- BEIJING, May 8 - Thousands of people protested at U.S. diplomatic missions
in China on Saturday, hurling missiles in what appeared to be an officially
sanctioned outpouring of fury at NATO's bombing of the Chinese embassy
- They also hurled bricks and bottles at
the British embassy in Beijing and attacked at least four parked cars belonging
to U.S. diplomats, leaving one slewed across the road, its windows smashed,
- Buses brought students to the U.S. embassy
in the capital and a huge cheer went up as the Stars and Stripes went up
in flames outside the main gates. Many hurled empty plastic bottles, tomatoes
and debris over the compound's iron fence.
- That protest diminished at dusk and the
drama switched to China's financial capital of Shanghai as the word spread
of NATO's strike on the Chinese embassy in which the official Xinhua news
agency said three people were killed, one was missing and 21 were injured.
- Thousands of people hurried after dark
to the U.S. consular compound on one of the plushest streets of central
- Bottles and eggs smashed against its
walls and a huge cheer went up from thousands of people as the lamp at
the main entrance was hit.
- Each time another student group, often
accompanied by their teachers, arrived under their university banner, another
roar went up and the chanting of slogans like "U.S. Fascist"
and "NATO murderers" grew louder.
- In Beijing, hundreds of police initially
did nothing to stop people hurling missiles at the embassy, smashing windows
and lamps. But as daylight faded, they moved in to shepherd the students
back to their buses.
- The protests in the capital did not end,
however. Small groups of students and other people moved to the nearby
compound housing the residence of U.S. Ambassador James Sasser.
- Police, three deep, cordoned off the
road, but allowed some protesters through to sing the Chinese national
anthem, burn another U.S. flag and demand to talk to U.S. diplomats.
- "You come out or we'll come in,"
- Police kept them away from the entrance
- Other people hurled missiles at the nearby
British embassy, but police kept them far enough away for the damage to
be kept to one broken window, witnesses said.
- The U.S. embassy told Americans to stay
off the streets as individuals whose countries are NATO members reported
being the target of verbal rage once their nationalities were identified.
- In Shanghai, police blocked off the road
in front of the U.S. consulate and did move in once the missiles started
flying, grabbing a man who had thrown a bottle.
- The anger in both cities was vitriolic
against the attack on the Chinese embassy, which NATO said was a mistake.
- "China should send troops to help
the people of Yugoslavia," yelled 37-year-old Beijing worker Hong
Tielu to loud applause.
- A Shanghai woman used every swear word
she knew in English to condemn the strike, in which the Yugoslav news agency
Tanjug said four people were killed. Beijing called it a war crime.
- Such comments reflected the overwhelming
reaction -- anger and incomprehension at the NATO air war, coupled with
concern about the safety of Chinese nationals in Yugoslavia.
- A man in Shanghai reflected government
concern that the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia over what it
says is ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Serbia's Kosovo province foreshadowed
intervention in what China regards as its internal affairs.
- "We know what the U.S. intention
is -- today Kosovo, tomorrow Taiwan," he said.
- The Chinese government has said the NATO
campaign, launched without United Nations sanction, could be repeated over
Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province, or Tibet.
- It summoned Sasser to hear the "strongest
protest" over the strike on the Chinese embassy as students chanted
"Down With U.S. Imperialism", "Pay Blood Debts in Blood"
and "Down with U.S. Running Dogs".
- Several chanted: "Clinton is Hitler".
- "One banner bore the Nazi swastika
and the word NATO.
- There were also protests in the southern
city of Guangzhou, where thousands of students mobbed the U.S. consulate
in drizzling rain, telling Americans to "get out" and demanding
- A witness said bridges to the Shamian
island diplomatic district were choked with people while riot police stood
aside and took no action. There were no immediate reports of violence.
- He said the China Hotel, site of the
British, Italian, French and Dutch consulates, was also thronged with students,
as was the Canadian consulate at the International Hotel.
- Diplomats said the anti-U.S. backlash
among ordinary Chinese would put pressure on the leadership to take firm
- Resentment has been building against
the United States, portrayed by state media as an arrogant global bully
which chooses conflict over diplomacy.