Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chinese bloggers call for boycott of French goods

Chinese internet blogs and chat-rooms are full of calls for a boycott of French goods and contracts since the raucous protests which forced the Olympic torch off the streets of Paris last Monday.

French businessmen in China say that they are worried by apparently spontaneous signs of anti-French feeling but say that there is no sign, so far, of any official willingness to "punish" Paris.

Some of the incidents in the French capital – especially an attempt by a demonstrator to seize the flame from a Chinese woman in a wheelchair – have been shown repeatedly on Chinese TV.(See pic below)

"France didn't protect the sacred flame," protested the Global Times, a tabloid newspaper. "The world has seen the irrational extremism of some in the West, and also seen the incompetence of the Paris police."

Chatrooms on the internet have been choked with appeals to boycott French luxury goods, such as cognac, wine and perfumes, whose sales are booming in China. There have also been calls for a scrapping of multi-billion euro contracts recently signed during a visit by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

French businessmen in Beijing told Le Monde that there was no sign the online protests would be followed up officially.

Previous popular appeals for the boycott of goods of nations who have offended popular nationalist feeling in China – including Japan and South Korea – have had little impact, the businessmen said.

Related post:
Olympic Torch Protests - Actions Politicised the Olympics Games

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