Friday, April 15, 2005

China Is Pushing and Scripting Anti-Japanese Protests

By JOSEPH KAHN, The New York Times, April 15, 2005

BEIJING, April 14 - Enraged about Japan's tendentious textbooks and territorial disputes in the East China Sea, Sun Wei, a college junior, joined thousands of Chinese in a rare legal protest march on the streets of Beijing last weekend.

Yet the police herded protesters into tight groups, let them take turns throwing rocks, then told them they had "vented their anger" long enough and bused them back to campus. "It was partly a real protest and partly a political show," Mr. Sun said in an interview this week. "I felt a little like a puppet."

China has tapped a deep strain of nationalism among its people, gambling, analysts say, that it can propel itself to a leadership role in Asia while cloaking its move for power in the guise of wounded pride and popular will.-----------------

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