Posted April. 08, 2010 06:38,
Chinese police are on alert after someone sought to damage the portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong hanging on Tiananmen in Beijing Monday.
The Hong Kong daily Ming Pao yesterday said a person threw eggs at the portrait around 7 p.m. Monday, a Chinese holiday, but failed to hit it. Police and security agents rushed to the scene and arrested the would-be vandal, creating chaos that led to a tourist getting injured, according to bystanders. The egg throwers companions were also arrested at the spot. Their identities and the motive for the offense were not immediately known but they are assumed to be people from rural areas who came to Beijing to complain of their unjust situations. Tiananmen Square was closed early because of the incident.
The picture of Mao, which is six meters wide and 4.5 meters long and weighs 1.5 tons, is Asias biggest portrait and a leading symbol that represents China. Because of this, the portrait has been targeted for attack by those who have gripes with the government.
In 1989 shortly before the Tiananmen Square protests, three people from Hunan province were sentenced between 16 years and life in prison for throwing eggs and ink at the portrait.