China to Protesters: Please Keep It 'Orderly'

Anti-Japan protests are entirely too polite

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 18, 2012 11:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – Anti-Japan protests over the disputed East China Sea islands continued for a fourth day today in China, and Christian Science Monitor Beijing Bureau Chief Peter Ford describes the almost amusing orderliness of them. "The Beijing Public Security Bureau reminds you to please express your patriotism in a rational and orderly fashion and to follow police instructions. Thank you for your cooperation," reads a text message from the Beijing police. And protesters at the Japanese embassy did just that, forming small groups and waiting their turn to march past … as they threw water bottles at the gates. Meanwhile, a loudspeaker played a message on a loop: "The Chinese government shares the people’s feelings. The government has made it clear it will not accept any territorial infringement. But once you have expressed yourself, please move on."

Thousands of police guarded the embassy, a sign that China wanted to avoid protests turning violent as they did over the weekend. But, though protests remained mostly peaceful, some demonstrators were attacking Japanese companies including Toyota and Honda, leading hundreds of such businesses to temporarily shut down, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The embassy also suspended services. Meanwhile, Japan was boosting defenses around the islands as a 1,000-strong flotilla of Chinese fishing boats reportedly approached. Japan hasn't seen them yet, but did say 10 Chinese patrol boats are in the area, and added that two Japanese nationals landed on one of the islands today. China quickly complained, the Wall Street Journal reports, and also asserted that it reserves the right to "take further actions," perhaps military ones if necessary, according to the defense minister. Further complicating the situation, Taiwan also claims the disputed area, but wants to help resolve the conflict, Voice of America reports.

A Chinese man shouts anti-Japan slogans with Chinese national flags near portraits of the late Communist leader Mao Zedong in front of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.
A Chinese man shouts anti-Japan slogans with Chinese national flags near portraits of the late Communist leader Mao Zedong in front of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Anti-Japan protesters throw water bottles towards the Japanese Embassy while marching on a street outside the embassy in Beijing Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.
Anti-Japan protesters throw water bottles towards the Japanese Embassy while marching on a street outside the embassy in Beijing Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
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