Pro-China demonstrators clashed with pro-Tibetan demonstrators exterior the Hyatt Regency resort in San Francisco on Wednesday as Chinese dictator Xi Jinping arrived for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) convention.
Almost a thousand demonstrators from either side had been chanting, waving flags, shouting at one another, and often coming to blows by the point Xi reached the resort, making it the biggest protest but to be held on the APEC assembly.
The San Francisco Chronicle (SFC) reported scuffles “throughout the day” as the respective teams of demonstrators assembled. The police intervened to separate the teams a couple of occasions after individuals shoved one another and trampled on one another’s flags. Barricades had been ultimately set as much as management the group.
“Pro-China protesters blared communist hymns and anthems over loudspeakers, attempting to down out chants of ‘Free Tibet’ and ‘F**k Xi Jinping.’ One person climbed to the top of a flag pole outside of the hotel to hold a flag of Tibet,” the SFC mentioned.
Tsela, a Tibetan activist, who scaled a flagpole draped in the Tibetan National flag exterior the resort internet hosting the assembly between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. CEOs on November 15. pic.twitter.com/qCEvzDw19V
— VOA Tibetan (@VOATibetan) November 16, 2023
Chemi Lhamo of Students for a Free Tibet told Agence France-Presse (AFP) the flagpole climber’s mission was to “force Xi Jinping to see the Tibetan flag,” which has been outlawed in Tibet itself.
“Tibetans cannot speak Tibetan. Tibetans cannot hold the Tibetan flag,” Lhamo mentioned.
Lhamo criticized American enterprise leaders for holding a reception on Wednesday for Xi, “the guy who is responsible for millions of deaths.”
“Tibetans, Hongkongers, even Chinese people themselves – he’s killing them,” Lhamo mentioned.
The flagpole climber, a 20-year-old scholar who gave her identify as “Tsela,” gave a statement after she descended that mentioned Xi is going through “serious internal challenges to his power,” so the time is correct for activists to demand “a new era of freedom for all people suffering under the Chinese Communist Party’s rule.”
“Under Xi’s rule we have witnessed the establishment of a residential school system that has ripped one million Tibetan children from their families, and the mass collection of DNA from Tibetan monks, nuns, and children,” Tsela mentioned, referring to the “boarding school” system China lately imposed in Tibet.
Three activists from Students for a Free Tibet managed to climb to the highest of the Moscone Center, the venue for the APEC summit, and grasp a banner studying: “Dictator Xi Jinping, your time is up! Free Tibet.”
HAPPENING NOW: 3 SFT activists have CLIMBED the Moscone Center in San Francisco—the place the APEC Summit will begin tomorrow—and dropped a banner that reads “Dictator Xi Jinping, Your Time Is Up!”#FreeTibet #SFT #APEC #APECSummit #APEC2023 #XiJinping pic.twitter.com/u0aLVfXgkk
— Students for a Free Tibet (@SFTHQ) November 10, 2023
The banner was hung round midday, however didn’t stay in place for lengthy. Several witnesses told the San Francisco Standard the protesters took the banner down on their very own after a couple of minutes, shouting “Free Tibet!” as they rolled it up.
“Since China’s President Xi last visited the U.S. Tibetans have witnessed our language, religion and culture come under direct attack from Xi’s genocidal policies and we are facing the elimination of our distinct Tibetan language, culture and identity, if the world doesn’t act,” mentioned 17-year-old Tibetan-American Tenzin Namgyal, one of many activists who hung the banner.
The pro-Tibet activists had been joined by supporters of Taiwan, the oppressed Uyghur Muslims, and the Hong Kong democracy motion.
“We came because we want freedom… in Hong Kong. We cannot do everything over there, and we want to express ourselves. We want Xi Jinping to know we want freedom,” Stanley Tang of the U.S. Hongkongers Club advised AFP.
One of the pro-China protesters, U.C. Berkeley scholar Yanghua Duan, advised ABC News that Xi is his “idol” and he wished to display his appreciation.
“Students just like him generally and how the country’s going,” Yanghua mentioned. (Chinese college students in the U.S. who do not like Xi usually discover their households again residence are menaced by the police.)
Pro-China and pro-Tibet teams additionally demonstrated exterior the Filoli Historic House close to San Francisco, the place Xi met with President Joe Biden on Wednesday.