Seoul Invaded by “The Ugly Chinese”

The most disastrous Olympic torch run in history  has ended with a new low:

On Sunday, clashes broke out in Seoul near the relay start between a group of 500 Chinese supporters and about 50 demonstrators criticizing Beijing‘s policies, carrying a banner reading, “Free North Korean refugees in China.” The students threw stones and water bottles as some 2,500 police tried to keep the two sides apart.  [AP]

And so we add another excellent reason, if any more were needed to avoid Beijing 2008:  your safety.  Our State Department  is both powerless and  unprepared to protect the safety of Americans in Beijing, but hey, at least you’re still safe in your own damn country.  That’s more than they can say in Seoul today, where the Chinese  government went to its population of visiting students in South  Korea  and  recruited a highly disciplined force of ambassadors to show you that the transcendental brotherhood that is  The Olympic Spirit must never, ever be contaminated by politics:

ugly-chinese.jpg

… unless they’re officially approved and sponsored, of course.

That photo, by the way, comes from Dan Bielefeld, who attended yesterday’s protest against China’s brutal treatment of North Korean refugees.  His photos of the demonstration and the ChiCom counter-demonstration are an absolute must see.  Dan’s photos show Chinese throwing  objects, including what appears to be a glass  soju bottle.  Other Korean protestors held up rocks and tools that the students had thrown.  Dan himself was hit with something, although (thank God) he’s OK.

One Chinese student swatted at the demonstrators with a flagpole. Another student was arrested for allegedly throwing rocks, police said.  Police said four other people were arrested for trying to disrupt the relay.  Authorities deployed some 8,000 police — some riding horses and bicycles — to protect the torch.  [AP]

At one point, the two groups clashed with Chinese students kicking an elderly South Korean protester and hurling rocks at a group that raised banners chastising Beijing.  [Reuters, Jon Herskovitz]

Being a glass-half-full sort of guy, I  look at things like this and  tell myself that  a  billion people can’t all be assholes.  But until these last few weeks, I had no idea how low humanity had  sunk  in China, and how little self-awareness the Chinese seem to have about their plunging esteem in the eyes of the world,  or the degree to which  their own behavior is driving that trend.  I’m guessing the “Master Race” act will not be popular in South Korea.  You have to sense that the ChiCom authorities have abandoned the idea of showing the world their maturity and are just going for the domestic appeal of nationalism.

The torch run also met protests in Japan.  At least the ChiComs  won’t have to worry about protests  where the torch is now —  North Korea.

One North Korean defector poured gasoline on himself in the middle of a street along the route and tried to set himself on fire, but police quickly surrounded him and carried him away. The man, 45-year-old Son Jong Hoon, had led an unsuccessful public campaign to save his brother from execution in the North, where he was accused of spying after the two met secretly in China.  [AP]

Here is some information about his brother, Son Jong Nam

When the torch was passing Sincheon Station in Songpa-gu at about 3 p.m., however, a North Korean defector was arrested after jumping into the relay route to snatch away the torch. He said he was protesting against China’s forceful repatriation of North Korean refugees. “Many people died because they were sent back, and I tried to show my protest by putting out the torch,” he said. [Chosun Ilbo]

In spite of the widespead violence of the Chinese, only one or two Chinese were arrested, depending on which account you believe.  Here are some video clips:


 

Those are images  that South Koreans should study very carefully … and possibly accustom themselves to.  I’m trying to imagine any other country whose people would behave like this in another country’s capital.   

See also:   Sonagi and  R. Elgin at TMH.

44 Comments

  1. where were the cops?? One whitey steps out of line and they arrest his GRANDMOTHER…. so 1000s of CHinese shitheads can run amok in the capital?




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  2. CCTV’s coverage of the torch relay in Seoul crowed about the warm reception from Koreans and Chinese alike with absolutely no mention of the violence by Chinese demonstrators. After hyping up disruptions to the torch relay in Paris and elsewhere, it looks like CCTV put on blinders just in time.

