Chinese social media reportedly blew up Friday with posts gleefully celebrating the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who annoyed the tyrants of Beijing with his staunch support for Taiwan.
The Chinese dissident artist who works under the name Badiucao collected some ugly examples of China’s nationalist “Little Pinks” praising Abe’s assassin as a “hero,” proposing various ways to celebrate Abe’s death with food and drink, and offering rewards to the killer:
4. from Weibo
“i am waiting for Abe‘s death”
“who is the attacker？i want to donate money”
“I have to say，its a great news” pic.twitter.com/RMsofDfsXN
— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) July 8, 2022
10. From Weibo
“congrats on Abe who took a peanut”
“（Abe） does not deserve empathy” pic.twitter.com/JHQzFZ1pOU
— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) July 8, 2022
Badiucao noted that one of the trending topics on Weibo, the heavily censored Chinese version of Twitter, was a hashtag that translated to “Abe Has No Vital Signs.”
India Today harvested more vicious comments from Chinese social media, including “Lots of laughter,” “I will feel happy if he is not okay,” “I hope he dies,” and “ready the gongs and beat the drums!”
There was much praise for the “anti-Japanese hero” who killed Abe and fervent wishes that his aim at Abe’s heart was true. One Chinese commenter sarcastically asked if the gun was okay following the incident.
“The Americanization of Japan has finally resulted in this very important event,” said one Weibo commenter, apparently drawing the same comparison between Abe’s murder and the American gun control debate as President Joe Biden.
Some Chinese celebrants commented on the proximity of Abe’s assassination to July 7, the anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937, a small skirmish between Japanese forces and the garrison of a Chinese village that led to the brutal Sino-Japanese War over the following eight years, and ultimately fed into World War II.
“Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not a very liked man in China owing to his proximity with India and Taiwan, and because he is said to have initiated the QUAD that comprises Australia, the USA, India, and Japan,” India Today observed, also citing Abe’s personal friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Abe’s final insult, in the eyes of Chinese nationalists, was his comment after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, which was that America and her allies should remove all “ambiguity” from their commitment to defend Taiwan against a possible Chinese invasion.
“The U.S. takes a strategy of ambiguity, meaning it may or may not intervene militarily if Taiwan is attacked. By showing it may intervene, it keeps China in check, but by leaving the possibility that it may not intervene, it makes sure that the forces for independence do not run out of control,” Abe explained in a television interview in February.
“It is time to abandon this ambiguity strategy. The people of Taiwan share our universal values, so I think the U.S. should firmly abandon its ambiguity,” he urged.
“A Taiwan contingency is a Japan contingency,” he added to demonstrate Tokyo’s commitment, a line that seems to have particularly irked the Little Pinks, judging by their comments after his death.
In addition to the toxic online chatter, businesses across China were reportedly spotted hoisting banners to celebrate Abe’s death with “buy one, get one free” specials:
— The Great Translation Movement 大翻译运动官方推号 (@TGTM_Official) July 8, 2022
The Chinese Communist regime apparently realized the celebrations from its most fervent subjects were getting out of hand. Hu Xijin, a leading mouthpiece for the regime and former editor of the state-run Global Times, directly addressed the celebrants with a Chinese-language post on Weibo urging them to “put aside political disputes” and show respect for Abe’s death.
“I hope there can be more people who understand and join me,” Hu wrote.
Another popular Chinese nationalist figure, Renmin University Professor Jin Canrong, also admonished the Little Pinks. “What happened today is a tragedy,” he reminded them.
Writing in English on Twitter – which is forbidden to Chinese citizens but permitted for government officials and media – Hu Xijin offered himself as a sterling example by touting the 86,000 “likes” his respectful and sympathetic Chinese-language post on Weibo accumulated in “just over an hour.”