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China defends cultural links with Japan amid online nationalist fury

38 Comments

The Chinese foreign ministry has defended the value of cultural exchanges with Japan after Chinese intellectuals came under heavy attack from nationalists online for attending events sponsored by the Japanese government over many years.

The ministry's mild tone contrasted with the hardline "wolf warrior diplomacy" it has often favored on international issues, especially those concerning Japan, whose brutal wartime occupation of China is a touchstone for Chinese nationalists.

Some prominent Chinese scholars and writers came under fire last week after nationalistic netizens noticed their names among a list of 144 Chinese intellectuals who had been sponsored by the Japan Foundation to visit Japan from 2008 to 2016.

Two netizens, operating under the pseudonyms Diguaxiong Laoliu and Guyan Muchan, who each have more than six million followers on their Twitter-like Weibo accounts, accused the intellectuals of currying favor with Japan for financial gain.

They joined an online "name and shame" campaign to brand the intellectuals as traitors.

Asked about the controversy at a regular press conference on Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said government-supported people-to-people interaction had contributed positively to relations between China and Japan.

"We hope to achieve more understanding, trust and deeper friendship through continual healthy and stable interaction among Chinese and Japanese people," said Wang.

Wang's comment comes a week after President Xi Jinping told senior Communist Party officials that they should improve the way they communicate with the rest of the world.

"We must focus on setting the tone right, be open and confident but also modest and humble, and strive to create a credible, lovable and respectable image of China," Xi said, according to Xinhua news agency.

Some Chinese diplomats and commentators have taken up hardline positions on social media in recent years, appealing to nationalist passions among their online followers.

But this has contributed to friction with Western and Asian countries, encouraging them to reevaluate ties with an increasingly assertive China, the world's second biggest economy.

Relations with China will be on the agenda of the Group of Seven leading industrial democracies when they meet this week for a summit in Britain. The G7 groups the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
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China has replaced communism with nationalism to keep the populace together and for years boasted about it's ability to turn nationistic fervor on and off like a faucet. Looks to me like it might be out of the CCP's control.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Chinas image was decimated about 18months ago.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Live by the net, die by the net. The CCP's troll army will one day be it's undoing...

11 ( +17 / -6 )

nationalism to keep the populace together and for years boasted about it's ability to turn nationistic fervor on and off like a faucet.

Well, Japan is doing that for more than a century now.

Better cleaning up its own backyard first.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Who would have thought that encouraging for years xenophobic feelings in the population would make lots of people irrationally intolerant about other countries?

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Chinas image was decimated about 18months ago.

LOL. 18 months? Laughable.

Communist Chinas image has been rubbish for many, many decades.

Japan should NOT be sponsoring "cultural links" with Communist China. I wonder who the "genius" was who came up with this doomed idea. Cancel it.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Reminds me of what’s happened in the good old US of A….

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

HAhhhaaha

Live by the net, die by the net. The CCP's troll army will one day be it's undoing...

Its beautiful, they're eating each other alive

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sigh. Nationalism exists in people too small to fill a vacancy in their soul.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The PRC under the communist party turns out to be a hijack regime holding its populace hostage. Don't pretend to represent China or Chinese tradition. For decades since its foundation, the CPP has been destroying it, most notably during the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Simple minds have only two settings: love everything, hate everything. China and Japan have a long cultural history together., however. It is possible to celebrate some of it while lamenting other parts of it.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

There is a difference between the Chinese people, Chinese culture and the CCP. As said above, the CCP has spent decades destroying traditional Chinese culture and society, now seeks to rescue bits of it to bolster their own stranglehold on power.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

We hope to achieve more understanding, trust and deeper friendship through continual healthy and stable interaction among Chinese and Japanese people,

faq these hypocritical two face people.

We must focus on setting the tone right, be open and confident but also modest and humble, and strive to create a credible, lovable and respectable image of China Xi said

thats because the world hates you for being weak and manipulative and now you have to retreat and kowtow to the west before they go after your honey, winnie

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Make up you mind, You can't be a Semi Democracy and Nationalistic at the same time, If China lets these groups run the country it will be the END of its prosperity.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The is Beijing political, Mahjong Solitaire.

Globally, it is only a question of time before steps are taken to hold the Government of China to account for mass manslaughter.

Beijing will throw everything they have at the Japan Government to leverage there influence.

Suga san, does not have the political nuance that Abe san could deploy at will.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is this Japanese word I really like "meiwaku" . I just kind find the right English equivalent. It ifeels like bother only accompanied with diarrhea, pain and vomiting.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Who would have thought that encouraging for years xenophobic feelings in the population would make lots of people irrationally intolerant about other countries?

Irritatingly, this is a strategy that many powerful nations seem to have chosen over the last five or six years. I’m loathe to praise China, given their horrific treatment of minorities and the restriction of individual liberty, but well done on the foreign ministry for doing something to try and quell this fire.

