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Chinese nationalism on rise, blog posts show|
BEIJING--Internet chatter in China in 2012 was heavily dominated by the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands and related anti-Japanese protests, a study of a popular online forum has shown.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government-affiliated think tank, assessed Internet public opinion by analyzing the Weibo microblogging site. The survey comprised posts submitted up until early November.
It said 177.4 million posts referred to the Diaoyu Islands, China's name for the Senkakus, and to the anti-Japan protests that broke out in Chinese cities in response to the dispute.
The London Olympics came in second place, with 75.8 million posts, while third was the docking of a manned space ship and an unmanned space lab, with 39.2 million mentions.
The topic in fourth place was the territorial dispute in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines. The Philippines refers to the islands as the Scarborough Shoal, while China calls them Huangyan Dao.
This secured 18.8 million posts, a number which further illustrates the rise in patriotic sentiment in China this year. The difference is stark, the report said, when compared with the results with a similar survey in 2008.
Four years ago, the overall mood was peaceful, despite some protests that year in the form of a boycott of the French retailer Carrefour after criticism in France of how China conducted the Olympic torch relay ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
However, this year the report identified explosive anger.
"The violence comes against a backdrop of frustration among citizens to economic disparity in society," it said, citing attacks on Japanese-made cars and stores in Chinese cities.