Who would Chinese netizens send to the battlefield if China is going to war with Japan?

Alia | September 18th, 2012 - 3:23 am

While many anti-Japan protesters in China are turning the streets in many Chinese cities into battlefields by tearing down every Japanese car or Japanese store in sight, some others are thinking about a more serious question – who should be sent to the front line should China declare war against Japan over Diaoyu Islands? Not that it’s happening, it’s just a fun question to think about and it’s even more interesting to read responses from netizens (as always).

On Sep. 13, popular Internet celebrity Ju Shi Yi Hua (@菊十一画) posted the following question to her over 260 thousand followers on Sina Weibo, China’s biggest microblogging service.

“If China was to retake Diaoyu Islands, who would you recommend to be sent to the frontline?”

We have a few cadidates based on some 2000 comments:

  • Government officials,
  • City law-enforcement officers,
  • National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC),
  • 80 million Party members,
  • Civil servants,
  • Second generation rich,
  • Second generation red,
  • Mengniu Diary,
  • China’s Male Soccer team,
  • The relevant organ,
  • Real estate company bosses,
  • Family Panning Bureau
  • Lei Feng
  • The angry youth
  • Violent anti-Japan protesters

And the winner is…city law enforcement officers. Like the following banner appearing at the anti-Japan protest in Hengyang today. “Give us 3000 city law enforcement officers, we can retake Diaoyu Islands. Give us 500 corrupted officials, we can eat japn into collapsing.” But netiznes weren’t without concerns. Like 乱舞春秋自愚自乐 commented: “I’d like to say city law enforcement officers, but we’ve promised the world that we won’t use weapons of mass destruction.”

Pic from @雁舞衡阳 on Sina Weibo

Netizens’ reaction to the question can be summarized in one sentence: Not “us” but “them.” Many of those who responded to the question may just as well have friends or relatives who are party members or work as civil servants (every year, millions take part in China’s annual Civil Servant Exam for a chance to apply for government jobs). Yet when it comes to the online world, everybody suddenly stands on the absolute opposite side of anything party related. Such two-face-ness isn’t new among Chinese netizens at all. In another story we covered “What if your kid is born on Diayu Islands?“, the majority of netizens, while supporting China’s stance on Diaoyu Islands, chose Taiwan, Hongkong and even Japan as their desirable places for child birth. Mainland China was the least favorite choice.  China has many patirotisms, online, offline, in real life and in the ideal world.

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