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Carrefour store resumes after weekend protests
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A Carrefour shop in Dalian in northeastern China's Liaoning Province resumed operation on Monday after two days of demonstrations against "Tibet independence".

No one was in front of the hypermarket outlet on Huanghe Road on Monday, except for customers and passers-by in the rain, said Xinhua reporters at the scene.

Three police cars were parked on the other side of the road in front of the store.

A few customers were spotted shopping inside. A sales assistant at a shoe store at the entrance of Carrefour said the number of customers was normal because Monday was the first work day of the week and the rain had kept some people away.

The store is one of the three Carrefour outlets in the city. The Huanghe Road outlet was the only one closed on the weekend. It was business as usual for the other two.

Demonstrations against "Tibet independence" spurted up on Saturday in a few Chinese cities, including Beijing, Xi'an, Hefei, Qingdao, Wuhan and Kunming.

The rallies spread on Sunday to Jinan and Harbin.

Carrefour has been accused by Chinese Internet users of supporting the Dalai Lama group, which Carrefour China denied in a statement on Wednesday.

Chinese netizens also expressed indignation over biased reports by some French newspapers on the Chinese Government's handling of the unrest in Tibet last month.

Protesters numbered more than 1,000 in most of the cities and reached about 2,000 in Wuhan. They mainly gathered in front of Carrefour outlets chanting "Oppose Tibet independence" and "Oppose CNN's anti-China statements".

Some held banners, saying "Let France apologize", "Go China" and "Condemn Tibet secessionist in France tearing up the Five-Star Red Flag".

"Only a few outlets of Carrefour were influenced across China and we believe it will be temporary," said Chen Bo, media manager of Carrefour Greater China, who refused to answer questions over the phone, and replied to Xinhua questions by e-mail late on Sunday.

Carrefour has 112 stores on the Chinese mainland.

Many newspapers and Internet portals, including the "anti-cnn" website and the People's Daily, published statements calling for rational expressions of patriotism.

(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2008)

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