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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120897437672638787.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

The Chinese government is moving to tamp down nationalistic anger over Western criticism of Beijing's policies in Tibet.

In the latest sign, authorities informed participants in a major music festival that the event would likely be postponed to avoid providing a venue for new demonstrations of patriotic or anti-Western sentiment. Already, they have been cracking down on student protests and online videos of demonstrations have disappeared from Chinese Web sites.

It is a familiar pattern: Chinese nationalism rears up, sometimes with what seems to be tacit government backing, only to get reined in before it threatens to spin out of control -- in this case, before it can mar preparations for the summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

At Nanjing Normal University, researcher Guo Quan says counselors have been told to "manage student sentiment." On Monday, he says, universities around China were told by the central government to stop all protests.

Such fervor that has generated protests against French retailer Carrefour SA in nine cities and cyberattacks on American media.

"The Chinese government is trying to cool patriotic fervor now, because it believes that it has already achieved the desired goal: to tell the world that Chinese are protesting against the French," says Mr. Guo. "We're in a time when there are lots of other social problems such as a troublesome stock market, and rocketing commodity prices might drive people's anger to a larger scale."

The student crackdown appears to be particularly strong in the city of Hefei, in the eastern province of Anhui, where on Saturday, thousands protested outside a Carrefour store near the city's university district, waving red flags and chanting "love China, boycott Carrefour." On Sunday, universities there suspended classes and asked students to stay on campus, students say.

The Communist Youth League, a division of the Communist Party with a big presence on Chinese campuses, has been arranging meetings and distributing propaganda to calm nationalistic sentiment, say students. The Anhui branch of the Communist Youth League declined to answer questions.

"The atmosphere here on campus is a bit intense at this moment," said a Ph.D. student surnamed Shen from Hefei's China Technology and Science University. "Those who went out for the weekend protest were called for a talk in counselors' office this week," she said.

Some Chinese have reported difficulty sending text messages such as "boycott Carrefour" and "don't shop at Carrefour" on the cellular network run by China Mobile Ltd., the country's largest cellphone carrier. Rainie Lei, a spokeswoman for China Mobile, said the company wasn't blocking any such messages.

In Beijing, participants in the Midi Music Festival that had been scheduled to start May 1 were informed on Wednesday that the event likely will be postponed to October due to safety concerns. Zhang Fan, the festival's director, said he thinks the authorities are "afraid that the participating music fans and young people will conduct Tibetan or anti-West" demonstrations.

Last month, Icelandic singer Björk declared "Tibet! Tibet!" at a concert in Shanghai, embarrassing authorities.

"It's very regrettable," said Mr. Zhang, who noted that some foreign bands are already in China for the show. "Midi is a very good opportunity to show the world that Chinese society is happy, equal and free. Western media always says China suppresses people, but Midi shows that China's young people are so happy, so looking forward to welcoming the Olympics."

Kou Zhengyu, a guitarist who planned to play at the Midi festival, said while he felt "music has nothing to do with politics," he also "could understand the government decision. The government must worry about the safety issue."

After initially trying to play down coverage of Olympics torch-relay protests in London and Paris, the Chinese government went on a public relations offensive. Jin Jing, a wheelchair-bound torch bearer in Paris who was attacked by a protester, became a Chinese hero. An April 11 editorial by Xinhua, the state-run news agency, said "Chinese people are seriously disturbed and hurt" by the incident involving Ms. Jin. French President Nicolas Sarkozy later apologized to Ms. Jin personally over the matter.

Some Chinese started calling for a boycott on French products, and in particular Carrefour, which has a significant presence in China.

But late last Thursday, the government's rhetoric began to change, with a call from Xinhua for "patriotic zeal to concentrate on development."

A news editor at Phoenix Television, a Hong Kong-based Chinese news broadcaster with ties to Beijing, said news, pictures and video of the anti-Carrefour protests weren't allowed on air. Xinhua reports said the protests were targeted against "Tibet independence," not against foreigners. (News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal, owns a minority stake in Phoenix.)

China has periodically seen major student outbursts of patriotism. In 1999, after the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was bombed by a North Atlantic Treaty Organization mission, students across China engaged in occasionally violent protests against "American hegemony." (NATO contends the bombing was accidental.) After a few days, during which students vented their anger, the government told the students to stop protesting and go back to school.

This time, China can't afford to let the backlash continue too long without poisoning the atmosphere for the Beijing Olympics, which is just over 100 days away. The event is expected to bring throngs of visitors to China, including 25,000 foreign journalists.

