Monday, September 20, 2010

That'll Learn 'em!

In the latest spat over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, Chinese demonstrators have been calling for a boycott of Japanese goods. This is an excellent way to punish Japan - if no one buys their products, it will force Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sanyo, Canon, Konica Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, NEC, Toyota, etc., etc. to shut down their factories in China, throwing millions of Chinese employees out of work. That'll certainly learn ' on a minute...

Well thought out, indeed. Equally thoughtless are China's calls for the immediate release of the fishing boat captain at the heart of the row. This seems to be a case of double standards - if a Japanese boat ran into a Chinese coastguard vessel in disputed waters, does anyone seriously think China would just give him a token slap on the wrist and put him on the next plane home? So why should they expect Japan to do so?

Note: I take no position on the rightful ownership of the disputed islands - frankly I have no idea which nation has the better claim to them. I comment only on how the dispute is handled.

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