other areas of their alliance. Panetta also hinted at the possibility that the outline of American-Japanese security cooperation would be revised.


Panetta also said that the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey aircraft deployment in Japan was important for Japan’s defense develoment, and America would make efforts to safeguard these fighter aircrafts’ safe performance. Satoshi Morimoto said that Japan and America would, through all kinds of common military exercises, strengthen their dynamic security capabilities.


Panetta pointed out that America held no position concerning the “Senkaku Islands” (this means the China Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands) sovereignty issue. America was worried about Japan’s and China’s antagonism concerning this issue and hoped that this matter would be solved calmly, peacefully and constructively, through diplomatic means. This would be in line with Japan’s and China’s national interests.


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[Quotations from the interlocutors quoted above are direct translations from the Chinese article and no direct quotations from English-language quotations.]


2) Xinhua/Enorth, September 17, 2012

Don’t Boycott Japanese Goods, Best them

In an opinion piece, Xinhua (via Enorth) makes a case for abiding the law, under the headline

Patriots should be Rational and Law-Abiding Citizens, our Love will make China more Peaceful, …

The picture shows the Mukden incident monument at the Mukden Incident Historic Museum (沈阳“九·一八”历史博物馆), a place described as a base for patriotic education*), to refresh historical memory, and for renewing membership oaths to the CCP (重温入党誓词). Click picture above for the museum’s website.

… readers are reminded that September 18 is the day of commemorating the Mukden Incident. That said, the issue of safeguarding sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands [Senkakus], citizens feelings should not turn into “boycotts of Japanese goods” (Xinhua cites an example of such action in Shenzhen), “cancelling Japan trips” or even smashing Japan-made police cars. The safeguarding of sovereignty could not be allowed to become “an excuse for harming the legitimate rights of other citizens”. (这样的热情很快就化为“抵制日货”、“取消赴日旅游”等等具体的行动,但不忍看到的情况还是出现了,深圳曝出有人发起抵制日货行动,市民的日系轿车被砸,3辆日系警车遭遇打砸。在保钓问题上,绝不能允许以维护国家利益为借口,抛弃法律,伤害其他公民的合法权益。) People who acted as patriots to commit acts of vandalism needed to be brought to justice.

Patriotism doesn’t worsen a country, but makes it better. Patriotism must defend the entire country’s interests, and common values. While the masses’ expression of patriotic feelings is enthusiastic, rationalism and respect for the law is what deserves praise, and only this will show the world a country’s strong inside power.



On August 19, boycott activities against Japanese goods were carried out in Shenzhen, and more than a few citizens’ Japanese cars were smashed. Three police cars were also smashed. After the incidents, Shenzhen police said that while the patriotic feelings were understandable, and reasonable ways of citizens to make their voices heard deserved support, intentionally inciting people to harm other peoples’ property was intolerable behavior. There was no way to act illegally in the name of “patriotism”, and citizens should maintain reasonable views.


Although only individuals committed crimes, their behavior could put shame on patriotic action, the article suggests. Both Chinese and Japanese citizens in China were under the protection of the law.

The article takes issue with boycott initiatives, too:

The desire of contemporary young Chinese people to follow earlier generations’ example and to boycott Japanese goods obstructs their own learning process. Mastering modern technology and love for ones country are interlinked. Chinese companies may not want to obstruct their production abilities and the objective Chinese national interest. If the desire to “boycott Japanese goods” is replaced with [the goal to] “surpass Japanese goods”, this won’t only serve [the goal of] surpassing Japan in terms of GDP, but also to China’s comprehensive strength and influence in terms of production quality.




*) Bases for patriotic education are part of China’s educational system. The 17th Central Committee “Decision on Culture” document, published in October 2011, prescribed the [further] strengthening of

the construction of patriotic education bases, make good use of red tourism resources, and let these become important classrooms for cultivating a national sonscience and a conscience of our times.



» Anti-Japan Fever, Peking Duck, Sept 16, 2012
» Inevitable Humiliations, Sept 17, 2011


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