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Protesting President Hu

Updated

Michelle Malkin points us to an Investor's Business Daily editorial:

Even in a country that celebrates free speech, you don't spontaneously vocalize grievances at state events. Disruptive citizens routinely are pulled out of congressional galleries. And don't even think about saying something snarky in a presidential rope line.


Still, we marvel at Dr. Wang's timing, even at what might be recorded as a landmark accomplishment in China's long march to a freer society. Her outburst came just after Bush, in his prepared remarks, urged Hu to allow Chinese to "speak freely."

The scene went out live on CNN International, only to be blacked out on the Chinese mainland. Enough might have slipped through, however, to have caused murmurs among Chinese dissidents, any one of whom would have been jailed and even tortured for such an impertinent protest.

Ms. Wang is a gutsy woman, and I have a hard time criticizing her. Instead, I call her protest the education of President Hu:

The arrival ceremony for Hu Jintao was interrupted by a woman from the banned Falun Gong religious movement. She began shouting from a camera stand directly in front of President Bush and his guest.


"President Bush, stop him from killing," she shouted. "Stop persecuting the Falun Gong . . . President Hu, your days are numbered. No more time for China's ruling party." The incident took place immediately after Mr Bush urged President Hu to allow Chinese to "speak freely".

The Chinese leader, unaccustomed to such public protests, stopped speaking briefly until Mr Bush lent over and reassured him. Later Mr Bush personally apologised for the incident.

President Bush is probably the most protested man on earth, not only by people in this country but by countless others all over the world. All President Hu had to do was to continue speaking in the face of this one protester.

Many people believe Ms. Wang's outburst was done at the inappropriate time. Perhaps it was, but the human rights violations that the Chinese government engages in on a daily basis are horrendous, and I commend this woman for taking a stand. She got both presidents' attention. Perhaps she got the attention of some folks in China as well even though the Chinese government did its best to censor her.

As for Bush's apology, it was probably just a polite gesture. I wouldn't be surprised if President Bush got a bit of a chuckle out of Ms. Wang's great timing.

Update: Ms. Wang has been charged:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual movement who disrupted a White House appearance by Chinese President Hu Jintao was charged in federal court on Friday with harassing, intimidating or threatening a foreign official.


A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington said the misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to six months in jail.

The woman, who entered the White House grounds as a reporter, interrupted a formal arrival ceremony between Hu and President George W. Bush on Thursday and shouted: "President Hu, your days are numbered. President Bush, make him stop persecuting Falun Gong."

The embarrassing episode marred the South Lawn event and created a diplomatic stir. Bush personally apologized to Hu for the incident.

No, the embarrassing episode is that this woman is actually facing jail time.

Note: I have been referring to Wenyi Wang as Ms. Wang, when I should have been calling her Dr. Wang.


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Comments (14)

Yesterday, while speaking o... (Below threshold)

Yesterday, while speaking outdoors at the White House, Chinese President Hu Jintao was heckled. Try as I might, I have been unable to find a guide book for the proper etiquette of a heckler. I decided I would come up with my own list of the do's and don'ts of heckling. I've also provided some novel suggestions.

Don'ts:

1. When you determine it is time to begin heckling, do not raise your hand in hopes of being called upon.

2. Do not begin your heckling with, "sir, excuse me...may I say something?"

3. Do not ask security for a copy of the speech so you can find a point in the speech to cue your heckling.

4. Unlike with the exit row in an airplane, do not ask those seated next to you if they feel comfortable with their role of being seated next to the heckler.

5. Do not ask those seated at either end of the aisle if they mind tripping security when they race to remove you from the room.

6. If asked for your press credentials at the door, do not say, "Oh, I'm just here to heckle."

Do's:

1. You must yell and screech in a shrill and inaudible voice...otherwise your incoherent message may be understood.

2. Check with all the cameramen in the room to assure they have had time to get a preliminary focus for your seat...your time will be limited and you don't want to miss out on a good photo-op.

3. Provide your credentials and a brief synopsis of your rant to the press in advance so you will not be misquoted.

4. You must appear outraged and emotional...if you are having trouble getting prepared, ask the person seated next to you to administer several bitch slaps.

5. Once captured, continue to yell but be sure to look back at the person you are yelling at...it's rude to avoid eye contact.

6. Whenever possible, speak in a foreign language...it heightens the curiosity of the media.

read full handbook here:

www.thoughttheater.com

There's a time and place fo... (Below threshold)

There's a time and place for everything and I think Ms. Wang showed perfect timing.

Her protest is very different from Cindy Sheehan's anti-war t-shirt protest at Bush's State of the Union speech; this prank was an unfortunate distraction from substantive discussions regarding the Administration's talking points.

Ms. Wang's shouting was not about Ms. Wang. On the contrary, she dramatically pointed out the "elephant in the room" - China is unwilling to tolerate free speech and America is confused regarding how to approach China on this issue.

Did Bush apologize because, as host, he felt Ms. Wang had been rude to his guest? or, did he apologize because he was reflexively kow-towing to
China's wish to squash any criticism of the regime?