    I know you were being facetious about 1 billion people being assholes, but I think we need to be careful about insulting an entire nation over the behavior of young scoundrels egged on by their leaders. It is blanket criticism by Westerners especially which provides useful fodder to rally the Chinese people to the agenda of the CCP.




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  3. And insult to injury Norbert Volersten was beaten up by 10 South Korean riot cops last night at City Hall.




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  4. You know, LMB has arrived at another moment of truth. I’ll be interested in how he responds to the ChiCom thugs trying to censor speech on the streets of Seoul, and how he responds to the miserable performance of the Korean police. So far, there’s nothing in his handling of the repatriation of thos 22 North Koreans (who where subsequently executed) to encourage us.




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  5. I find it ridiculous the way so many countries are increasingly bending over and being lenient towards China for fear of upsetting it. We have all become too dependent on China and thus we see things like this happening. Of course the fact that such an event happened in Korea can be traced back to traditional Chinese views both of themselves and of Korea. With the Chinese traditionally seeing themselves as the most “civilized” people in the world and with Korea having been a tributary state of China for hundreds of years it is unsurprising that such events occurred here of all places. What the Chinese need to realise however is that such an event cannot occur in the modern world and I think mass-deportations are a great way to start. South Korea can simply point to how Chinese criticism of so-called “violence” in other torch cities justifies this move.




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  6. Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura proudly said yesterday that “There were no Chinese nor Tibetans being arrested in Nagano.”
    But the truth was J-cops only busted Japanese right-wingers( of which I have no sympathy of)and took blind eye to many Chinese students punching Pro-Tibetan activists.
    All this for the Sino-Japanese summit coming in two weeks.Sigh.




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  7. “You have to sense that the ChiCom authorities have abandoned the idea of showing the world their maturity and are just going for the domestic appeal of nationalism.”

    A point of strategic importance. The chain-smokers in Zhongnanhai may have judged that they’ve reached a position of sufficient power, internationally, not to care about appearances. Or they may be counting on sypathetic or symbiotic officials in foreign countries to cover for them, as is happening to some extent. Or they may think they can play both ‘mean’ and ‘nice’ roles according to the needs of the moment. When it is time to resume the ‘mature stakeholder’ mantle, they expect foreigners’ short attention span and wishful thinking will minimize the aftereffects of the present unpleasantness. (That’s not an unrealistic expectation.)

    I really don’t know, but I believe you’re right that some calculation lies behind this. It’s not just nationalism out of control.




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  8. The kids (included some of you here) are fighting for a piece of lollipod. You can’t expect their parents (their leaders) to sink so low without taking into consideration that Olympic game is just a game only. Kind of silly that some of these kids seem never to grow up.




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  9. I have no idea why my previous comment was subsequently deleted. Let me get this straight. Is this site apparently run by Pro-Chinese faction? If it is, I want to say this to whoever is managing the site. You will not gain absolutely NOTHING by accomodating them;you know who ‘they’ are. In the end, you will positively end up as the losing side of the deal. I will certainly guarantee the consequencial outcome. I thought that I, as a Korean, can express my prerogative opinion freely in this site. I suppose I was wrong. Lastly, I want to say this. To hell with diplomacy with ‘them’. Surely, for them, diplomacy was, is, and always will be one way street. And, sadly everyone knows that. With that said, why should Koreans be diplomatic with their arrogance? Please, answer that.




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  10. Keith, first, I think if you’ve read this site at all carefully, you wouldn’t even ask that question (I presume you’re suggesting that this site is pro-Chinese government. As if.).

    Second, if one of your comments got caught in my spam filter, I’d be glad to send you a full refund of your subscription price, but I’d consult a lawyer before you sue me in federal court for a First Amendment prior restraint. Spam filters do those things.

    I’ll check the filter. If your comment adds more substance to the discussion than the one you’ve just posted, I’ll approve it. But next time, I’ll expect you to actually read the post before commenting.




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  11. Brendan made an excellent point…

    ….and I had a feeling too a week or so ago that the Chinese government might not just be pleased with the turmoil going on with the torch relay. If not pleased and planned at least not worried, because it will help bolster Chinese unity including with the government.

