Anti-French rallies across China
Protesters in several Chinese cities have gathered to demand a boycott of French products and denounce campaigns for Tibetan independence.
Hundreds of people demonstrated in cities including Beijing, Wuhan, Hefei, Kunming, and Qingdao - often outside stores of the French chain Carrefour.
Passions ran high, but the protests were closely patrolled by police.
Protesters say they are angry at the scale of protests that accompanied the Olympic torch relay in Paris.
They have also denounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy's refusal to confirm whether he will attend the opening ceremony of the Games.
Pictures from the central city of Wuhan showed large crowds congregating outside a Carrefour supermarket.
Protesters use lorries to block access to an outlet of the French Carrefour chain in Hefei, eastern China
In Hefei, protesters used lorries to block access to a Carrefour shop
The chain, which reportedly operates more than 100 outlets in China, has restated its support for Beijing's hosting of the Olympics this August, but is accused by some protesters of backing the campaign for Tibetan independence.
"Oppose Tibet independence, support the Olympics," read one placard; "Say no to French goods," said another.
Some placards went further, depicting Nazi swastikas on the French flag.
Many protesters also bore images of the disabled Chinese athlete Jin Jing, who shot to prominence in China after fending off anti-Beijing protesters in Paris.
In Beijing, protests were reported at a Carrefour, and outside the French embassy and a French school, though police were said to have dispersed the crowds rapidly.
"For the moment, it's pretty calm," a Carrefour employee in Beijing told AFP news agency earlier on Saturday, confirming that dozens of protesters had gathered outside.
"There is a strong feeling that authorities do not want it to get out of hand," said the employee, who did not want to be named.
Campaigners for Tibetan independence have used the Olympics torch relay in several cities around the world to stage public protests against Chinese rule in Tibet.
Scuffles between torch bearers and protesters in cities including London and Paris have forced host nations to mount tight security operations to protect the torch on its journey.
In China, such public demonstration is tightly controlled by police. Apparently, it is a commie policy to do so. What I think commies are trying to do, is that they know they screw up in many ways, especially the Olympics. Nationalism is just one card they are playing now in order to stabilize the situation before the end of the Olympics. What will happen is hard to tell.