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Anti-Japan Protests Amid China Power Struggles

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Published on Sep 19, 2012

Are these angry Chinese protesting against Japan out of patriotism, or is there more to the growing anti-Japan demonstration spreading across China?

After this weekend's growing demonstrations against Japan, there have been reports that Chinese police may have played a hand in fueling the anti-Japan sentiment.

Netizens have posted comments on Chinese Internet saying that some of the rioters were in fact police or security officials dressed in plain clothes.

Some people identified this protestor in Xian as a local police bureau Chief. Several postings with the man's pictures have since been removed. On China's largest microblogging service Sina Weibo, the search term "police leading anti-Japanese marches" is blocked.

NTD's senior China analyst Zhang Tianliang says the Chinese regime's security organ, the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, may be orchestrating some of the protests. The head of security, Zhou Yongkang, is an ally of fallen politician Bo Xilai, and Zhang believes Zhou may be using the riots for his own political gain.

[Professor Zhang Tianliang, NTD Senior China Analyst]
"Whenever the CCP has internal worries, it often uses anti-Japanese sentiment as a distraction. But this time, the Communist Party leadership is fractured. Zhou Yongkang's faction doesn't want to give up power, and it's very likely the PLAC is behind the protests, because there have been numerous reports that military police and police are posing as protestors, and leading the riots."

The latest anti-Japan protests coincide with the lead up to the once-in-a-decade power transition for the Communist Party. The normally veiled arrangements for that transition turned somewhat public with the downfall of Bo Xilai, with the intense factional infighting within the Party capturing interest from global observers.

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