    I’d REALLY love to see a good academic study done on how the Chinese government and larger society are reporting the torch saga around the nation—–both in the mainstreampress and on websites and in street displays and among pop culture figures….both official government orgs and semi-official and non-related….




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  12. Notice how the Chinese never protest against their own government. They would be executed if they did.




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  13. “I’m trying to imagine any other country whose people would behave like this in another country’s capital.”

    Cuban commies in Washington – but only when a Democrat is president.




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  14. Greg said, “Notice how the Chinese never protest against their own government. They would be executed if they did”.

    Pure hypothetical. The guy who wrote the above sentence must be sleeping. Not sure whether he knows that in every year, thousands of demonstrations has been held in China, against anybody that take away their rights.




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  15. To correct what a commenter above said — Dr. V. said he wasn’t beaten by the police, but he was injured, whether intentionally or not, by they way they carried/dragged him away from the scene. I haven’t been able to talk with him yet beyond that to get more details.

    I hope to be able to write more later. In the meantime, here are a couple videos of a much smaller protest we held in teh evening near City Hall. We were actually in front of the Human Rights Commission building. pay special attention around 0:45 (I was not hurt, the bottle was plastic and almost empty, but that was the second time Sunday I was extremely lucky) and a second one These videos are not too long before Dr. V was dragged off by the police, they say to protect him (I need to talk more to Dr. V before I have much else to say on it). One girl there got a couple seconds of that as a video on her camera, but she hasn’t sent it to me yet.




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  16. I’m so glad you put quotes around “the ugly Chinese”, because otherwise such words might have tarnished what’s left of your dignity.

    You might want to remove this from your little Talmud:

    “No ad hominem attacks: race, gender, nationality, gratuitous profanity, religion…”

    But that only applies to the comment section, right? and not your actual posts.

    P.S. Did I use “Talmud” correctly? I wouldn’t want to demean something that “the fetid Jews infesting Palestine and America and who are now apparently crawling into Korea” hold in high regard.




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  17. Yu, I’m invoking Rule 5 on you, although I will allow you to explain where exactly I’ve engaged in an ad hominem or racial attack.

    In the future, your comments will go into moderation.  I considered editing your comment, but decided to leave it there as a record and an apt demonstration of a typical ChiCom shill’s world view.  I may want to cite this in the future.  You’ll be able to comment here to the extent you can stay on topic and out of the gutter.

    But don’t misinterpret that as an invitation.




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  18. You’re being too generous with our 愤青 commenter, Joshua. 打蛇不死,后患无穷.




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  19. Funny to see that the first video just showing an angry crowd of Chinese students demanding an apology from one single ? Tibet separatist supporter ? Korean. What a restrain that these students had shown themselves! I can imagine that man torn into pieces if happened that the crowd is not Chinese. The analysis of projectile tract of the second video showing that the Tibetan supporters first fell object from high up and thrown back again with a much lower projectile tract signing a lesser force of fighting back. Stop that fuss of fooling the world with a violent Chinese students!! They all know that their family have a hard time in supporting their studies oversea. They won’t be silly enough to make trouble unless forced to!!! Shame on those liars!!! CNN again!?




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  20. So Leo, are you saying we should commend the Chinese because they didn’t kill that protestor?

    Projectile analysis? Huh? Did you actually watch the videos or look at the pictures? So why is the Chinese Ambassador to Korea expressing regret (or apologizing) for the students’ behavior?

    Or are you saying that Chinese have a special supranational immunity to go to other countries, break the law, and throw rocks at people who disagree with official CCP doctrine? May I come to China to beat up people who support jabbing wires through the wrists of North Korean refugees and dragging them back to Kim Jong Il’s concentration camps?

    What do you suppose would have happened if those same students had been protesting against government land seizures or the absolutely rampant official corruption in China? Do you suppose the Chinese police would have blown kisses at them?