Remember how Cindy Sheehan ... (Below threshold)
Adam:

Remember how Cindy Sheehan was arrested just for wearing a t-shirt at a Bush speech? I hope Wenyi Wang gets better treatment.

Sheehan was set free and no... (Below threshold)

Sheehan was set free and not charged with anything after the SOTU. Does the fact that this Chinese woman was protesting communism and human atrocities mean anything to you?

Sheehan voices her opinion about the Iraq war, something in which her son died fighting, after he willingly volunteered to risk his life to do. In China, these people have no choice to do anything but follow communist law, or be imprisoned or executed. The atrocities that these people suffer from ought to be a major concern to the entire world.

The only reason that Bush apologized is because he was kissing butt to get President Hu to go along with sanctions against Iran. It doesn't take a genius to understand this. I do not believe that Bush really meant it. He was most likely laughing on the inside, since he see this all the time and laughs at it. The fact is that Bush doesn't have much slack to pull here.

Bush has been accused of jumping to war, yet the fact is that he is using diplomacy to avoid having to go to war with Iran. Unfortunately for the Iranians, who refuse to comply with the rest of the world, diplomacy probably won't work, because of China and Russia.

I thought liberals were supposed to support protesting against tyranny. Whatever happened to that? Was Kruschev successful when he stated "We will bury you without firing a single shot"? Are the liberals nothing more than a bunch of communist supporters, are are they total hipocrites?

Dr. Wang is as brave as the... (Below threshold)

Dr. Wang is as brave as the unknown man who stopped the line of tanks at Tiananmen Square in 1989. That takes guts, given that she has relatives back in China who just might disappear off the face of the earth at Hu's whim.

I still think it was an ina... (Below threshold)
ken:

I still think it was an inappropriate time. Bush had limited face time with the guy and he probably had to spend a lot of it talking about the incident.

If that was the only appearance Hu had stateside, I'd probably view it differently. But he was speaking in Seattle and at Yale--I haven't heard of anyone speaking up there. That was the time to do so, not while he's with the Persident. IMHO of course. No, it doesn't mean I'm willing to overlook what China is doing, but it probably did more damage to any pressure Bush could have placed on Hu.

I think this charge will no... (Below threshold)
Langtry:

I think this charge will not go anywhere, and will ultimately be dropped. If it does continue, I will join in a letter-writing campaign to encourage that.

If anyone saw "Frontline" a couple weeks ago about "Tank Man", the brave Tiananmen Square protester Kim notes above, you really ought to find a way to get a copy. I felt truly humbled at the courage of that man, and it will certainly remind all of us just why Ms. Wang's protest was so important.

Glenn Greenwald, pound for ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Glenn Greenwald, pound for pound the best blogger in the world, makes his points.

http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/04/difference-between-iran-and-china.html

George: Condi! Nice to see ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?

Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.

George: Great. Lay it on me.

Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.

George: That's what I want to know.

Condi: That's what I'm telling you.

George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes.

George: I mean the fellow's name.

Condi: Hu.

George: The guy in China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The new leader of China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The Chinaman!

Condi: Hu is leading China.

George: Now whaddya' asking me for?

Condi: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.

George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?

Condi: That's the man's name.

George: That's who's name?

Condi: Yes.

George: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of
China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was in the
Middle East.

Condi: That's correct.

George: Then who is in China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir is in China?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Then who is?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.

Condi: Kofi?

George: No, thanks.

Condi: You want Kofi?

George: No.

Condi: You don't want Kofi.

George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi?

George: Milk! Will you please make the call?

Condi: And call who?

George: Who is the guy at the U.N?

Condi: Hu is the guy in China.

George: Will you stay out of China?!

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi.

George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.

(Condi picks up the phone.)

Condi: Rice, here.

George: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe we
should send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East. Can you
get Chinese food in the Middle East?

I'd like to see President H... (Below threshold)
tim:

I'd like to see President Hu have to testify that he was intimidated by Ms Wang. Wouldn't that be a treat.

ROFL Eric! Got one more li... (Below threshold)

ROFL Eric! Got one more line for ya, though:

George: ...Can you get Chinese food in the Middle East?

Condi: Hu knows.

Glenn Greenwald, p... (Below threshold)
Glenn Greenwald, pound for pound the best blogger in the world...

Thank you, jp2, for using those words at the beginning of your comment, so we wouldn't need to read the rest of it.

eric, that is absolutely hi... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

eric, that is absolutely hilarious. you have way too much time on yours hands if you came up with that yourself, but I love it.

The arrest and likely prose... (Below threshold)

The arrest and likely prosecution of Wenyi Wang in this situation is especially sad, given Bush's statements regarding freedom for the Chinese people he stated to "President" Wu of China just moments before. He said to Wu, "China can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely and to worship." Then, on the heels of that statement, Wenyi Wang is arrested for fighting for those freedoms by exercising one of them.

http://www.cafepress.com/FreeWenyiWang




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