State news agency repeats appeal for calm, a move seen as pre-empting wider anger and a backlash from Europe Chinese authorities have stepped up efforts to cool the patriotic fervour fuelling anti-French protests, a move one analyst says shows Beijing is concerned they might spiral out of control and anger Europe. A day after issuing a commentary calling for calm and reason, Xinhua issued another report yesterday quoting prominent scholars saying people should use 'rational means' to express their patriotism. 'In regard to the disruptions to the Olympic torch relay and separatists' activities overseas, of course we have to express our anger and regret over ... irrational acts ... but in expressing our love for the country, we shouldn't act like that,' Zhang Shengjun, vice-director of the school of politics and international relations at Beijing Normal University, was quoted as saying. On Friday, young Chinese protested outside a branch of French hypermarket Carrefour in Qingdao , Shandong province, angry at the reception the Olympic torch got in Paris. Yesterday, heavy security was visible in major mainland cities, especially outside Carrefours. Compared to earlier widespread coverage, there were few reports on the protests. Protests in Guangzhou and Shenzhen were banned by local police, a day after state media called for protesters to show restraint. One of the organisers of a planned Shenzhen protest against Carrefour, who gave his name as Wang Jian, said they had called it off on Friday after police rejected their rally applications. Mr Wang, 30, said almost all the core members were worried that a peaceful demonstration would turn violent as happened three years ago during the government-approved anti-Japanese protests. 'We don't want to see the action get out of control, even though we have already selected several guards to prevent any participants from making trouble,' he added. Mr Wang declined to say how many people had signed up for the rally. Dozens of young people gathered at a Carrefour branch in Shenzhen and waved Chinese flags silently before leaving peacefully. Jean-Pierre Cabestan, head of the department of government and international studies at Baptist University, said Beijing's change in attitude reflected the dilemma it was in. While public backing helped Beijing act against 'Tibetan separatist activities', Professor Cabestan said the leadership was under pressure to avoid escalating the situation and stoking a backlash in Europe. 'Some media in France, Spain and Italy made even harsher comments about the Chinese government on Tibet and other human rights issues than CNN did,' he said, referring to recent anti-China comments carried by the US broadcaster. Yu Wanli, professor of the school of international studies at Peking University, said Chinese people should learn from the Tibet issue about dealing with the diversity of international opinions and that Beijing should improve its diplomatic skills.