The high seas protest by Greenpeace near Shanghai was virtually unreported in the Chinese media yesterday. In Shanghai, local newspapers played down the event while few people were aware of the incident. Shanghai's Liberation Daily printed a two-paragraph Xinhua (New China News Agency) story about the ship at the bottom of the front page. The headline was 'Greenpeace sailed into Chinese waters without authorisation; Shanghai law enforcement authorities order it to leave immediately.' A local resident said: 'Few people in Shanghai care about this event as they are too busy with other matters.' Residents in Beijing were equally apathetic. A taxi driver said: 'Yes, I saw the news on TV yesterday. A Greenpeace ship was ordered to leave Chinese waters and it left immediately. Why are they there?' Others said environmentalists should focus on other environmental issues. 'I think we need to protect the environment, too much pollution now,' a car wash manager said. Mei Ng Fong Siu-mei, local director of Friends of the Earth in Hong Kong, disapproved of the strategy. She said many green groups had been working hard to achieve mutual trust with Chinese officials and she was worried the protest by Greenpeace might put their relationship in jeopardy. 'They have to understand the cultural mentality of the country first,' Ms Ng said. Greenpeace International director Anne Dingwall denied the group's action was too aggressive.