Anti-Japan protests erupt in China over islands row
BEIJING: Thousands of Chinese besieged the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Saturday, hurling rocks, eggs and bottles as protests broke out in other major cities in China amid growing tension between Asia’s two biggest economies over a group of disputed islands.
Paramilitary police with shields and batons barricaded the embassy, holding back and occasionally fighting with slogan-chanting, flag-waving protesters who at times appeared to be trying to storm the building.
“Return our islands! Japanese devils get out!” some shouted. One of them held up a sign reading: “For the respect of the motherland, we must go to war with Japan.”
Protester Liu Gang, a migrant worker from the southern region of Guangxi, said: “We hate Japan. We’ve always hated Japan. Japan invaded China and killed a lot of Chinese. We will never forget.”
Japan said its foreign minister had cut short a visit to Australia and flown back to Tokyo.
The long-standing territorial dispute escalated dramatically on Friday when China sent six surveillance ships to a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, raising tension between the two countries to its highest level since 2010. China, which has similar disputes elsewhere with other neighbors, was responding to Japan’s decision on Tuesday to buy the islands, which Tokyo calls the Senkaku and Beijing calls the Diaoyu, from a private Japanese owner despite Chinese warnings against doing so.
Posted by: Steve White