Anti-Japan protests are continuing over a territorial dispute between China and Japan. Chinese authorities have reportedly been playing both sides of the issue by encouraging anti-Japanese protests, while publicly stopping them.
Experts have been able to point to signs that Chinese authorities are clearing the way and even at some points encouraging some of the protests that have erupted in the last several days, reports The Washington Post.
At the same time they encourage their citizens, they also make sure to control the masses, leery that the gathering of frustrated Chinese could turn against the country’s government.
Liu Junning, a former researcher at a government-related think tank and now an independent political analyst, stated that:
“The party is skilled at manipulating such public opinion . . . and the signs that these demonstrations were organized by the government is very high. The protests come when the leaders need one to come, and the protests will stop when they want them to stop.”
The anti-Japan protests have caused some Japanese companies on Monday to temporarily shut down their factories in China, including work stoppages for Nissan, Mazda, and Canon. Yahoo! News notes that China’s defense chief Liang Guanglie has also warned that they could take “further actions” if necessary to reiterate their stance saying:
“I want to make it clear that the Diaoyu Islands are China’s inherent territory, which is evidenced by history and law.”
Some images of anti-Japanese protests show protesters wearing a t-shirt with a Japanese flag that read “Japanese Pig,” one carrying an image of a woman allegedly killed by Japanese soldiers in World War II, and a worker covering the signboard of a Japanese restaurant chain as the protests continue.