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China Arrests Suspect in Beating of Toyota Driver, Xinhua Says

Chinese police arrested a suspect in the beating of a Toyota car owner during anti-Japan protests last month, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

The protester in the northern city of Xi’An beat Li Jianli with a U-shaped lock, leaving the driver unconscious for several days, Xinhua said, without naming the suspect. The attack was captured on video and distributed on the Internet, the news agency said.

Protests broke out last month after Japan’s central government said it will purchase a group of islands claimed by both countries and administered by Japan.

Fishing and energy rights are at the center of the conflict over the uninhabited islands, known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese. China and Japan have failed to implement a June 2008 deal to develop a natural gas field in the area and Japan has objected to Chinese drilling nearby.

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