Nationalism and sports have proven to be a volatile mix before in China. After a 2004 Asian Cup soccer final between China and Japan held at Beijing's Workers' Stadium, hundreds of Chinese fans rioted, throwing bottles and yelling at police. China had lost the game 3 to 1.

Another factor that separates the recent spate of nationalism from past student uprisings is the Internet, now a major cultural force in the lives of young Chinese people. According to official Chinese data, the country has more than 210 million Internet users, the majority of whom are under the age of 30.

The Internet developed into a significant platform for organizing protests and venting anger with foreign attitudes toward China. Users created countless patriotic videos detailing the crimes of the West against China. Millions of people using the MSN messaging program promoted their patriotism by adding a heart symbol and "China" next to their names.

There have been some efforts in recent days to curtail online displays of nationalism. Some videos of the Carrefour protests available earlier on sites such as Tudou.com are now gone. A Tudou spokesman declined to comment, but Chinese Internet-media companies routinely remove content that violates their antiviolence or antipornography-service agreements, or which they feel may be objectionable to the government.

Moreover, some Chinese hackers who had planned a significant attack on the Web site of Time Warner Inc.'s CNN, a major source of nationalistic resentment over its coverage of the recent unrest in Tibet, appear to have withdrawn. While CNN.com did experience an attack that affected users in Asia last Friday, hacker Web sites in China had promised much more.

The posts by some organizers of the attack calling for disbandment have an edge of "fear" to them, says Scott Henderson, author of the book Dark Visitor, about Chinese hackers. One in particular "could not have added many more exclamation points in his announcement," he said. "It was a 'PLEASE DO NOT HACK!!!!!!!!!' sort of plea."
 

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Of course, any protests are organised by the government, which then pretends to cool things down.
The trouble with the Chinese is that they want to enter world commerce, but as long as they have a central government of Communist party hacks, who know nothing about the real world, things will not go right. Thus they are finding out that lead in toys and poisons in food will not get far outside China. Inside China it is no problem as the government is untouchable and not accountable.
 

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Chinese are just shooting theirselves in the foot as Carrefour's employees are Chinese. :shrug: I don't know what's their problem with France,they are the first to tell not to melt politics and sports.It's not because a bunch of French protest that you have to put the blame on a whole country but their governement may have told them that France is ready to attack China.It's so ridicule!
 

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France is melting sports with politics , as Sarko said he might (but he won't) boycott the opening ceremony
 

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RSF melts sports with politics,not France :scratch: Sarko won't boycott the opening ceremony that's for sure.
 

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Dont count me. I just got back from Carrefour.

In my view, such a stupid idea, I dont boycott any french products, actually, i am not interested in politics.
 

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Chinese are just shooting theirselves in the foot as Carrefour's employees are Chinese. :shrug: I don't know what's their problem with France,they are the first to tell not to melt politics and sports.It's not because a bunch of French protest that you have to put the blame on a whole country but their governement may have told them that France is ready to attack China.It's so ridicule!
Thats the key!
 

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Thats the key!
It can also be a way for Chinese governement to hide their flaws.I mean that giving people the feeling of unity through a common cause (here boycotting France),will make them forget about the real issues:human rights and Tibet's repression.The message given by the Chinese authorities seem to be:they don't want us to organize the Olympics and we are the victims of the conflict in Tibet. :confused: That's why Chinese think the world is unfair towards them.At least that's what I think.
 

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“We should oppose Westerners who try to bring down China,” said Li Chen, 22, a biology student, as he left the store with a week’s worth of staples. :lol: He then opened his bags to prove he had avoided foreign-made goods. Asked about the bottles of Pepsi, he said, “These days, everything is made in China. :drink:
:haha:

Standing in the checkout line of a Carrefour in Beijing, Wang Junyu, 41, said she worked too hard to pay attention to anti-foreign campaigns. She was, however, pleased with her purchases. “Look at this,” she said, holding a tub of ice cream. “I don’t know much about the French, but this is a really good price.” :smoke:
Ice cream with a really good price. For suer :yeah:
 

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The general hypocrisy surrounding most of the gouvernment's relations with China is :worship:

China is the second largest exporter of goods in the world, which means that absolutely everyone does an enormous amount of business with them and yet we keep hearing this BS of "boycotting the opening ceremony" from one side and "boycotting carrefour" from the other :rolleyes: If countries really wanted to take a stand they'd use economic repercussions and not pathetic talks of boycotts.
 

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Why does all of this have to happen NOW? I was looking forward to the Olympics in Beijing, but if all of it is going to be obscured by this political nonsense, what's the point? The Chinese and the Western governments are completely off the chain.
 
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