Japan, the day of reckoning beckons
Flashing across several newspapers was Japan’s call on China to protect its citizens amidst public protest over the landing of Japanese nationalists in Diaoyu Island in a tit for tat move by the Japanese. This brought back vivid memories of the early 20th Century, the days of Shanghai Bund, of foreign concessions in China. During those dark days of China’s history, when foreign soldiers were stationed inside China, including several of the big cities, there were also many protests by the Chinese students and nationalists in China against foreign encroachment and aggression. Japan was one of the big powers occupying parts of China and with its own concessions.
In those days, there were no calls for protection of Japanese nationals inside China. If there were, it was the Chinese govt calling for the protection of Chinese nationals inside China from cruelties and attacks by the Japanese in particular, and the western powers in general. In those days, the Chinese citizens were victims of foreign soldiers in their own country.
Often, the Japanese would provoke incidents with the citizens and used it to attack and encroach further into China, claiming reparations and demanding compensations for Japanese military actions against the Chinese govt, and more territorial concessions as well.
The China then was a broken country, disunited, poor agricultural land that was torn apart, and with no modern industries. They don’t even have a proper army and no arms industry to produce even small arms. Today, China is a full fledge superpower that would even hold the mighty US forces at arms length. Would the Japanese dare to trigger any incident and attack China again? A united China with military forces much bigger than the Japanese in all areas is not going take any Japanese engineered incident lightly.
How genuine is this Japanese fear for the safety of its citizens inside China? Over the past decades after China became a people’s republic, there were many incidents of public protest but hardly a Japanese citizen was hurt unlike when Japan was invading China. Are the Japanese plotting new excuses to revisit the days of old Shanghai and old China? Would there be another coalition of western forces in the likes of the League of Nations to attacking China?
Would China take it like it did before, being beaten to pieces? Or would China deal a forceful blow to the invaders this time round? Would Japan be able to run free in China again? Or would Chinese troops be running free in Japan should hostility breaks out?