Saturday, December 28, 2013

My “Drawing the Line” Prediction Falls Short…Both Ways

Liberals as defined in American English may not like Sankei and Yomiuriokay, they definitely don’t like Sankei and Yomiuribut they have to give them plaudits for keeping so much content outside their paywalls and for so long. In this respect, Asahi and Mainichi are distinctly illiberal.

Anyway, I predicted that “[t]he Chinese authorities will make sure that public protests are orderly, drawing the line at flag-burning.” It turns out that they’re clamping down on protests, period. According to news reports from Yomiuri (here) and Sankei (here), only a few individuals showed up in from of the Japanese embassy in Beijing to protest despite an online call for demonstrations, as the authorities denied requests for permission*.

Wait, there’s more. I got it wrong in the other direction, too! Flag-burning did occur in front of the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong, which reverted to China in 1997. I curse the heavens for the "One China, Two Systems." Prime Minister Abe was also put to the torch in effigy, in Seoul. We do not know if North Korea wasted any bullets in this cause.

* This does not necessarily mean that there will be no sanctioned public protests at a more auspicious time in the future when the initial outrage has tapered down to a low simmer, enabling the authorities to better manipulate the crowd. But for not, the authorities are drawing the line at public protests, at least organized ones.

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