By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer
BEIJING – Fresh anti-Western protests flared in several Chinese cities Sunday as people vented anger over pro-Tibet demonstrations along the
Over the weekend, protesters waving Chinese flags have rallied in front of the French Embassy in and at outlets of French retailer Carrefour in nine cities across the country. They have threatened boycotts of the retailer, whom they accuse of supporting the , Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader — a charge Carrefour denies.
A front-page editorial in the People’s Daily newspaper, the official mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party, called for calm, urging people to cherish patriotism “while expressing it in a rational way.”
“As citizens, we have the responsibility to express our patriotic enthusiasm calmly and rationally and express patriotic aspiration in an orderly and legal manner,” the commentary said.
The editorial seemed to reflect concern among China’s leaders about a growing anti-Western backlash, fueled by anger over the demonstrations in Paris, London andduring the Olympic torch relay. The relay has become a magnet for protests against ‘s rule in Tibet and its human rights record.
Barry Sautman, a political scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said the government is trying to rein in the demonstrations in order to ensure calm and project an inviting image ahead of thein August.
“That’s why they want demonstrations to be very short,” Sautman said. “They want to wrap them up as soon as possible so they can go on to restore the image of China as welcoming to people around the world.”