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  21. Riot-related posts seem to have brought an infestation of C-borgs to the K-blogs. No use trying to defend yourself, Joshua. You’re just another Western DL-loving ZD分子. (Dalai Lama-loving Tibet splittist). When I read nationalistic rubbish like this, I split my sides laughing until I remember that millions of young Chinese like our new friends swallow and excrete this brainwash fluid.

    加油,中国

    加油,中国

    加油,中国

    Watching videos of the torch relay invokes memories of cheering at high school sports events.

    For pete’s sake, Leo, your fellow Chinese were in a foreign capital. The torch relay was a dual celebration for both China and Korea, yet there was hardly a Korean flag in sight. How would you Chinese feel if Beijing was overtaken by a sea of Stars and Stripes or worse yet, the Rising Sun? As you Chinese go out into the world, you will learn that loud public expressions of patriotism are not welcome in foreign lands.




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  22. The difference between you and me is that we both love to poke that dragon, but I admit it. 😉 Plus, different people are persuaded by different things. For you and me, it’s probably a blend of reason and emotion. For others, it’s anger. For still others, shame can be effective. You can’t reason someone out of what he was never reasoned into. Finally, as Gray Hat articulated at TMH, the perception of weakness is a magnet for bullies.

    Indeed, I think I held a very idealized view of Chinese people based on students and academics I knew in school. The Chinese I knew in school were genteel, studious, cultured, and as peaceful as lambs. Seeing this other side of China is probably having a similar effect on a lot of people. And I credit your translations of Chinese internet content, as well as the most enlightening views of Yu and Jing, for having a profound influence of how I see China today. Nothing Tom Tancredo or Nancy Pelosi could say could influence world opinion as much as thousands of bigoted trolls and thugs. They’re a hard-liner’s wet dream. (But don’t tell them.)




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  23. I do love to poke the dragon, but to me, the dragon isn’t China, but a certain demographic – young, educated nationalists like our new friends. Most of my Chinese friends, acquaintances, and colleagues were too busy with their everyday lives to pay much attention to international politics.

    I think you’ll enjoy my next dragon-poking post at THM. The C-borgs have gotten wind of the Korean government’s intention to deport some Chinese students, and they are outraged. Conspiracy theories abound about how the Koreans faked evidence, and some of the material appears to originate from daily newspapers, so it isn’t just nutizen frenzy.

    And just so you know, you and all your North Korean refugee-loving friends and the refugees themselves are just 无耻反华分子 (shameless China haters). I kid you not. Free Tibet and NK human rights groups are being lumped together under this label.




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  24. In all of this, I have a passing, academic thought about the current lives of the Chinese-Koreans. In the late 1990s, I heard students talk about how life was difficult for them though some families had been in country for some generations. Chinese students and tourists can head home after dusting things up…

    I don’t know much about modern China, but I remember hearing a panel talk at the East-West Center in Hawaii as the situation was still underway when the Chinese fighter plane collided with the US spy plane. One of the panel members, ethnically Chinese but I believe born or lived more of his life in the US – judging by his accent, said he had just returned from China and had taken part in a massive internet forum discussion with Chinese students, and he had been shocked by the ferocity of their anger and statements like how China needed to go to war and teach the US a lesson like it did in the Korean War – and he had tried to point out how massive Chinese casualities were in that war…




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  25. I also just thought, and someone might have mentioned this somewhere in the K-blogsphere, I haven’t had time to read and didn’t read all the comments in this thread, but I wonder if the Chinese nationalists remember and have brought up the somewhat violent protest in Hong Kong by South Korean unionists???




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  26. What I find interesting is that from what I’m reading from K-blogs and the Korean media the Chinese are blaming the Tibetan activists for the violence and don’t even mention the North Korea issue.

    Now with Sonagi saying that the Chinese are trying to lump Tibet and North Korea activists in one group, I think this proves my hypothesis that the Chinese have no leg to stand on when it comes to the treatment of North Korean refugees.

