Chinese students pick fight with Nato

May 21, 1999

Chinese student bodies and university authorities say they have received hundreds of phone calls from students seeking permission to enlist to help defend Yugoslavia.

Companies and enterprises across the country have also been in touch to offer financial assistance, food and clothing.

Large numbers of Chinese university students say they are going to Yugoslavia to fight Nato. Student groups have put up posters in Beijing and other universities across the country announcing the fact and urging others to do the same.

One poster reads: "We hereby propose that everyone goes to Yugoslavia, that we use the spring of our youth to protect Yugoslavia and our own country."

These developments reflect a deep and widespread sense of indignation among Chinese students at the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Students said China was facing its biggest military threat since Japan occupied large regions of the country in the 1930s.

Hundreds of thousands of students in more than 20 cities have held anti-Nato demonstrations in the past fortnight.

Students from Beijing University and the Central University of Nationalities said: "Shouting slogans is not enough," and claimed that Nato's "wanton destruction" of Yugoslavia was a matter of global concern.

They said that "protecting Yugoslavia was to protect all peace-loving countries and our own sovereignty".

Wang Gungwu, page 13

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