Opinion / Editorials

Dose of reason needed

(China Daily) Updated: 2012-09-17 07:53

Anger management has emerged as achallenging task for our government, society, and individual citizens, as Japan continues with its provocations over the Diaoyu Islands.

Japan's antics are despicable and we are justified in expressing our ire at such outright violation of our sovereignty and condemning in the harshest terms Japan's open disregard of international law and the decencies of the international community.

We are also justified in worrying about the potential threat an increasingly belligerent Japan constitutes.

Yet when people's anger is directed at the wrong targets and displayed in ways that result in vandalism, physical attacks, and damage to private property, it is criminal and must be stopped.

Therefore, we applaud the timely statement by local authorities that patriotism is no excuse for criminal offenses.

Amid the current public outrage, it is a positive sign that our society, from mainstream media to individual citizens, is beginning to reflect on the form and essence of patriotism, as well as the appropriate approach to our devious neighbor. Such a discourse is conducive to curbing extremist nationalism and promoting the "big-country mentality" we have long anticipated.

The government should not waste this precious opportunity to inject a dose of reason into people's patriotic feelings.

Japanese belligerency in the standoff and the worrisome rise of its rightist forces have understandably prompted calls for our government to act tougher.

Of course we must prepare for the worst. But the government has made a sensible choice in opting for a legal approach to the potentially explosive dispute. After all, this is a battle that we can win without firing a shot, because we command the moral and legal high ground.

The Diaoyu Islands are Chinese territory that fell into de facto Japanese control illicitly. When we say the Diaoyu Islands are ours, we have a sea of evidence - both historical documents and international law are on our side - to support our claim. Sharing such information will be instrumental to debunking Japan's shameless lies, laying bare its illicit cravings, and exposing its dangerous military ambitions.

More importantly, opting for a legal approach is consistent with our commitment to peace.

Right now patriotism should not be led astray by Japan's madness, but instead rally around the consensus that Japan must first be disarmed legally and morally.

(China Daily 09/17/2012 page8)

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