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Nationalist sentiment increases when China forcibly departs for the Tokyo Olympics




So far, the Chinese team has started strong, with the applause of millions of fans online.

On Saturday, Chinese social media erupted in euphoria when shooter Yang Qian won the first gold of the Tokyo Games with the 10-meter female pneumatic rifle. The 21-year-old also set a new Olympic record with a final score of 251.8.

On Monday morning, China took home six gold medals: three in weightlifting, one in fencing and one in diving, in addition to the gold from Yang’s air rifle. It is enough to surpass the classification of the medals, followed by Japan and the United States.

Many of the top sports, such as shooting, diving and weightlifting, are among China’s strongest targets and the Chinese team is expected to face a greater degree of competition in the coming days.

Beijing has long viewed Olympic performance as a symbol of national strength, with Chinese athletes – many of whom were selected at an extremely young age – undergoing physically strenuous regimes at state-backed institutes.

China has come a long way in the Olympic arena. When he went to his first games in 1932 in Los Angeles, his only athlete, sprinter Liu Changchun, failed to qualify for the men’s 100- and 200-meter finals. Half a century later, in 1984, it was also in Los Angeles that China won its first Olympic gold in the men’s 50-meter pistol shot.

Since the 1990s, China has become one of the most competitive nations in the Olympics. In 2008 he topped the gold medal standings at the Beijing Games, beating the United States for the first time, while America has since regained first place in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

China’s Yang Qian celebrates with her gold medal after winning the 10m final of the women’s aerial rifle on the first day of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Amid the growing political and economic rivalry between China and the United States, the Tokyo Games will inevitably be seen by some as one more field in their great power competition.

On Weibo, the heavily censored Twitter version of China, the Tokyo Games have been among the most popular topics since Friday evening. While many are legitimately proud of the Chinese team’s successes, nationalist sentiment has sometimes been more aggressive.

“Let me explore the ‘Volunteer March’ in Little Japan!” read the comment above publish of the People’s Daily Communist Party spokesman announcing Yang’s victory, using a common derogatory term for the Japanese (“March of the Volunteers” is China’s national anthem). The commentary sections of major state media outlets such as the Daily Daily are among the most strictly censored corners of Weibo. The fact that the commentary was allowed to receive nearly half a million “likes” and took first place suggests at least some official tolerance, if not a stimulus to this rhetoric.

In other cases, nationalist sentiment has gone too far even for Chinese censors. On Saturday, Yang was briefly attacked by some online nationalists and told to “leave China” for having previously shown off his impressive collection of Nike sneakers on Weibo.

Nike, along with H&M and other major Western clothing brands, had to call for a boycott of China in March, due to its position against the alleged use of forced labor to produce cotton in Xinjiang. But Yang’s photos from her Nike collection were released in December last year, months before the brand became controversial. Other users quickly came to Yang’s defense, but she deleted her Weibo post anyway.

While the attack on Yang in no way represents mainstream public opinion, it is emblematic of the growing tide of ultranationalist aggressive behavior that has seized Weibo in recent years. Many public intellectuals, academics, lawyers, and feminist activists have been violently attacked or silenced for comments made past or present that are considered “unpatriotic.”

In Yang’s case, his attackers were quickly reprimanded. On Sunday, Weibo banned the posting of 32 accounts for 90 to 180 days for “malicious personal attacks” on Yang and removed his comments, he said in a statement. According to another, 33 additional accounts were also silenced for “slander, insults and attacks” on Chinese Olympic athletes. statement Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka thrown On Saturday on Reuters, on Twitter, about what he perceived as an unflattering photo of Chinese gold medal-winning weightlifter Hou Zhihui, who had used the agency. The photo captured Hou’s facial expression as he tried to lift a bar twice his weight.

“Among all the photos in the game, @Reuters has chosen this one, which only shows how ugly they are,” the embassy said in a tweet. “Don’t put politics and ideologies above sports, and call yourself an impartial media organization. Shameless.”

Some Twitter users were quick to point out the China Daily had used a similar photo, although it later replaced the image.

Photo of the day

When the hip breaks: Emergency workers in Henan Province are trying to secure a dam on the Weihe River as flood waters rise. Torrential rains have hit central China in recent weeks, leaving more than 50 dead and displacing hundreds of thousands. According to provincial authorities, the floods have caused economic damage estimated at 1.222 billion yuan (about $ 190 million).

An “imaginary enemy”

The rupture in U.S.-China relations is due to some people in the United States treating China as an “imaginary enemy,” said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng. during a meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Monday, according to a statement issued by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sherman arrived in the northern city of Tianjin on Sunday to meet with Xie and State Minister and Foreign Minister Wang Yi as part of what his office described as ongoing U.S. efforts. to maintain sincere exchanges with Chinese officials to “advance the interests and values ​​of the United States and hold them accountable responsibly.” manage the relationship “.

The Chinese ministry’s statement, which preceded Sherman’s meeting with Wang, accused the United States of wanting to revive a “sense of national purpose” by orchestrating a “whole government and all society” campaign to demonize and suppress China. .

It was also quoted that Xie said the United States was not “in a position to hold conferences in China on democracy and human rights,” noting the historic treatment of the U.S. to Native Americans and U.S. military action.

The US side has not yet issued a statement on the meeting.

The talks come more than three months after the confrontation between the countries at the Alaska meeting in March, during which top diplomats from both sides publicly exchanged beards.

In the months since Alaska, the two countries have continued to clash on several fronts, with the US government being highly critical of China’s policies in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. On Friday, China announced new sanctions against seven U.S. officials, including former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and entities in response to U.S. sanctions against several Hong Kong government officials, according to the U.S. Foreign Ministry. China.

The clues about China could be crucial for Tesla this week

Tesla, the world’s most secret carmaker, announced its profits in the United States on Monday. Details about its sales in China may be key to reassuring investors.

The company has struggled to overcome a series of bad publicity in China, the world’s largest market for all automobiles and also electric vehicles.

A the group of Tesla owners protested at the Shanghai Motor Show in April. And nearly 300,000 Teslas built at its relatively new Shanghai plant were he recalled last month. There have been concerns among investors that Tesla could face it long-term problems in China.

“China’s growth stories are first on Tesla’s list,” said Dan Ives, a technology analyst at Wedbush Securities and a Tesla bull. “This is their key market. We believe 40% of their sales will come from there next year. I think this is the starting point for the stock to go up or down.”

While Chinese sales of electric vehicles from other automakers appear to be growing, Tesla sales in China fell 9.2%, according to statistics quoted by Gordon Johnson of GLJ Research, an analyst who is one of Tesla’s toughest critics.

“It seems clear that Tesla has a China’s demand problemHe wrote in a recent note. “The weak second quarter of 2021 is likely to see China’s domestic sales translate into weak second-quarter earnings for Tesla.”

– For Chris Isidore

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