Attacks in Ethiopia last week that left nine Chinese people dead have opened up a bloodthirsty streak among many Chinese people. Some, probably not the ones making huge profits from overseas projects, are beginning to wonder what the point is of going overseas if the dangers are so high.
Seven Chinese people were taken hostage after the Ogaden National Liberation Front, a group from Somalia, attacked the oil plant on neighbouring Ethiopian soil. Interestingly, as often happens when there are attacks on American or European operations, the number of local people killed got a distant second billing on most of the international press. A total of 74 people were killed in the attacks.
As has happened before, a few voices in China have risen, clamoring for the country to put up the shutters and let the world fend for itself. Bloggers have been particularly active on this score and Global Voices has registered some of their comments.
Others, however, have taken a different view and want China to use its military might to deal with the threat. The question is: how loud will these voices get? As China continues to go out into the world, it will inevitably be the subject of increased attacks, just like any other country. How the government – and its military – will react is still an open question.