China Sees Largest Protests, Yet
Anti-Japanese protests swelled to their largest size yet in China on Sunday as relations between the two Asian powers continued their downward slide.
Japan’s foreign minister, here for talks with his Chinese counterpart, called for an emergency meeting between the countries’ two top leaders, both of whom will be in Indonesia later this week.
But the Chinese government did not respond to the request, and the likelihood of a face-to-face meeting seemed dim. Leaders of the two countries haven’t met in any sort of formal summit since 1999 and do not talk to one another by phone.
Tens of thousands of protesters burned Japanese flags, tossed bottles and hurled paint at shops selling Japanese goods in Shenzhen, a boom industrial city near Hong Kong. A day earlier, mobs tossed bottles through windows of Japan’s consulate in Shanghai, vandalized Japanese-made cars and smashed several Japanese restaurants.
In Japan, expectations are high that the Japanese foreign minister’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing will calm tensions between the two countries.
The escalating anti-Japanese protests in China are captivating a worried nation that is becoming increasingly alarmed with each passing day. Tours to China are being postponed, and Japanese businessmen there say they now fear for their personal safety.
BEIJING refused to apologise yesterday for violent protests in China over Japan’s wartime past and its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council seat.
“The Chinese Government has never done anything for which it has to apologise to the Japanese people,” Li Zhaoxing, the Foreign Minister, told his visiting Japanese counterpart as China allowed new demonstrations in at least six cities.
Mr Li said that Japan, instead, was to blame for “a series of things that have hurt the feelings of the Chinese people over issues such as relations with rival Taiwan and the subject of history”.