Chinese media blacks out protests news

China's state-controlled media has suppressed news of Saturday's anti-Japan protests, with no reports on television, newspapers or news websites of the largest demonstration in the capital since 1999.

    The protests were the largest in Beijing since July 1999

    More than 10,000 anti-Japanese protesters on Saturday hurled

    rocks, bottles and eggs and shouted abuse at the Japanese embassy

    and the residence of the Japanese ambassador.

    The protests were the largest in Beijing since about 10,000

    members of the banned spiritual group Falungong encircled the

    Communist Party's leadership compound in July 1999.

    Even though protesters were seen marching on Beijing's main

    thoroughfare, Changan Boulevard, and the protests caused traffic

    jams, the city's major newspapers such as the Beijing Morning Post

    and Beijing News carried no reports about the event.

    A staff member contacted at the Beijing Morning Post on Sunday said

    she did not know why such a large protest was not covered

    . Editors of other newspapers could not be reached for

    comment.

    News online

    The only mention of the protests was on internet websites

    specifically set up by anti-Japanese groups. These contained

    comments and pictures.

    The Chinese government routinely censors news it considers too

    sensitive.

    Although the protests appeared to have been approved by the

    government, authorities fear that even government-sanctioned

    protests could get out of hand if too many people find out about

    them and want to participate.

    The police tightly manage such protests.

    Demonstrators condemned Japan for its handling of its wartime

    past and its pursuit of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council,

    amid mounting tension between the countries.

    SOURCE: AFP


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