A once-civilized sports competition became a "war" between China and Japan in the 2004 Asian Cup final at the Workers' Stadium in Beijing. China's sports fans are sore losers. They besieged the Japanese team buses, pounded a limousine carrying a Japanese embassy official, and burned Japanese flags. This sort of irrational behavior sets an extremely bad example and displays the barbarity of the Chinese people, something they try so hard to hide from the eyes of the world.
\nThe result of the match was not the main reason for these violent emotions. Even if there was dissatisfaction with the "hand of God" decision which gave Japan its second goal, Japan's victory is undisputed. The real reason for the riots is the historical hatred caused by the Sino-Japanese War 60 years ago. This hatred has been manipulated by Chinese officials and the media under their control to periodically rouse Chinese nationalism and anti-Japanese sentiment. Now, that same hatred has made Chinese fans incapable of accepting the loss of the Asian Cup to Japan.
\nNow Japan has some idea of the hostility that China is capable of -- a hostility of which Taiwan has borne the brunt for over half a century. China has insisted that Taiwan is a part of its territory and continues to increase its verbal and military threats against this country. This country has shown nothing but goodwill in return -- not challenging the "one China" principle, but allowing Taiwanese businessmen to invest in China and trying to establish the three links across the Strait as soon as possible.
\nChina, on the other hand, not only sneers at this, but continues to insist that Taiwan belongs to China. It has set out a timetable for attack, threatening to mobilize its troops if Taiwan continues to postpone unification.
\nIn fact, when it comes to China's wider ambitions for power, the football riots in Beijing are merely the tip of the iceberg. Following Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's (
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