Island row: Anti-Japan protestors held in China

Taiwan and Beijing believe Japan is occupying the islands illegally.

Updated: Sep 17, 2012, 15:48 PM IST

Beijing: Eleven people who had allegedly smashed a Japanese-brand car, shop windows and billboards during anti-Japan protests in southern China`s metropolis of Guangzhou have been detained, police said Monday.

Police in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, made the announcement Monday on its official account of Sina Weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblogging service, Xinhua reported.

RIA Novosti reported that more than ten people were arrested in China Monday according to local media reports, after police used tear gas and water cannons to break up anti-Japanese riots which began late last week over Japan`s nationalization of the disputed Diaoyu Islands.

On the same day, about a thousand Chinese fishing boats were dispatched to the area in what appeared to follow up on Beijing`s promise to send both fisherman and patrol boats to the East China Sea in an attempt to refute Japan`s purchase ealier in the week of three of the five Diaoyu Islands, to which both Beijing and Tokyo have laid claim.

On Saturday, rioters wielding Chinese flags broke through a ring of police officers at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, according to Chinese television, hurling eggs, plastic bottles and other debris at the building in protest.

Protests against Tokyo`s move have continued at various locations, including at Japanese missions, car dealerships and restaurants.

The Diaoyu (or Senkaku, in Japanese) Islands have long been a disputed territory between the two countries. Japan claims it has occupied the islands since 1895, while China maintains the islands were recognized as Chinese as early as 1783.

Taiwan and Beijing believe Japan is occupying the islands illegally, while Tokyo believes its rivals only became concerned over the issue in the 1970s following discovery of valuable minerals there.