    Out of all the comments on the K-blogs from Chinese netizens that have popped up, I have not seen one provide a legitimate reason why China has a modern day sex slave industry of Korean women and defend their rationale of returning NK refugees to be imprisoned in labor camps and face firing squards back in North Korea.




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  27. I don’t see anyone here defending violent demonstrations by Koreans in or out of Korea. We’re not taking sides in a tribal feud, and if that’s all you see here, you’re missing the point. Those Chinese demonstrators acted like complete thuggish assholes and should be prosecuted for it criminally — and if convicted, sentenced to jail time. And for what it’s worth, the Hong Kong authorities should have done the same damn thing to the Korean thugs there.




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  28. Yes. For any Chinese or China-centered readers — who have not spent much time in the K-blogsphere like at One Free Korea’s blog — if you had been around when the Korean union people went to Hong Kong, you’d have read a lot of expats bashing the protesters for their actions….




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  29. The Hong Kong protesters were widely criticized at the time and were arrested by the Hong Kong authorities. Only a diplomatic deal between Seoul and China was able to get them released from Chinese jail. I’m sure a diplomatic deal can be work out with this issue but it is hard to work one out when the Chinese foreign ministry is defending and actually commending the violent student demonstrators and blaming Koreans for the violence.

    However, this is another area the C-borg commenters are using to justify the violent students behavior, point to others peoples bad behavior to justify your own. By the C-borg commenters doing that it just proves the point that the Chinese students were the ones in the wrong and should be held accountable for it.




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  30. The Chinese want to have a big party and invite every country in the world to party with them. They are doing all they can to make sure that their guests will be well taken care of and have a good time at the party. But what they got were nasty protests by those who have their real interests as well as hidden interests. Those protestors, for whatever causes they claim to fight for, used all means they could find to discredit, accuse, condemn, insult China and to create bad publicity for the Olympics. As if the Olympics is only for the Chinese Communist Party, these protesters disregard the fact that the ordinary Chinese people do not want to see their country being treated that way, their flag burned, and their embassies vandalized. Seoul happened to be one of the places at the last leg of the torch relay. By now, the young Chinese students have had enough. They have nothing against the Koreans or intention to show disrespect for South Korea. They wanted to fight back, and fight back they did. My best wishes to China and the Beijing Olympics.




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  31. Party??? Sir, the only party going on and allowed in China is the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party disregards the fact that ordinary Chinese people have a right to self-determination, lest to say people that don’t identify themselves as Chinese. The Chinese Communist Party denies ordinary Chinese people freedom of expression, press, and religion, etc. There is MUCH about the Chinese government that rightly needs to be condemned, but one would never hear about these things through the Chinese government controlled press. The ordinary Chinese people deserve much better and so does the rest of the world.




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  32. That’s a neat idea…

    Because Chinese university students and other citizens were insulted in other countries, it was only natural and right that they went into a neighboring country and attack its people….

    I wonder if we could use this excuse for some fun road trips over to South Korea to hunt down Hanchongryong member and beat them senseless?




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  33. Old traditions die hard. It seems the centuries-old, antiquated perception of China as the most “civilized” nation on earth (quite literally the “Middle Kingdom”) have failed to be dislodged by the 21st century. What one has to realise is that such nationalism is not a recent phenomenon within the ideology of the Communist Party. One of its founding elements of legitimacy was the fact it had “reunited” China and abolished the “Unequal Treaties” thus ending the period of “National Humiliation” (can be seen as spanning the 19th century to the end of WW2). Thus not only have the Chinese maintained anti-Western sentiment continuously (possibly subconsciously in many instances) throughout the Communist period, they have also maintained and increasingly developed regional traditions vis-a-vis relations with bordering countries. Thus we see China maintaining the modern equivalents of her old vassal states: Burma, Nepal, North Korea, and attempts to do the same in Laos and possibly Vietnam. Thus it is only in one of these traditional vassals like South Korea that such events could occur as the Chinese (possibly with a degree of subconsciousness) become indignant at the prospect of a vassal state voicing such opposition to what they perceive as their rightful actions and the global supremacy of their country.




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