Rioters attacked the provincial government office in the northwestern city of Xian, burning about 20 houses and 10 vehicles and injuring 130 security forces, the official Xinhua News Agency reported early Sunday.

No deaths were reported, it said. Eighteen people were arrested, Xinhua said.The violence broke out shortly after a memorial ceremony Saturday for ousted Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, a reformist whose death April 15 has triggered student demonstrations in Beij-ing and several other cities.

Although the Beijing crowd, estimated at 150,000, tried several times to rush into party headquarters in the capital, they did not physically attack it.

Xinhua said a crowd including students had gathered in Xian's Xincheng Square, in front of the Shaanxi provincial government compound, to listen to a broadcast from Beijing of Hu's memorial. But it said the students quickly left the scene when "some lawbreakers from society" began shouting anti-government slogans and trying to force their way into the government compound.

The rioters then set fire to two rooms of the compound near the gate and a truck at the gate.

They also stoned a tourist bus that was carrying foreigners into the square, Xinhua said. It did not say if anyone was hurt or what country the tourists were from.

At 7:30 p.m., the mob pulled down a wall of the compound, set fire to an oil tank and a garage, and burned two cars, a jeep, a truck and a motorized tricycle, the report said. Some rioters entered court offices, where they smashed windows and set curtains on fire, it said.

The rioters fled after armed police "imposed traffic control around the square" at 8 p.m., Xin-hua said. They burned two more buses while re-treating and robbed a garment store. Xinhua said the area was quiet by midnight.

In Beijing, the students faced about 8,000 soldiers and shouted "Down with dictatorship, down with corruption!" as top members of the Communist Party filed out of a funeral for Hu, an ousted party chief.

The protest in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, the symbolic political center of China, was one of the clearest rejections ever of the Communist system by China's increasingly disaffected youth.

Bedlam set in shortly after noon when authorities opened up the square to pedestrian traffic and the numbers swelled to more than 200,000. Workers, unemployed youths and curious bystanders flooded the well-organized student ranks.

Pushing and shoving began, and troops rushed the crowd once, although no injuries or arrests were reported.

Student leaders called off the rally about 1 p.m., and only about 10,000 people remained in Tianan-men Square three hours later.

Hu's death April 15 sparked a week of demonstrations. Hu lost his post as party chief in 1987 after being accused of being too soft on students involved in pro-democracy demonstrations in 1986-87.

Chinese observers said Saturday's protest in Beijing was one of the biggest since the Communist revolution in 1949, rivaling an April 1976 demonstration commemorating the death of then-Premier Chou En-lai.

"No one believes Communism any more," a 34-year-old teacher told a crowd of about 50 people in the square. "No one believes in the party. The party is strangling China."

Many criticized Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, saying that at 84 he is too old to lead a country.

In 1978, Deng instituted a series of reforms designed to introduce market elements into China's state-run economy. During the past eight months, those reforms, which were strongly supported by the students, have run aground.

When 4,000 officials, including Premier Li Peng and party chief Zhao Ziyang, arrived for the funeral shortly before 9 a.m., the crowd roared and rushed toward the Great Hall of the People, just west of the square.

The service in the Great Hall was broadcast over loudspeakers in the square, but the students paid little attention.

As soon as Zhao finished a speech praising Hu, they resumed chanting "Long live democracy!"

The crowd greeted officials coming down the Great Hall steps with shouts of "We demand dialogue!"

In Shanghai, about 1,500 students marched downtown to government offices with banners that read "Long live democracy." It was the fourth time in a week students had marched in China's largest east coast city.