Chinese holding rallies to back Beijing Games

Updated: 2008-04-20 16:26

LOS ANGELES - Tens of hundreds of overseas Chinese rallied Saturday in Paris, London, Berlin, Los Angeles and other cities to support Chinese government, and oppose biased Western media reportage of the Beijing Olympic torch relay as well as their distorted coverage of the recent riot in China's Tibet, which was instigated by the 14th Dalai Lama segments.

Chinese  protest against biased Tibet report by British media in London, April 19, 2008. [ Yuqing]

Meanwhile, protests against "Tibet independence" continued in several Chinese cities on Sunday.  Demonstrators were seen in the northwestern city Xi'an, the northeastern city Harbin and eastern city of Jinan,following Saturday's demonstrations in Beijing, Xi'an, Hefei, Qingdao, Wuhan, and Kunming, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

In Los Angeles, more than 5,000 people gathered outside the Hollywood office of TV broadcaster CNN, to protest against one of the channel's commentators, Jack Cafferty, who described Chinese people as a "bunch of goons and thugs", and China-made goods as "junk".

A statement issued by CNN on Tuesday paid lip service to address the rallying anger of Chinese all over the world over the insulting words of Cafferty, who many in China and other countries said is a racist.

In Paris, more than  4,000 Chinese gathered on Saturday in the Place de la Republique wearing T-shirts daubed with the slogan "One China, One family".

Overseas Chinese demonstrate to support China and the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games, in Paris April 19, 2008. [Agencies]

Many protestors, who came from across France and Europe, unfurled a banner showing wheelchair Chinese athlete Jin Jing who was assaulted by Tibetan extremists during the torch relay in Paris. Emotions ran high as many chanted "Go Beijing".

"We're demonstrating against the disinformation in the French and western media, to promote the Olympic Games and to construct a bridge between the French and Chinese people -- and not a wall as the media do," said one of the rally's spokesmen, Thierry Liu.

Some French also joined the Paris rally. A man surnamed Joseph, 60, said he had travelled often to China and that he was "defending the right to the truth," according to AFP.

More than 1,000 people, mainly students, also gathered outside the BBC office in Manchester, northwestern England, while around 500 staged a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London, police said.

"I was in London ... during the torch relay on April 6 and we saw thousands of students coming from all over the UK just to support the torch relay and were really excited about that," London protestor Becky Qin said.

"But when I went back to Cambridge and saw the recorded version of BBC News, we were disappointed to see nothing about the supporting groups at all."

"It was as if the torch was just struggling its way through London and it was all about how people were so resentful about it," she said, adding that the broadcaster had provided "blurry numbers" about how many innocent people died at the hands of Tibetan rioters on March 14.

Protests against "Tibet independence" continued in several Chinese cities on Sunday.

Protestors gathered in front of outlets of the French supermarket chain Carrefour, chanting "Oppose Tibet independence", and "Oppose CNN's anti-China statements" on Sunday morning.

Chinese police were monitoring the demonstrations, which had no effect on the supermarkets' normal operations, Xinhua said.

More than 1,000 students and citizens in front of the Carrefour in Xi'an held banners, saying "Strongly oppose CNN's anti-China statements" and "Condemn Tibet secessionist in France tearing up the Five-Star Red Flag". They chanted "Support the Olympics", "Go China" and "Condemn CNN" through loudspeakers.

Carrefour has been accused by Chinese Internet users of supporting the Dalai Lama group, which Carrefour China denied in a statement released on Wednesday.

"Today's activity is simply an awareness-raising activity, aimed at finding a way out for the patriotic emotions of our students," said Wu Sheng, Xi'an resident and one of the organizers.

"We do not support a boycott of French companies because the economy is globalizing. We choose Carrefour front doors only because we draw more attention there," Wu said.

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