An Update by Woman… Japanese Protests
I am still silenced, for the next two weeks or so, my posts to you will be sporadic. But I thought it a good idea to drop a line as I’ve received a few emails from readers asking if I am still alive and asking about my safety with all that is going on in China at the moment.
The following is a direct copy and paste of the email I sent to family and friends, and below that is the slide slow of various pictures of around China showing you what some folks are doing.
With all the news you guys might be seeing about current news in China, I have received lots of emails asking if I am ok and all that jazz.
First let me say, thank-you all for your concern. And yes I know I’ve not been around much lately, but that is not because of the protesting that is going on or the crack down on the internet at the moment, but because the month before your internet bill is due, your internet becomes unstable to remind you to pay it. And I’ve tried to pay it early, but you are not allowed to pay it too early. Which just cracks me up.
My mother sent me a consular news update from the region I am still hoping to move too in Africa, about how some of the surrounding countries are going through some skirmishes and she was warning me about potential issues, and add that to all the emails I have been receiving about my safety here in China due to the Japanese issue…. I just thought it would be a good idea to set her mind and many other minds at rest.
I just got a message yesterday from the Canadian Consulate in Beijing, saying that Canadians must be very careful when going out an about on their daily routines and avoid large crowded areas as much as possible for our safety.
At the moment, the hostility between China and Japan is escalating big time, there have even been protests here in town to the Japanese shops that are owned and staffed by Chinese people.
All Japanese business owners have been advised by Beijing to keep their offices closed, and there has not been an accurate death toll yet from the past little while.
In various cities around China, there have been protests to department stores that have Japanese products selling in the department store.
Now… let me just explain the Chinese word for “protest”… “riot” would be a more accurate word.
Protests here in town are more… protest like, where people are just marching around with Chinese flags and signs. The police have been out in full force here in town, standing guard at various government buildings, international schools and various public squares “groups” of people are told to go home. If you are there with purpose you are permitted to stay (like kite flying, women knitting, you know the usual activities that go on there).
Those pictures attached are all from Weibo (Chinese Twitter) friends, screen shots from news reports, friends/former students who were there and one was stolen from a consulate website in Beijing.
I know you are worried about my safety and such, but I do have to say that it is a very interesting time to be here. It is history in the making, and think about all the stuff I’ve been through being here:
2003-2005: Bird Flu
2005: Thailand Tsunami/Japanese Earthquake
2006-2008: Beijing Olympics, major Tibet Protesting, Snow storms that stranded me in a strange city for weeks, the whole visa situation, mass protesting to foreigners to get out of China, foot and mouth disease, Potential of the “conflict” between Taiwan/USA and China, Hongkong issuing statements that they are not apart of China conflicts in the south and so much more.
2008-2009: Swine Flu House arrest
2010: ummm… I think that was a good year to be in China. I cannot think of much that happened other than some skirmishes between some younger Chinese men demanding all foreigners get out of the country for various reasons. OH! I think this was the year that the WTO gave stern warnings to China to shape up and do what they promised to do. Whenever that happened, it was a little… on the not pretty side but meh. It was still part of history! Oh yeah!! And the minor conflict with the Mongolians vs the Han Chinese here in Inner Mongolia.
2011: I think that was a good year too. Some minor issues- nothing to write home about.
2012: Hostilities towards foreigners in larger cities due to wide circulation of various videos showing foreigners not really in a nice light (ok- a terrible light: British man attempting to “rape” a Chinese girl in Beijing, a European cellist calling a Chinese woman a “cunt” on the train and some other), Japanese Protests, start of the change of Chairman of China, the island issues with the Phillipinos and the whole issue at the moment with Japan and the islands.
How many foreigners can say they have been here for every major event in China since pretty much the turn of the century?
Worry lots, but to be honest…. I only am a little worried, but I’ve been through worse here. I’ll try to get some better Japanese Protest pictures (all the ones I took so far are fuzzy and unfocused, and I am not dumb enough to stop proper like to take pictures, I just continue on in the taxi) if I see them today, and I promise I’ll be on my best behaviour till everyone’s tempers cool down a little.
And all of a sudden I am really craving sushi.