- BEIJING (Reuters) - Hurling rocks and wielding flaming poles, students
turned Beijing's diplomatic quarter into a battlefield on Sunday, declaring
Americans to be enemy number one.
- "Kill Americans! the crowds roared.
- U.S. President Bill Clinton was depicted
on hundreds of posters with a Hitler-like moustache. Students had Swastikas
daubed on their T-shirts across the letters U.S.A.
- American reporters at the scene were
targets of student wrath.
- "What is your nationality?"
they demanded to know of the handful of foreign journalists who braved
the crowds. Those who admitted being American or British were jostled and
given an earful of abuse.
- Witnesses reported attacks on Westerners,
including one man who apparently piqued demonstrators by showing up with
a Chinese woman.
- Several Western reporters were punched
and kicked. CNN correspondent Rebecca MacKinnon was struck while delivering
a live telephone report from the scene. As some students hustled her to
safety others yelled "kill her!".
- Frequently the students broke into English
to shriek four-letter curses.
- The crude language was echoed even in
the normally restrained official media. One newspaper said that U.S. talk
of humanity, democracy and freedom were "goddamned bullshit".
- "Clinton is always talking about
human rights. Well he is the world's number one offender!" said student
Li Zehong, before hurling a grapefruit-sized chunk of concrete at the U.S.
- A female student from Beijing University
of Science and Technology, her face streaked with tears, screamed shrilly
into a bullhorn: "Down with American Imperialism!" Hundreds of
classmates joined in the chant.
- Demonstrators carried Chinese signs reading
"Return Blood Debts with Blood". Some brandished English signs
reading "Eye for an Eye".
- As bricks and hunks of concrete rained
on the British embassy, a man and his adolescent son weaved through the
crowds carrying a sign that read: "We beseech Pesident Jiang (Zemin)
to declare war on the United States".
- A black-and-white target, worn by many
protesters in Yugoslavia, has become the ubiquitous symbol of student anger
in China, too. It appeared as punctuation in the headline of the Beijing
Youth Daily: "Shock, Anger, Protest".
- Newspapers have been fanning the emotion
by calling the Belgrade attack deliberate and by publishing large pictures
of bloodied Chinese diplomats. Vendors have been doing a roaring trade
- In Shanghai, a man was spotted bolting
out of a beauty salon, his hair still lathered in shampoo suds, to catch
one passing newspaper seller on his way past.
- One student handed out flyers, asking
a journalist to deliver it to Clinton.
- The shaky English read: "1.2 billion
people on your back, Bill, we are ready to departure at any moment to Washington