There will be blood Part 2

In Spring of 1999 the US Air Force bombed “by mistake” the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia.  Chinese were killed.  The USA apologized for “the accident”.   Of all bombing raids conducted on Yugoslavia during that time, this was the only sortie not screened through proper channels, ie NATO.  Without question, it was a deliberate raid.  Apparently, the Chinese were intercepting “signals” and passing them on to the Yugoslavian gov, putting NATO pilots in danger, and upon ignoring USA warnings to stop, were promptly bombed. 

Whatever the reasons, there is no question it was deliberate.

Laowai in China promptly suffered.  Many were beat up, reflecting Chinese rage at the time.   And as Chinese are wont to think, all laowai in China are American.  Thus many innocent laowai were harassed.   The anger lingered.  I, for one, was only spit on.  Others were beat up. 

Once, during a late night taxi ride home back to the University, the police stopped us and the fellow American I was with, fearing the worse, immediately to my chagrin started mumbling “wo bushi Meiguoren”. 

So when the inevitable Sino-Nippon Clash comes it will be worse.  For one, there is the history.  And there is the buildup.  There was no buildup of tension within China towards the USA at the time.  There is no pent up sense of humiliation vis a vis America.  (Yes, there is the sense of lack of respect, but that is different.  And China had it’s opportunity to “vent” at America in the Korean War)

China feels no outward animosity towards any nation as it does with Japan.  Yes, we may as a collective group of some laowai army have burnt down some important, historical buildings(the Summer Palace), but we never killed, rampaged, raped, looted, etc anywhere close to the level Japan did in China. 

So excuse me if I say when the conflict comes, the level of harassment within China will dwarf any previous reaction the Chinese have had towards any other foreign race. 

What will it look like?

It will depend on two things:

The reaction of the Chinese people and the response of the Chinese papers.

As regards the context, any Sino Japanese conflict may simply be accidental.  A nervous twitch of the finger by an overwhelmed pilot.   An overzealous sea captain.  The decision of an anonymous and unaccountable bureaucrat to send one too many drones over a useless rock. 

The USA was also lucky in 1999.  Internet usage in China wasn’t as fast(trust me on that one), or as widespread as it is now.   There was no Wechat, or QQ, etc.  There was no medium for instant communication, and mass organization available to The Masses. 

If a Chinese pilot is shot down, or a boat sunk , Chinese Media may have no choice but to join in with the Masses and condemn the outrage, rather than containing reports of any incident.   To not do so would make China appear weak in the eyes of it’s people.  

I had a 17 year old kid that worked for me for a short while.  He was a super polite, and industrious young fellow.   Quiet and humble.   Until yet another squabble over the Diaoyu Islands awoke the beast inside.  His hatred and dislike of the Japanese obvious, (Who would’ve knew?)  he joined along with the other youth in the daily allowed demonstrations along Shenzhen’s main boulevard ( Shennan dedao). 

I thought it funny that during this period of time many “at risk” establishments did what they could to curry favor with the local government (the clubs), by hanging banners above the entrance condemning Japan and whatever it had done this time to “insult the dignity of the Chinese People”.

The Chinese Police will keep the marchers in line.  But if the Media gets involved, and it may, if loss of life is severe, than all bets are off.  Esp if China takes a licking. 

Any Japanese caught on the streets will be fair game.

Japanese will be randomly attacked and beat up by mobs of violent youth.

They will be pulled from taxi’s(if they can get a ride).

Their girlfriends will be beat up. (In France after WWII those women having babies with German troops were ostracized from French society and their heads shaven)
Japanese hotels will be attacked.

Other Asian Nationals(Korean? ) that “look” Japanese will also be attacked.  It will be hit first, ask who you are later.

Workers in Japanese factories will go on strike.  Production will halt.

So the buildup to the inevitable “accidental” showdown continues.  It’s too late for constraint.  Constraint is no longer considered prudent by the Masses, but merely a sign of a “weak China kowtowing” yet again to Japan.  It’s now only a question of “when” and “how”.   We pretty much already know “where”.  

I wish they’d get it over with.  Get it out of their system.   And just move on.  But for the Chinese, it will never be that simple.  Indoctrinated from the womb, the Chinese will do no such thing until they in turn “humiliate” the Japanese.    And everyone except perhaps my former staff member and his friends knows that’s just not gonna happen anytime soon. 


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