Golden opportunity

The news on TV today showed footage of angry Chinese citizens protesting when Toyota's president Akio Toyoda made an apology in Beijing.

The national media were comparatively more restrained. Both the China Daily website and Xinhuanet reported the incident with this one identical line under the photo of the Mr Toyoda:

"Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda apologized to Chinese consumers for recalls in a press conference held in Beijing Monday."

This reflects a typical political strategy of the country. Publicly, the government does not want to provoke Japan by making a high profile coverage. Behind the scene, it orchestrates or at least allows the civilian protest. Let's face it, the Chinese must be jumping for joy in seeing the recent problem of the Japanese motor giant when it has always been Chinese-made automobiles getting appalling safety test reports in authoritative auto magazines in the West. The message is loud and clear. It isn't just Chinese products which are faulty or defective.

It may be just a photo and a few words, but how the image of the belittled Japanese bowing to Chinese consumers must have bloated the ego of the conceited nation.

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