Protests continuing in China against Tibetan independence

Other News Materials 20 April 2008 16:00 (UTC +04:00)

Protests against Tibetan independence were continuing for the second day Sunday in several Chinese cities.

New demonstrations were being held in the north-western city of Xi'an, the north-eastern city Harbin, and the eastern city Jinan, the Xinhua press agency reported. ( dpa )

The protestors gathered in front of outlets of the French supermarket chain Carrefour, chanting pro-Chinese and anti-Tibetan independence slogans on Sunday morning, reports said.

On Saturday, demonstrations were held in Beijing, Xi'an, the eastern cities of Hefei and Qingdao, the central city of Wuhan, and the south-western city of Kunming.

A Carrefour shop in Hefei was vandalised, according to the reports.

The French retailer has been targeted amid claims that Carrefour had links to exiled Tibetans and in the wake of widespread calls for a boycott of French goods.

Carrefour has vehemently rejected the claims.

On Sunday, over 1,000 students and citizens in front of the Carrefour in Xi'an held banners, saying "Strongly oppose CNN's anti-China statements" and "Condemn Tibet secessionist in France tearing up the Five-Star Red Flag."

"Today's activity is simply an awareness-raising activity, aimed at finding a way out for the patriotic emotions of our students," said Wu Sheng, Xi'an resident and one of the organizers.

Another 100 people gathered in the rain in front of Carrefour in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong province.

Online and text message calls for boycotts of French Carrefour and other foreign retailers has been spreading in China in response to the disruptions of the Olympic torch relay in Paris.

"Of course, we are angry with the disruption of the Olympic torch relay and the activities to split China and feel sorry about their irrational behaviour," Professor Zhang Shengjun, deputy dean of the Institute of Political Science and International Studies at the Beijing Normal University, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

"We should not be as irrational as them when voicing patriotism," he added.

Carrefour China has released a statement pledging the chain has not and will not do anything to hurt Chinese people's feelings.

It insists that the allegations that Carrefour supports illegal political organizations are totally fabricated and lack evidence.