Activists vow to topple monument to Japanese
Five nationalists returned to Beijing yesterday after being briefly detained by police in Fangzheng county, Heilongjiang province, for trying to demolish a recently erected monument to Japanese settlers who died in China during the second world war.
However, they vowed to continue with their campaign to knock down the monument.
The controversy erupted last week, when the local government confirmed that two monuments had been erected - the other for residents who adopted children of the deceased settlers - to encourage the public to learn from history. Internet users accused the administration of overlooking China's painful past for the sake of attracting investment.
Chen Fule from Hebei province said he was angered after reading the post and decided to go to Fangzheng with four of his online friends, from Hunan, Henan and Jiangxi provinces. The five, who are also Diaoyu activists, met in Beijing with hammers and two buckets of red paint, and arrived in the county on Wednesday.
'I am fully prepared for being detained for 15 days,' the Legal Mirror quoted Chen as saying.
The group failed to break the monument with their hammers, but smeared it with paint before they were taken away by police. They were detained for a few hours.
The five returned to Beijing yesterday. 'We will go back one day if it is not demolished,' Chen said.