Wen Jiabao

Hawkish mainlanders back Wen's claims of Diaoyus sovereignty

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am


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Tens of thousands of mainland internet users reacted to the meeting between Premier Wen Jiabao and his Japanese counterpart, Naoto Kan, with hawkish comments on the need to safeguard the Diaoyu Islands.

While nearly all evening newspapers carried the same article - issued by Xinhua - referring to the informal talk between Wen and Kan, mainland internet users were also keen to get their voices heard.

By 8pm, more than 37,000 internet users on sina.com.cn and sohu.com.cn had made comments about the territorial dispute.

Most expressed patriotic sentiments backing Wen's reiteration of Chinese sovereignty over the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea, with many others condemning Japan for invading and occupying Chinese territory. 'In regard to the territorial issue, Premier Wen refused to budge an inch,' an internet user from Chongqing wrote, adding: 'He is a very good premier.'

Some internet users called for a boycott of Japanese goods.

The matter was also hotly debated on the Sina microblog - a Chinese version of Facebook. Addressing the question of why Xinhua's brief report did not mention Kan's response, one microblog user wrote that Kan had told the Japanese people the same thing as Wen, with morning news broadcasts in Japan reporting almost exactly the same news story as in China, but with the names of the leaders and countries transposed.

Another blogger said the meeting between Wen and Kan was well choreographed, writing: 'It was too accidental that the duo came across each other in the corridor, while there were two chairs there for them to sit down on and an interpreter appeared quickly to translate for them.'

Japanese media cautiously welcomed the meeting. The Kyodo news agency said Kan's informal talks with Wen had been a positive move, although the territorial dispute was unlikely to disappear.

The row has stirred up fierce nationalism. Nearly 20 Japanese cities have held anti-China rallies in the past week, while last month several mainland cities held anti-Japan protests on an anniversary marking Japan's invasion of northeastern China ahead of the second world war.