China urges rational patriotism to prevent anti-Japan protests

Associated Press

Beijing, April 30:

China launched a new effort today to prevent anti-Japanese violence before a sensitive anniversary, warning against protests and calling on the public to express patriotism sensibly.

“Express patriotism rationally. Don’t take part in illegal protests. Don’t make trouble,” said a text message sent by Beijing police to millions of mobile phone users in the capital. Warnings also were spread by text message and state media in several other cities. Chinese leaders have demanded calm following weeks of protests that damaged Japan’s Beijing embassy and a consulate, warning of damage to important economic ties with Tokyo. But official concern could be especially acute as China marks the anniversary on Wednesday of an anti-Japanese protest on May 4, 1919, that has become a symbol of resistance to foreign domination. The 1919 protests erupted after Japan was awarded Germany’s former colonies in China following

World War I. Despite public pressure, Chinese leaders failed to recover the territory from Tokyo, which expanded its control to much of China during the 1930s and early ‘40s. The latest wave of anti-Japanese protests began with complaints about new Japanese schoolbooks

that critics say minimise Tokyo’s wartime abuses, as well as opposition to Japan’s campaign for a permanent UN Security Council seat and disputes over territory in the East China Sea.

There was no word of any new protests today. “To ensure stability, police will not approve any rally, demonstration or protest in the near future,” said a notice from Shanghai police in newspapers and was read on TV.