Multiple protests planned for Chinese president's state visit
Fairfax resident Rebiya Kadeer is an exiled leader of the Uighurs, a Chinese Muslim minority group. (Photo credit: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States may not go as smoothly as the Obama administration may have hoped.
At least 17 Taiwanese-American organizations have announced that they will hold demonstrations in front of the White House. Students for a Free Tibet is organizing a march from the Chinese Embassy to the White House and will follow Hu around Washington, denouncing his country's policies at eight separate rallies that coincide with his meetings. And the Uyghur American Association is also planning protests.
Also joining in on the anti-Hu rallies will be Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International USA.
Unlike President Obama's previous guests during state visits--the heads of India and Mexico, who are relatively non-controversial--China's president is routinely criticized for human rights abuses including censorship, jailing critics without due process and denying rights to minority populations.
The status of Taiwan and China's treatment of its Tibetan and Uighur minority have long been a source of tension between the U.S. and China.
China has firmly held on to the notion of "One China" and insisted that Taiwan is a breakaway province rather than a sovereign state. The Taiwanese-American groups are calling on China to dismantle the missiles it has targeted at Taiwan and "renounce the threat or use of force against Taiwan."
China has also responded harshly to U.S. officials' concern about reports of repression and violence in Tibet and in the majority-Muslim Uighur province of Xinjiang by telling the U.S. to stay out of China's domestic affairs. President Obama further embroiled tensions over Tibet in February when he opened the White House doors to the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. The Chinese have also blamed a Fairfax resident, a former Uighur businesswoman, Rebiya Kadeer, for "instigating" the riots in the summer of 2009 in the Xinjiang capital of Urumuqi that left hundreds dead. Kadeer rejects the charge and said that Chinese security forces attacked peaceful demonstrators, turning the incident into a bloodbath.
Ariana Eunjung Cha
| January 14, 2011; 3:35 PM ET
Categories: China, White House
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