Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Chinese fisherman dies after South Korean raid on Chinese boat that entered ROK waters
It is always a tragedy when someone dies in a confrontation like this, but the truth is (and the article notes this) Chinese fishermen have been killing South Korean Coast Guard quite a few times lately.
Not that that justifies anything. I think we need to know more about this raid to determine whether or not the South Korean side had done anything wrong, but past events indicate to me that if there was any wrongdoing it is more likely on the Chinese side than the South Korean side.
Unfortunately, Beijing is very, very good at riling up the Chinese people. In the past, we've seen the Americans, the French, nowadays the Japanese, and constantly the South Koreans used as bogeymen and whipping boys so that people will not pay attention to all the crap that is happening in the capital.
And frankly, I would not be one bit surprised if that's what happens here. A country that, collectively at least, has little sense of introspection, would make a huge deal out of one of their own getting killed (even if it was his own fault) but utterly ignoring their own people killing — no make that murdering — someone else.
And no amount of apology or explanation can then prevent South Korea's chaebol from losing lots of money as Chinese masses start boycotting Samsung, LG, etc., or start storming the gates as they did at Carrefour.
Still, it is a tragedy that the man died. I feel very bad for him and his family, regardless of what he was doing there. Trespassing should not come with a death sentence, but the reality is that it often does. The Chinese fishermen need to know where the maritime border is and stop crossing it. South Korean authorities have no choice but to do what they are doing.
And that means the confrontations — and the deaths — will continue.