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Chinese Stage Protests in Front of French Retail Outlet Stores


Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in four Chinese cities Thursday, to vent anger over the disruption of the international Olympic torch relay and protests over China's crackdown in Tibet.

China's official Xinhua news agency says demonstrations took place outside stores belonging to French retail giant Carrefour in Changsha, capital of the central province of Hunan, as well as in the cities of Fuzhou, Chongqing, and Shenyang.

Supporters carried banners and waved Chinese national flags. Some shouted slogans calling for support of the Olympics and denounced Tibetan independence.

Carrefour has been the target of Chinese nationalist fervor since last month's relay of the Beijing Olympic torch in Paris, when pro-Tibetan demonstrators tried to snatch the flame from a wheelchair-using Chinese athlete.

Last month, an Internet campaign calling for a boycott of Carrefour was launched, and several angry protests were staged.

The protests come despite efforts by China's government to choke off a fresh wave of anti-French sentiment.

Chinese officials have urged citizens to show their patriotism in a calm and legal way, and praised Carrefour for supporting the upcoming Games.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.