Beijing restaurant's race ban stokes maritime tensions

A sign at a Beijing restaurant barring citizens of nations involved in maritime disputes with China - along with dogs - has triggered a wave of online outrage among Vietnamese and Filipinos.

The Beijing Snacks restaurant near the Forbidden City, a popular tourist spot, has posted a sign on its door reading ''This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog(s)''.

Photographs of the controversial sign have gone viral in Vietnamese-language forums and featured heavily in Philippine newspapers and websites on Wednesday.

Vietnam's state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper ran a story saying the sign had ''ignited online fury''. It claimed many Vietnamese feel this is another example of Chinese ''extreme nationalism that deserves to be condemned''.

''It's not patriotism, it's stupid extremism,'' Sy Van wrote in Vietnamese in a comment under the story, published on the paper's website.

The sign provoked thousands of posts on Vietnamese social networking sites and newspaper comment threads. ''This is teaching hate to the younger generation,'' Facebook user Andrea Wanderer wrote in Vietnamese. ''The owner of the restaurant has obviously been brainwashed by their government,'' added Facebook user Chung Pham.

Filipinos greeted the photo with a mixture of fury and amusement. ''Blatant racism at Beijing Restaurant,'' journalist Veronica Pedrosa wrote in one widely-shared tweet.

Vietnam and the Philippines are locked in a longstanding territorial row with China over islands in the South China Sea. China and Japan have a separate acrimonious dispute over islands in the East China Sea.

Agence France-Presse

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