- BEIJING (CP) -- Students held a third day of protests outside the U.S.
and British embassies early Monday, trapping American diplomats inside
their compound in demonstrations against NATO's bombing of the Chinese
Embassy in Yugoslavia.
- Protesters marched along a police-guarded
route that took them past the embassies. On Sunday, thousands thronged
past the compounds, smashing windows at the U.S. mission with stones and
splattering its walls with paint.
- In Toronto, about 2,000 Chinese and Serbian
protesters protested in front of the U.S. consulate on Sunday, and a few
tried to storm the building.
- Police stopped them, but not before being
pelted with bottles. One was arrested but held only briefly, CTV reported.
- NATO and the United States have said
the embassy attack in Belgrade was accidental and have expressed deep regret.
- During a lull in the protests before
dawn, some diplomats were able to leave an office building near the U.S.
ambassador's residence in Beijing. But three blocks away, U.S. Ambassador
James Sasser and others remained holed up in the embassy compound surrounded
by hundreds of police wearing riot helmets.
- Police blocked nearby streets and ordered
foreign reporters away from corners where they could see the embassy.
"The Chinese people have flown into furies" over the attack on
the Belgrade embassy, the People's Daily,"If anybody thinks he can
intimidate the Chinese through the use of force, he will find himself completely
wrong," it said.
- During Sunday's protests, many in Beijing
carried signs with four Chinese characters that mean "a debt of blood
must be repaid in blood." Protesters attacked the British and Albanian
missions and demonstrated at U.S. consulates elsewhere in the country.
- It has been the biggest public protest
since the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations 10 years ago. Thousands
of police kept watch Sunday, the second day of the government-sanctioned
protest, but did not try to stop the rock-throwing.
- The Chinese government put the number
of demonstrators Sunday at 20,000, but the constant stream made it difficult
to count. "We are essentially hostages of the embassy at the present
time now. We've been here 48 hours without being able to leave," Sasser
said by telephone.
- He said protesters had thrown a gasoline
bomb through a window and that the government had encouraged the demonstrations.
Protesters also smashed paving stones to throw at embassy buildings.
"The danger is that this could spin out of control," Sasser said.
- The demonstrations were dominated by
strongly nationalistic and anti-American rhetoric. Profanity and swastikas
appeared on many signs about the United States and President Bill Clinton.
"Down with the United States," demonstrators chanted until they
were hoarse. "Protect the fatherland's sovereignty."
- Demonstrators also threw rocks at the
British and Albanian embassies and gathered at the German Embassy in another
diplomatic neighbourhood. Foreign Affairs spokesman Claude Demers said
that the Canadian embassy was also the subject of protests Sunday, but
nothing was thrown.
- An Albanian diplomat, Tonin Beci, said
by telephone that his embassy had received threatening phone calls from
people who claimed Albania had sided with NATO against Yugoslavia.
- Demonstrators jumped over the Albanian
embassy's wall for brief intrusions on the grounds and threw rocks from
the street, Beci said. Some rocks hit Albanian officials when they were
briefly outside but caused no serious injuries, he said.
- Sasser and his staff expressed "profound
sorrow" over the bombing in the Yugoslav capital, Belgrade, and condolences
to families of the victims, an embassy statement said.
- Three people were killed. More than 20
were injured, six seriously, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
- Neither Sasser's statement nor Clinton's
expression of regret over what he called a "tragic mistake" were
reported by China's state-controlled news media.
- Chinese media also have not reported
the Serb attacks on ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia's Kosovo province that
NATO air strikes were intended to stop. China has blamed NATO for creating
the refugee crisis.
- Many protesters believed the Chinese
Embassy was deliberately targeted.
- U.S. offices in China were scheduled
to be closed today and Tuesday. The two main international schools in Beijing
cancelled classes today.