KFC in northern China targeted by protesters shouting anti-US slogans
A KFC outlet in northern China was targeted by anti-US protesters on the weekend, becoming the latest victim of a wave of nationalism on the mainland following an international tribunal ruling on the South China Sea.
Dozens of people gathered at the fast-food restaurant in Laoting county in Hebei province on Sunday, according to photos posted online, which were quickly deleted.
They carried long red banners with slogans that read: “Boycott US, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, love the Chinese nation” and “You are eating KFC from the US, and losing the face of our ancestors”.
Video clips that appeared to be taken at the scene showed protesters singing the national anthem and attracting a crowd of onlookers. In one clip, a man succeeded in persuading three young men not to eat in the restaurant.
“If you stop now, you are still upright Chinese, but if you go inside, you are all traitors once the US and the Philippines wage a war against China in the future,” the man said.
The boycott came after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled last Tuesday that China’s “nine-dash” line did not give it historic rights to the resource-rich waters. Beijing has vigorously denounced the decision and blamed rising tension in the region on the United States’ “pivot” towards Asia.
It claimed the tribunal had no jurisdiction over the issue and has vowed to protect its sovereignty, while also calling on Manila to resolve the dispute through negotiations.
Mainland celebrities have joined members of the public to declare their support for China’s claims and denounce those who do not appear patriotic enough.
On Saturday, singer Leah Dou, the daughter of pop queen Faye Wong, deleted her posts on Weibo amid a flood of angry comments after she publicly supported Audrie Kiko Daniel, a Korean-American actress famous in Japan.
Daniel, also known as Kiko Mizuhara, made a video apology after some Chinese internet users claimed she had posted or “liked” photos that were offensive to China, an accusation that she has denied.
Meanwhile in Vietnam, a provincial TV channel has dropped the Chinese drama series Shanghai Bund after several Chinese actors condemned the court’s decision.
The series is a remake of the 1980 Hong Kong television series The Bund and stars Huang Xiaoming, who voiced support for Beijing’s claims.
Additional reporting by Reuters