IRAN: Chinese activists to opposition: 'Go, Iranian friends! Go!'
The governments of Iran and China have grown considerably closer in recent years as the two regional powerhouses find themselves with complementary economies and little love for Western-led attacks on their domestic and foreign policies.
But now it appears relations are warming from the bottom-up, which could pose a threat to both governments.
Chinese democracy activists have launched an online campaign known by its Twitter tag #CN4Iran, or "China for Iran," expressing solidarity with the Iranian opposition and condemning their own government's complicity in the crackdown.
When pictures surfaced of Chinese armored trucks being unloaded in Iran, the CN4Iran contributors were quick to translate and spread the message through Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.
The movement's website is slickly designed and sports the opposition's signature green as a background; a banner at the top reads: "We are watching you, and we are supporting you! Go, our great Iranian friends! Go!"
China has traditionally been opposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, not wishing to damage its multi-billion-dollar trade in everything from oil and gas to fly swatters and subway cars.
Instead, China favors a position of noncommittal concern. It recently backed a United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency resolution condemning Iran over its nuclear program, but still opposes sanctions.
--Meris Lutz in Beirut
Video: A news segment about Chinese reaction to the Iran protest on the internet-based Blue Ocean Network. Credit: YouTube
Photo: A screenshot of the CN4Iran's logo. Credit: Meris Lutz