Beijing’s Dangerous Game
Over the past few days, angry crowds in more than thirty Chinese cities have trashed Japanese stores, overturned Japanese cars, shouted “Down with Japan,” and carried banners that demand Chinese sovereignty over the uninhabited Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. Japan also claims ownership of these islands, which it calls the Senkakyus. Many have ascribed the vehemence of the protests to deep-rooted anti-Japanese sentiment linked to injustices committed by Japan eighty years ago. But the protests appear to have more to do with the interests of China’s current rulers, at a moment when the top leadership in Beijing is in turmoil.
September 20, 2012