Chinese authorities in Lianyungang, a city in Jiangsu province, have said that citizens should “respect the law, not participate in illegal assembly, rallies, demonstrations [and] not believe or spread rumours” in light of recent protests outside Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) branches.

The American restaurant chain found itself the subject of demonstrations after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled that China had no jurisdiction over disputed islands in the South China Sea. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang blamed the US for the decision last week. Police around the country have since urged citizens to display their patriotism without breaking the law.

According to Beijing News, Huaian police said that those who are expressing their patriotism deserve to be recognised but they should not cross the legal border and should not do things that are too extreme.

Protesting citizens KFC
Protesting citizens. Photo:

Chinese state media People’s Daily also ran a column which said that by “respecting the law and respecting other people’s legal rights, the immense love for the country will not develop into ‘confused love’ and lead to blind impulsivity and extreme actions.”

Chinese citizens have called for the boycott of American products after an international tribunal ruled in favour of the Philippines – which they view as American-backed – regarding disputed territory in the South China Sea.

Protests have also occurred in Changsha in Hunan province, Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, Linyi in Shandong province with demonstrators waving the national flag and shouting slogans.

Protesting outside a KFC branch
Protesting outside a KFC branch. Photo:

On Sunday, citizens in Tangshan, Sichuan protested outside a KFC branch singing the national anthem and holding a red banner which said “you are eating American KFC, you are losing our ancestor’s face.”

A Japanese woman posted a video of her eating 137 bananas on Saturday was also attacked by Chinese netizens, who questioned whether the bananas came from the Philippines.

chantal yuen

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.