So who are the "little pinks" that make Japan worried?

Updated By on Jul 07, 2017, 09:00 am
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In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong handover, the Japanese media focused reporting on the "little pinks" (xiao fenhong) in Hong Kong./ Source: NHK WORLD


By Tokyo correspondent Um Soo-ah

Many Japanese media have recently reported on the "little pinks" (xiao fenhong), a group of young Chinese nationalists on the Internet, indirectly criticizing China's tight control of freedom of the press and online expression.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping's Hong Kong visit in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover on June 30, NHK and other Japanese media outlets reported Hong Kongers' concerns about China's information and press control policies.

Besides, there was a series of reports on the little pinks who often carry out ultra-nationalistic activities under China's tight control of information. It seems that China's young nationalists are clearly different from the young Japanese people, who are often indifferent to politics and tend to regard nationalism as taboo. 

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on Wednesday that the little pinks harass those people or countries that are not submissive to the regime and even carry out relevant boycott campaigns.

There are nearly 30 million little pinks, and the Communist Party of China is manipulating them to create public opinion.

In interviews with some Chinese university students in their early 20s, many of them expressed their dissatisfaction with Japan by saying comments like, "The war between China and Japan is inevitable in order to maintain stability in Asia," "There is a problem in Japanese history education," and "We will never accept independence (of Taiwan and Hong Kong), and we should never look down on their actions."

The students were ordinary Chinese in the their twenties from all over China, including Liaoning, Guizhou, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi and more.

Their thoughts were based on the logic that China is not wrong, and it is the result of successful information control and education of the authorities, the newspaper said.

To the question of whether they feel a sense of frustration or fear of the government's information control, they responded with comments like, "In order to maintain social stability, manipulating public opinion isn't necessarily a bad thing," and "Internet regulation is natural for the safety of the nation," and more.

While allowing the little pinks active on the Internet, China strictly blocks all kinds of unfavorable information the information from its people and the outside world.

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter cannot be used as a means of communication. Instead, Chinese social media WeChat is used by more than 1 billion people under constant surveillance by the authorities.

China is clamping down on internet freedoms nationwide by putting its new cyber-security law into force on June 1, and shutting down virtual private network (VPN) services, which allow users to bypass the country's infamous Great Firewall, starting on July 1.

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