Beijing: Anti-Japan protests erupted in
several Chinese cities today with thousands of people marching
on the streets shouting slogans asserting China`s sovereignty
over the disputed Diaoyu islands -- the centre of a bitter
diplomatic row between the two countries.
`Defend the Diaoyu Islands,` `Fight Japan`, shouted
more than 2,000 protesters in downtown Chengdu, the capital of
the southwestern Sichuan Province, as they marched carrying
Chinese flags and unfurled banners, the official Xinhua news
The Diaoyu islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in
Japan were at the centre of a heated diplomatic feud between
China and Japan recently after a Chinese vessel was
intercepted and its captain arrested in the disputed waters.
In Chengdu, more people joined the protest as the
procession marched through some of the city`s main streets.
In Xi`an, the capital of northwest China`s Shaanxi
Province, thousands of college students marched, holding flags
and banners, and shouting slogans such as `Diaoyudao is
China`s` and `Boycott Japanese goods`. They also sang the
Chinese national anthem while marching on the streets.
In Zhengzhou, the capital of central China`s Henan
Province, college students thronged to a downtown square this
afternoon and then marched through the city, shouting `Long
live the motherland,` `Return the Diaoyu Islands to China`.
Some protesters said they had learnt that the protest
would be held on the Internet and had gathered there.
The protests came after reports of similar rallies in
Japan to assert Japanese sovereignty over the islands.
The protests came even as China and Japan are making
moves to put their ties back on track after the diplomatic
fracas that started with the detention of the Chinese captain
on Sept 7.
China which protested the detention called off all its
exchanges with Tokyo.
Demonstrations were also held a few weeks ago before
the captain was finally released.
Japan subsequently released the skipper and China for
its part also released four Japanese nationals held on charges
of capturing video footages of military sites.
Subsequently, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and
his Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan met in Brussels and reached
an understanding to make efforts to improve the ties while
sticking to their respective claims on the islands in the East
China Sea which are under the administrative control of Japan.