5 admit to vandalism in S China protest

Five people in south China's city of Shenzhen have turned themselves in to police after local authorities received tips via social media regarding property damage that occurred during anti-Japanese protests earlier in the month.

The Futian district public security bureau on Saturday posted photos of 20 people on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, who allegedly destroyed public and private property during anti-Japanese protests that occurred on Sept. 16.

The bureau said it had solid evidence that the 20 people had committed vandalism, urging them to surrender to police and also offering a reward for clues submitted by the public.

By Sunday night, authorities had received more than 350 phone calls offering information on the 20 suspects and five of them had turned themselves in to police, the bureau said Monday.

Protests flared up in dozens of Chinese cities on the weekend of Sept. 15 and 16, just days after the Japanese government moved to "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands.

Some of the protests turned violent, resulting in damage to Japanese-brand cars and businesses and the temporary closure of several Japanese-funded companies.

Police said some of the protesters deliberately disturbed public order and committed vandalism.

A man surnamed Li, one of the five who surrendered to police, told local media that he regretted vandalizing a police vehicle used to control the protest.

The 30-year-old said he surrendered to local police after they published his photo on Sina Weibo.

A suspect surnamed Wang said he regretted vandalizing a Honda vehicle at the protest. He confessed to throwing stones at the car near a government office.

In northwest China's city of Xi'an, police have also turned to microblogs to seek tips that they hope will lead to the arrest of a man who committed multiple violent acts during a Sept. 15 protest.

Police published several photos of a man smashing a Toyota car with a steel lock, allegedly smashing the skull of the man who owned the car and leaving him unconscious for days.

The violence has sparked a fierce public backlash and also triggered calls for peaceful protests.

"Supporting local brands and beating fellow citizens are totally different things. Just mobs in the disguise of patriotism," wrote netizen "Wolongbuhecha" on Sina Weibo. 

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