In the United States, the term Yellow Peril originated in the late 19th century and referred to the supposed dangers posed by Chinese immigrants working in Western countries. In China, the term is broader, referring to the prejudice and suppression Chinese experienced in the hands of Western imperial powers. The best-known recent use of the term is as the title of a 1991 dystopian novel by Beijing-based dissident writer Wang Lixiong, which is also probably the best-selling Chinese military fantasy novel (though mostly from international sales -- it was banned in China). Yellow Peril imagines a civil war breaking out in China after the June 4, 1989, massacre in Tiananmen Square, unleashing hundreds of millions of Chinese refugees who cause international political mayhem by their sheer numbers.
Like Han's 2066, many Chinese military fantasy novels feature the destruction of Japan. The most popular novel on Blood and Iron Reading is entitled Sino-Japanese War-The Prologue to World War 3, which has attracted more than 140 million pageviews. Gao Yan, a young woman who grew up near a military camp, started it in 2005 under the pen name "The Last Defender of Principles." The book envisions a full-scale Sino-Japanese War in the first decade of the 21st century, ignited by a naval clash between Japan and Taiwan near the disputed Diaoyu Islands, which the Japanese call the Senkakus. "The beginning of the novel is strong and realistic," one reader wrote in a book review. "There has always been little trust and communication between us and those guys on that archipelago [Japan]. It's never hard to imagine the hatred between the two peoples." In the preface to the novel, Gao writes that she thinks a war between China and Japan is inevitable: "China will only become a superpower after it has pushed Japan -- the obstacle -- aside."
Nearly half of Chinese TV dramas made in 2012 showcase that same animosity: They take place during World War II, with cartoonish levels of violence against Japanese: Chinese soldiers hurl grenades that bring down Japanese fighter jets and tear Japanese in half with their hands (picture Inglorious Bastards shot without any sense of irony, and with Japanese in the place of Nazis, and you get the idea).
Frustration with the Chinese military is another common theme. When FP mentions the fast development of Chinese weaponry and military to Li, he says, "Yes, but we never use it." During the anti-Japanese protests in August 2012, another military fantasy writer who goes by the name "Smoking Coffee" vented a similar feeling on his Weibo account. "The Chinese anger over the Diaoyu Islands dispute is not enough to start a war, and is still being suppressed by the state," he wrote. "I want to ask, how much longer is it going to be suppressed?"
In his April blog post, Li describes the time when China was attacked by allied forces at the end of the Qing Dynasty, and draws sharp parallels to today. "In a word," he writes, "thinking of a war in which China is attacked by all sides is extremely necessary."