The Straits Times
Published on Sep 20, 2012

China's Ai Weiwei says anti-Japan protests 'prepared'


BEIJING (AFP) - Anti-Japan protests in China were encouraged by leaders in Beijing, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said on Thursday, after he filmed demonstrators damaging the United States (US) ambassador's car.

Ai was visiting a friend's apartment near the US embassy in Beijing - which is close to Japan's mission - when he heard the protest and began recording, he told AFP.

The internationally acclaimed artist said he was "surprised" to see a group of 50 protesters target US Ambassador Gary Locke's vehicle, surrounding it and damaging its flag.

They pelted it with objects before Chinese police rushed to clear a path for the car to accelerate away from the embassy area.