The Chinese government is playing with fire by alternatively fanning and dampening the anti-Japanese protests.
As of late tonight the anti-Japanese protests have sputtered in Beijing after officials sent text messages telling residents not to protest anymore.
Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said Wednesday that there was support for "rational patriotic activities", but that the ministry would "firmly oppose illegal behaviours involving smashing and looting during protests."
Near Liangmaqiao Lu where the Japanese embassy is located, there are still some barricades up, though people have left.
But that's not to say they won't return again tomorrow, or perhaps the weekend when they have more time on their hands.
For the most part many of the protests seem planned, with observers noticing groups of people protesting in shifts, while others wait by the sidelines resting their feet with food and drink.
How is that a real protest? Sounds more like a relay protest.
Apparently some protestors were told what they can and cannot do:
They can throw eggs and shout, but they can't beat up the Japanese or the police.
The government even supplies eggs for them. But if they burn cars or damage premises then they will be punished.
Egg producers must be thrilled to be raking it in -- or are they dismayed their eggs are landing on the ground than on dishes?