China protests mix colonial anger, modern dispute
BEIJING — Old wounds amplified outrage over a burning territorial dispute Tuesday as thousands of Chinese protested Tokyo's purchase of islands claimed by Beijing and marked the 81st anniversary of a Japanese invasion that China has never forgotten.
China marks every Sept. 18 by blowing sirens to remember a 1931 incident that Japan used as a pretext to invade Manchuria, setting off a brutal occupation of China that ended only at the close of World War II. Demonstrations are not routine, but this year, as Chinese fume over last week's Japanese purchase of long-contested islands in the East China Sea, they spread across the country.
Outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, thousands of protesters shouted patriotic slogans and demanded boycotts of Japanese goods. Some burned Japanese flags and threw apples, water bottles and eggs at the embassy, which was heavily guarded by three layers of paramilitary police and metal barricades.
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