About 200 protesters, well below initial estimates, rallied in front of the Chinese consular office in Manila. Both Beijing and Taiwan had warned their nationals to stay indoors.
The demonstrators, carrying placards and banners and waving Philippine flags, protested against what they called Chinese intrusions into Philippine territory. The one-hour protest ended peacefully under the close watch of dozens of baton-wielding police.
“Encouraging the public to march and protest was a mistaken step by the Philippine side that has made the current situation more complicated and escalated it,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
GOVERNMENT NOT INVOLVED
A spokesman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino denied government involvement in the protest although some of the organisers have links with the president’s…
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