China: April 18, 2005

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The Internet and cell phones have made it impossible for the government to control the flow of information. This was obvious with  the second weekend of anti-Japanese demonstrations last week. These were not government authorized. but the government feared a violent reaction if they tried to stop the demonstrations by force. Chinese history is rife with spontaneous popular movements that have caused civil war. Chinese leaders are aware of this pattern, as well as what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989, and Ukraine last month. During all these protests, the main subject is not Japan, but the growing size and ferocity of the demonstrations themselves. The demonstrators have more reason to be angry at their own government, for current injustices, than at the Japanese, for past ones. 

 

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