‘Down With the U.S. Imperialists!’: Protestors Attack U.S. Ambassador in Beijing — Here’s What You Need to Know
On his way to the Japanese embassy in Beijing Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke’s car was surrounded and pummeled by anti-Japanese and American protesters. And while the news has been out there today, there’s also been confusing reports. So we decided to comb through it all and present you with what you need to know.
“Embassy officials have registered their concern regarding today’s incident with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and urged the Chinese Government to do everything possible to protect American facilities and personnel,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.
Protesters were heard chanting “down with the U.S. imperialists!” and, in what can only be a reference to China’s debtor-creditor relationship with the U.S., “Pay us back our money,” according to dissident Ai Weiwei:
The L.A. Times describes the scene:
The five-minute video shows a black car approaching the embassy and attempting to turn into the gate. As demonstrators surround the vehicle, several dozen Chinese police and uniformed guards rush to the scene. Several water bottles are thrown at the car and one man can be seen banging on the hood of the vehicle.
Security forces intervened quickly and guided the ambassador’s car to safety.
“It was all over in a few minutes, and I never felt in danger,” Locke said, according the L.A. Times.
U.S. and Japanese embassies in Beijing have been targeted in recent weeks by protesters upset over the East China Sea island dispute. Tokyo has taken control of the chain, but China disputes their claim.
Demonstrators believe Tokyo’s bold action has been helped along by the U.S., which probably explains why some of them were chanting: “The U.S. government is the mastermind!”
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
This story has been updated.
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