Chinese Police Disperse Anti-Japanese Protesters

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Protests in China were quelled today as Chinese authorities tried to bring life back to normal.

The road next to the Japanese embassy in Beijing was opened again and the last protesters cleared from the sidewalks. The mess created by the protesters is being cleaned up and some Japanese businesses are cautiously opening their stores.

Many Japanese businesses were targeted during the anti-Japan protests and some businesses were vandalized. Many Japanese stores put Chinese flags in their windows, hoping the patriotic symbols would dispel angry protesters.

Some see the vandalism and insults against Japan as hurting Chinese interests.

[Mr. Zhou, 61-year-old Retiree]:
"Everything comes in phases. You shouldn't disturb people's lives. In the end, they've already expressed their patriotism, and as we say, 'If you go too far, you've stepped out of line.'"

Yesterday, September 18, marked the anniversary of an incident that led to Japan’s invasion of northern China prior to World War 2. Protests sprung up around the country as anti-Japan sentiment swept the country.

Yesterday, angry protesters surrounded US ambassador Gary Locke as he was driving into the embassy. Police quickly dispersed the protesters and no serious damage was done to the car.

Some say that even after the significant date, they should continue to show their patriotism with more protests.

[Chen Jie, Residential Compound Manager]:
"I don't think that just because we've passed September 18th, the sensitive day yesterday, you should stop. I personally feel that we need to organize more demonstrations."

Chinese state-run media announced on Sunday that a fishing ban in the East China Sea had been lifted. Hundreds of ships are expected to leave Fujian province to fish in waters close to the Diaoyu islands, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan. This could aggravate the territorial dispute between the two countries as both claim fishing rights in these waters.

The bizarre story of Wang Lijun’s dead of night escape to a US Consulate to seek asylum was because his boss slapped him. At least that’s according to Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Xinhua published today a detailed account of Tuesday’s hearing against Chongqing’s former police chief. It was the first time his former boss, Bo Xilai, has been linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.

Wang Lijun reportedly admitted to helping cover up Gu Kailai’s murder of Neil Heywood. When he later mentioned the murder with the “principle person” in charge of the city—ie, Bo Xilai—Bo slapped him across the face.

This apparently prompted Wang, well versed in marital arts, to flee to the US Consulate in Chengdu on February 6th. During his brief stay there, Xinhua reported Wang applied for political asylum. US officials had previously denied Wang sought asylum.

Gu Kailai was tried and convicted in August for Heywood’s murder. Bo Xilai’s name was not mentioned in those court proceedings.

With state-run media now officially linking Bo to the case, it appears Communist Party leaders are ready to make the next move against him.

Bo was sacked as Chongqing’s Party Secretary in March. So far, he’s only been reported as under investigation for Party disciplinary violations.

Wang Lijun faced two days of hearings this week—one held in secret—over charges of defection, bending the law for personal gains, abuse of power and taking bribes. Xinhua reports Wang admitted to all of the charges.

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