The runaway rapacity of capital, and the panicked rush of capitalists, who own the corporate media, to blame foreigners led to the horror of World War One. We are walking that path again today.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Two netizens, operating under the pseudonyms Diguaxiong Laoliu and Guyan Muchan, who each have more than six million followers on their Twitter-like Weibo accounts, accused the intellectuals of currying favor with Japan for financial gain.

They joined an online "name and shame" campaign to brand the intellectuals as traitors.

They are just as pathetic as the anti-Japanese Korean nationalists. The pathetic thing is, even the Chinese government this time is defending these cultural exchanges, so what's the excuse for these ignorant hate mongers? There comes a time when one has to stop making excuses for these bigots by blaming it on the government.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

H'mmm...interesting, seems like the rulers of china are starting to feel the squeeze!

They have the populace they FEAR & now the rest of the world seems like if MIGHT finally be ready to start telling china to get stuffed on more issues(decades overdue!) so maybe sensing FEAR there as well..................WELL GOOD ABOUT TIME!!!

I have said for the last 30yrs china will either EXPLOUD or IMPLODE or perhaps BOTH!!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I remember 50 years ago when Chinese were waving their little red books and chanting Mao's thoughts. Not much has changed. Their lives are so empty they are moved to fill them with whatever their government demands. The chanting masses need to be kept occupied.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

lucabrasiToday 05:13 pm JST

Reminds me of what’s happened in the good old US of A….

Yeah, 30 years of hate radio, 25 years of Fox News, 15 years of Breitbart and just look at what kind of people that breeds.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I remember 50 years ago when Chinese were waving their little red books and chanting Mao's thoughts. Not much has changed. Their lives are so empty they are moved to fill them with whatever their government demands. The chanting masses need to be kept occupied.

You've never been to China, obviously.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In recent (pre-Covid) travels to rural areas outside of Beijing, I sensed that most people were not political and were just trying to live their lives. They used the internet mainly for buying things, not commentary. They were friendly to foreigners.

Cultural exchanges between China & Japan should continue, as there is no sense in returning to the chilliness of the 1950s-1960s.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That’s their version of the right wing black vans. It’s good that the CCP addresses these nationalists. Have you ever heard the LDP say anything about the ultra-right?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have said for the last 30yrs china will either EXPLOUD or IMPLODE or perhaps BOTH!!!

If you look at their history, the dynasty lasts a couple of hundred years. The CCP will at very least bring GDP to no 1 in the world within a decade. PPP is already no 1.

The infrastructure is vibrant and technology is steaming ahead. It compelled to US to spend $250 billion in the China Competitive Act. China makes the US want to be better.

Iron sharpens iron.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The world should never mess with Chinese affairs especially not after the 2nd world War genocide.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I remember 50 years ago when Chinese were waving their little red books and chanting Mao's thoughts. Not much has changed. Their lives are so empty they are moved to fill them with whatever their government demands. The chanting masses need to be kept occupied.

I feel like a sighted person having someone tell me that red is not much difference than blue.

This person hasn't been to current day China, and knows nothing about the Chinese people.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Dear China, please be nice, don't play dirty, don't steal technology, don't invade neighbor countries, stop repression, stop nationalism, stop communism..

Behave China, behave !!..

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Now China is trying the appealing tactic after Xi speech, but it is too late, everyone knows what China is and will not forget! Just like Tienanmen square massacre, which will never be forgotten!!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

China never invaded Okinawa killing 200,000 civilians. China has never occupied Okinawa or Japan by military force. I have no problems with them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

China never invaded Okinawa killing 200,000 civilians. China has never occupied Okinawa or Japan by military force. I have no problems with them.

Clearly you have never heard of Tibet, Hong Kong, the millions of muslims in Xinjiang in concentration camps, the daily threats against Taiwan, and dozen or so nations Communist China has territory disputes with.

That you "have no problems with China" is not something to be proud of.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Fighto! How many nations has the USA invaded? How many civilians have they killed? What you wrote is not our war. Japan should not get involved in the affairs of other nations. The only thing Japan should be involved is the defense of Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

YuriOtani, you'll get the full wrath of the anti China brigade now.

Japan has behaved far worse than China in history. Conveniently forgotten by the anti China brigade.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The nationalists have a point--a very sore point. The Japan committed mass murder and torture in China and the Japan nationalists deny it happened or squabble about the number of Chinese actually killed. That said, the moderates of the Chinese foreign ministry want a peaceful relationship with Japan. It is all politics of course, but one hopes it will keep leaders' fingers off the nuclear triggers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China defends cultural links with Japan amid online nationalist fury

They mean the nationalist fury that they created and are still promoting?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

John Noun

Japan has behaved far worse than China in history. Conveniently forgotten by the anti China brigade.

I have not seen an "anti China brigade" here. If you mean criticism of XiJi Ping and the CCP, they do not equal "China".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have not seen an "anti China brigade" here. If you mean criticism of XiJi Ping and the CCP, they do not equal "China".

China is awesome. Interesting culture, amazing food, beautiful scenery, friendly and nice people.

Unfortunately the CCP ruins it all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@zaphod

Good point, though a number of people can't seem to differentiate between either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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