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Chinese protests target French store

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  • Thousands of Chinese protest outside French supermarket in Wuhan
  • Protests triggered by demonstrations in Paris during Olympic torch relay
  • Crowds rallied using cell phone and Internet text messages
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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Thousands of Chinese, angry about anti-Chinese French protests that disrupted the Olympic torch relay in Paris, demonstrated outside a French supermarket in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Saturday.

A witness said the protesters -- mostly Chinese students -- appeared very organized and peaceful, but the organizers remained anonymous.

Chinese anger against France began stirring on Internet message boards in the days after the April 7 Olympic flame protests caused Beijing Olympics organizers to shorten the torch's route through Paris.

Cell phone and Internet text messages called for a boycott of the French supermarket firm Carrefour, China's largest foreign retailer, according to Xinhua, China's official news agency.

Xinhua quoted a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman as saying "the French side needs to ponder and reflect upon" the Chinese feelings.

The management of the Carrefour in Wuhan apparently had notice that protesters would target their store Saturday. Store employees did not wear their uniforms to work, and the store was closed when the demonstration began, a witness said.

Some of the store workers joined the protest, the witness said.

Police directed traffic around the protest and did not interfere, the witness said.

Xinhua reported similar protests and store boycotts have taken place in other cities across China. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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