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VOA: “Patriots” Boycott KFC

After the International Tribunal at The Hague made its arbitration decision rejecting China’s territorial claim over the South China Sea, Chinese state media blamed the U.S. as the evil force working behind the scene. Some Chinese suggested campaigns to boycott American products, including Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and McDonalds.

Voice of America (VOA) reported that, on July 17, several dozen people protested in front of a KFC restaurant in Laoting County, Tangshan City, Hebei Province. They displayed China’s national flag and a long banner that read “Boycott the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Love our Chinese nation. What you eat is the American’s KFC, what you lose is the face of our ancestors.” A video posted on the Internet also showed that a man stopped four people from entering the restaurant. He told them, “If you go inside, you will be considered a traitor when China has a war with the U.S. and the Philippines.”

Chinese netizens commented heavily on this event. Most expressed their disagreement with this kind of boycott. Some said, “An impaired mentally started this action.” “Recently many people have developed a ‘patriotic’ disease.” “Continuing to boycott this or that is not as good as boycotting stupidity.” “Before we boycott American goods or Japanese goods, shouldn’t we boycott fools first?”

Internet writer Tian Qizhuang told VOA that this kind of protest is very foolish. It not only hurts the business of the store owners who are Chinese, but it also damages China’s international image. “I think it is a very stupid action. It is caused by the government’s brainwashing over the years. [The government] is using patriotic education to stir up nationalism. Once the government says something, and some official scholars’ make comments, these people just cannot hold themselves back from starting a war against foreigners. This mentality, actually, hurts China and causes trouble for China. It hurts others, and, at the same time, it brings people no benefit whatsoever for themselves. It also damages our country’s image.”

Source: VOA Chinese, July 18, 2016