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Demonstrations against "Tibet independence" continue in Chinese cities

April 21, 2008

[Official PRC News Agency]

BEIJING, April 20, 2008 (Xinhua) -- Demonstrations against "Tibet
independence" continued in several Chinese cities on Sunday.

Demonstrators took to the streets in the northwestern city of Xi'an,
eastern Jinan, and central city Wuhan, and the northeastern cities of
Harbin and Dalian.

The rallies followed Saturday's demonstrations in Beijing, Xi'an, the
eastern cities of Hefei and Qingdao, Wuhan, and the southwestern city of

They mainly gathered in front of the outlets of French supermarket chain
Carrefour, chanting "Oppose Tibet independence", and "Oppose CNN's
anti-China statements" on Sunday morning.

Police were monitoring the demonstrations, which did not affect the
supermarkets' normal operation.

More than 1,000 students and citizens in front of the Carrefourin 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".

They chanted "Support the Olympics", "Go China" and "Condemn CNN"
through loudspeakers.

About 50 of the demonstrators wore the same kind of red T-shirts.
Passers-by joined them in chanting slogans.

Carrefour has been accused by Chinese Internet users of supporting the
Dalai Lama group, which Carrefour China denied in a statement released
on Wednesday.

"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.

"We do not support a boycott of French companies because the economy is
globalizing. We choose Carrefour front doors only because we draw more
attention there," Wu said.

The organizers folded the banners and persuaded the crowds to disperse
as the number of demonstrators kept increasing at around 11:00 a.m., in
order to put the situation under control.

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

They were waving the five-starred Chinese national flag and banners with
the themes of opposing "Tibet independence", loving the motherland and
supporting the Olympics, while singing the national anthem.

The protesters marched to the city's Quancheng Square after gathering in
front of the shop for half an hour at 1:00 p.m.

Another 1,000 people in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province, signed
a ten-meter-long banner, saying "Support the Olympics and love our China".

One of the three outlets of Carrefour in Dalian, a coastal cityof
northeast China's Liaoning Province, shut on Saturday because of the
protest and remained closed on Sunday.

Traffic was blocked by the 1,000 demonstrators. More than 100 policemen
were monitoring the crowds. The demonstration began on Sunday morning
and most protesters had been persuaded to disperse by police.

The city government promised on Sunday to maintain social and business
order, including the operation of Carrefour.

Outside a Carrefour near some universities in Wuhan, capital ofHubei
Province, at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, 2,000 people, mostly students, were
singing the national anthem and waving the national flag. More students
joined through the day.

Hundreds of people watched the demonstration and more than 200 police
were at the scene.

Traffic was not affected, but the number of customers was reduced,
according to the sales assistant of Carrefour.

The number of protesters is reported to be growing.

Chen Bo, media manager of Carrefour Greater China, refused to answer
questions over the phone on Sunday, saying he would release a statement
by e-mail later in the day.

Carrefour has 112 stores on the Chinese mainland.
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