BEIJING – Beijing’s public security chief has publicly stated for the first time that the anti-Japanese protests on April 9 there were illegal, and underscored that authorities will crack down on any other unlawful acts, a local newspaper reported Friday.
“We fully understand the public and students’ patriotic feelings,” Ma Zhenchuan, director general of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, was quoted as saying by the Beijing Evening News.
“But the April 9 demonstration itself was carried out without permission, and was illegal,” he said, referring to the protests that included the pelting of Japanese diplomatic institutions with stones, food, ink and water bottles.
Ma warned about taking part in further unapproved demonstrations, as rumors swirled that a fresh round of protests may take place during the weeklong holiday from Sunday.
“There are people who say on the Internet that the public security bureau has approved demonstrations,” he was quoted as saying. “There is no such thing.”
Ma also said that Beijing, as the capital of the country, “represents the image of China,” and called on people to “turn patriotic passion to study and work to realize ‘a new Beijing’ and ‘a new Olympics,’ ” referring to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Calls have been made on Web sites for another round of demonstrations against Japan, particularly on Wednesday, the May 4th Movement anniversary of a 1919 student uprising spurred by a treaty that ceded part of China to Japan.
The Japanese Embassy in Beijing, meanwhile, issued a warning to Japanese citizens in China about possible protests during the holiday season.
The embassy’s Web site on Friday said there are rumors demonstrations will be held in Shanghai and Nanjing on Sunday and Wednesday.
“If you see any such activities or obtain information about them beforehand, please do not go near them, and be careful about your actions,” the message said.
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