What’s happening in China with the Diaoyu islands conflict?
The Diaoyu islands, as they are known in China, or in the interests of fairness, the Senkaku islands in Japan, have been the cause of some dispute over the past week. Apparently the fact that a Japanese businessman has sold them to Japan has enraged the Chinese government, who hold a claim to the islands. No-one lives in these archipelago of small, rocky outcrops in the East China Sea, but it’s apparently the resources that the islands hold that are desired.
Now, until the weekend I’d paid little attention to the conflict until my students brought it up. Then, I became interested because if they spent the time explaining it to me in English then it was clearly something they felt strongly about.
Since then, there have been demonstrations and boycotting of Japanese products, from cameras to cars. People have apparently had Japanese cameras ripped out of their hands, whilst passers by have attacked Japanese cars. It seems ludicruis but it’s happening, and even in my city, Zhangzhou, although there was apparently no vioence, there was certainly a larger gathering of people marching against Japan. I’ll repeat what my student said to me on Sunday, as it’s pretty interesting:
“slogans are :Diaoyu island is belong to China,it’s a part of China! then,Japan go out and so on…. These days,some places like Guangzhou,shenzhen and Guangxi,the demonstrating people were so excite that they started to wreck the Japan goods such as the cars which Japan produced、and the Japanese cooking and some electrical equipments.but in zhangzhou this time, no one made such the behaviour.”
I’ve never seen so many Chinese flags in Zhangzhou either. Obviously when I’ve been in places like Tiananmen Square, people have been peddling the national flag, but you can understand why at the importance of such a place in the history of the country (no, I’m not talking about that event, I’m talking about the start of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1949). Last Sunday evening in Zhangzhou I saw sellers at every street corner selling the Chinese national flag, to show their support for the Diaoyu islands. People were putting them on their scooters, one flag to each wing mirror, cars have them on their rear view mirrors and I’ve even seen large stickers stuck on doors and logos of cars. There’s a Japanese restaurant that I’ve been to before, which is shut. It has it’s metal shutters pulled down and two large Chinese flags hung outside to show their support for the Chinese in this row over the Diaoyu islands.
In my apartment block there is a small TV on the ground floor between the lifts. I noticed this broadcast slogan the other day. I’m still not great at reading Chinese, but I know enough to translate this one: the Diaoyu islands are Chinese!
Like everyone else in the world, I don’t know where this is going to end. Time will only show us this and I plan to keep much more of a watchful eye on it than before to see what resolution comes out of it. For now though, I think it’s safer for me to say that the Diaoyu islands are indeed Chinese.
What do you think of this conflict over uninhabited, resource-rich islands? Who is right and who is wrong? How’s it going to end?
Today is the final ROW80 check in! Well, it’s not really, as Kait says “I’ve totally conditioned you all to look for a midweek check in,” which is definitely true!
So time to look back on the goals I set early on 26th June for the start of the round on 1st July:
1) Most people use the project to write more words, but I’m going to use it to write more posts. Currently I write fairly long posts, but I want to get in the habit of uploading something every day. Even if it’s just a picture and some words about it, I want to be posting far more regularly and annoying more people with updates. (Although my 2 week holiday in UK will make this more difficult, I am determined to post from there, though it may be a little less frequent during that time).
1) Well, I like to think I did quite well out of this. Yes, my posts were a lot more infrequent whilst I was at home, but can you blame me?!
2) I want to get involved in the writing community a lot more. This is a great chance to network and learn from other people and see what they are writing about.
2) There are SO many interesting people out there. You all have so many interesting things to write about, truly.
3) Comment on people’s work – we all like to hear what’s other people like about our posts, so hopefully the favour gets returned too.
3) I think I got a little better come the end of the round. I hope to improve on this a lot more during the next round (though I have to say, it was sometimes the fault of Chinese internet not letting me submit comments!)
4) Use Twitter more to Tweet and Retweet people’s posts and spread the word of ROW80 using the proper hashtag #ROW80
4) I don’t think I really did this. I began to use Hootsuite to collate all of the #ROW80, #wordmongering and #StoryDam hashtags, but I definitely want to get more involved in this. My problem with #StoryDam is that I can never work out what time it is on in China, what with all the time differences!
Overall, I am happy with my participation in ROW80. Many people use it to become accountable for their deadlines, I’ve used it to become accountable for more content on this site. This has helped, as during the 80 days I’ve gone from page rank 1 to page rank 2, so maybe I’m doing something right! I fully intend to get involved in round 4, which starts on 1st October, but I’ll have to post my goals early, what with my impending visit to Vietnam, so exciting.
Thanks to a great first round of ROW80. To everyone who’s read and even commented on my blog, thanks. I hope to return the favour even more next round!