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The discursive reproduction of Chinese and Japanese national identities: Editorials and opinions of the East China Sea dispute in the China Daily and Daily Yomiuri
Unformatted Document Text:  News, identity and ideology 18 short of it and introduced the idea that Chinese citizens passively conform to the ideology of the state. Extract 8 Since the 1970s, China has claimed the Senkaku Islands belong to China. It has instilled this belief among its people through "anti-Japanese patriotism" education since the 1990s. (Daily Yomuiri, September 17) Extract 9 In free countries, the media will try to stop their governments from actions that are forbidden under international law and custom, even if their countries are embroiled in trade friction with others. In China, however, where we cannot expect such a mechanism because freedom of the press does not exist and public opinion tends to lean in the same direction. (Daily Yomiuri, September 29) A recurrent lexical choice in the Daily Yomiuri commentaries is the use of the adjective ‘anti-Japan’ and ‘anti-Japanese’ which are followed by a range of nouns such as ‘sentiments’, ‘protests’, ‘patriotism’, ‘riots’ and ‘hard-liners’. Behind these presuppositions is the idea that the Chinese are inherently anti-Japanese and liable to express extreme views on the Internet and go out onto the streets to protest. This accentuates the other as nationalistic and irrational. But the commentaries are vague as to why the Chinese people would feel that way towards Japan. Instead, it argues that the Chinese leadership is complicit in these situations because it uses such nationalist sentiments to divert attention away from its own domestic problems and contradictions. The incident thus provides the Chiinese government a way to channel feelings of discontent towards Japan. The syntactic separation of the Chinese people and its leadership as autonomous entities is shown in extract 9: Extract 9 If Chinese people get the impression that their government is "weak-kneed," it could ignite simmering public discontent over the country's economic disparities and other ills, which could escalate into anger directed at the

Authors: Chan, Michael.
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News, identity and ideology 18
short of it and introduced the idea that Chinese citizens passively conform to the ideology of 
the state. 
Extract 8
Since the 1970s, China has claimed the Senkaku Islands belong to China. It 
has instilled this belief among its people through "anti-Japanese patriotism" 
education since the 1990s. (Daily Yomuiri, September 17)
Extract 9
In free countries, the media will try to stop their governments from actions 
that are forbidden under international law and custom, even if their countries 
are embroiled in trade friction with others. In China, however, where we 
cannot expect such a mechanism because freedom of the press does not exist 
and public opinion tends to lean in the same direction. (Daily Yomiuri, 
September 29)
A recurrent lexical choice in the Daily Yomiuri commentaries is the use of the 
adjective ‘anti-Japan’ and ‘anti-Japanese’ which are followed by a range of nouns such as 
‘sentiments’, ‘protests’, ‘patriotism’, ‘riots’ and ‘hard-liners’. Behind these presuppositions is 
the idea that the Chinese are inherently anti-Japanese and liable to express extreme views on 
the Internet and go out onto the streets to protest. This accentuates the other as nationalistic 
and irrational. But the commentaries are vague as to why the Chinese people would feel that 
way towards Japan. Instead, it argues that the Chinese leadership is complicit in these 
situations because it uses such nationalist sentiments to divert attention away from its own 
domestic problems and contradictions. The incident thus provides the Chiinese government a 
way to channel feelings of discontent towards Japan. The syntactic separation of the Chinese 
people and its leadership as autonomous entities is shown in extract 9: 
Extract 9
If Chinese people get the impression that their government is "weak-kneed," 
it could ignite simmering public discontent over the country's economic 
disparities and other ills, which could escalate into anger directed at the 


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