China shuts Hague embassy after Xinjiang protest

7th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

The consular section of the Chinese embassy is closed after demonstrators turned violent and hurled rocks at the building on Monday.

The Hague – The consular section of the Chinese embassy in The Hague was closed to the public on Tuesday, a day after a protest at its doorstep over the unrest in Xinjiang turned violent.

"For security reasons, the consular section of the embassy will be closed on 7 July," it said on its website, after Dutch police arrested 142 people on Monday when protesters began hurling rocks and paving stones at the mission.

An embassy spokeswoman, who requested anonymity, said the embassy proper was still functioning, but that the consular section – which issues visas – was shut for fear that protesters might try to occupy it.

"They might come inside, in a crowd," she said. "It's the reason why we had to make this choice."

Thirty-nine of those arrested Monday remained in custody Tuesday. The protest was triggered by ethnic riots in Urumqi, in the mainly Muslim northwest Chinese region of Xinjiang, in which at least 156 have been reported killed.

AFP / Expatica

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