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China Daily Website

Overseas Chinese protest 'purchase' of Diaoyu Islands

Updated: 2012-09-14 02:06

ATHENS -- Chinese expats in Greece staged on Thursday a demonstration in front of the Japanese embassy in Athens, protesting the "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands by the Japanese government.

About 200 members of the Chinese community in Greece gathered outside the Japanese embassy building, raising banners and placards in Chinese, English and Greek saying, "Chinese expats in Greece firmly oppose Japanese occupation to Chinese territory Diaoyu Islands."

In the first ever rally held by Chinese in Greece, protesters chanted slogans such as "Diaoyu Islands belong to China" and sang the Chinese national anthem, waving Chinese flags.

"We are here to shout that Diaoyu Islands belong to China, not Japan," Xu Weichun, President of the Chinese Commercial and Cultural Association of Greece, told Xinhua.

Passerbys who read the banners welcomed the peaceful demonstration. "Chinese have every right to protest any violation of their sovereignty," a local resident told Xinhua.

The Japanese government on Tuesday signed a contract with a so-called "private owner" to "purchase" the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated Nan Xiaodao and Bei Xiaodao to "nationalize" them, despite strong warnings and protests by Beijing who has denounced the illegal transaction.

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