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China's President Hu Heckled at Arrival Ceremony


President Hu Jintao was heckled at the White House arrival ceremony today, forcing President Bush to apologize.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual movement, who entered White House grounds as a reporter, interrupted a formal arrival ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday, prompting President George W. Bush to apologize to his guest.

After being welcomed by Bush, the Chinese president was just beginning his response when a woman, who had been allowed into the press section, started shouting. She was escorted away by a uniformed U.S. guard.

"President Hu, your days are numbered. President Bush, make him stop persecuting Falun Gong," the woman yelled. U.S. officials later identified her as Wang Wenyi, 47, a reporter with The Epoch Times, an English-language publication strongly supportive of the meditation movement that is banned in China.

"This was unfortunate and I'm sorry this happened," Bush told Hu, according to Dennis Wilder, a senior official with the National Security Council.

Michelle Malkin has the video, which, according to Newsbusters, China censored from CNN. Interestingly, CNN didn't protest:

"From time to time the Chinese authorities do disrupt CNN's signal into mainland China," CNNi spokesman Nigel Pritchard tells NewsBusters. "It happens every so often."

Pritchard declined to say whether CNN protests such acts of censorship to government officials. "I'm not going to discuss my or CNN's coversations with the Chinese government," he said. The network does not make public protests against such censorship, according to Pritchard.

Drudge is reporting that Wenyi Wang, Hu's heckler, was charged with disorderly conduct and intimidating a foreign official. She is still in custody.

Update: More information on the apology:

Chinese leaders place high importance on protocol and symbolism, and Bush moved promptly to deal with the protest on the lawn. Once they reached the Oval Office, Bush apologized to his guest.

"He just said this was unfortunate and I'm sorry it happened," said Dennis Wilder, acting senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff.

Hu was gracious in accepting Bush's apology, Wilder said. The two leaders moved on in their talks and it was not mentioned again in several hours of meetings. In what the White House described as a sign of their friendship, Hu and Bush sat next to each other at the luncheon _ a departure from traditional protocol that would have them at different tables.

White House officials have worked with Chinese counterparts for months on every detail of Hu's visit. "I'm not going to stand here and tell you that they were at ease with this situation," Wilder said. "But I would be extremely surprised if the Chinese blame us for this." He said it was "a momentary blip."

President Hu got a lesson on this thing called free speech:

CHINA'S President suffered the embarrassment of being heckled for more than a minute on the White House lawn yesterday by a protester who accused him of persecution.

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.

So, Ms. Wang was arrested for doing what Bush recommended. And what's with the "intimidating a foreign official" charge? How ridiculous.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference China's President Hu Heckled at Arrival Ceremony:

» A Blog For All linked with Don't Adjust Your TV in China

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Hu meets with Gates in Seattle area stop

» Church and State linked with We Will Bury You

Comments (18)

Who?... (Below threshold)


even if you agree with the ... (Below threshold)

even if you agree with the protestor's message - that the Chinese government is persecuting the Falun Gong, and even if you think the Chinese government is evil - disrupting the ceremony can't be viewed as anything but a breach of good manners and decorum.

hmmm...the lady was talking... (Below threshold)

hmmm...the lady was talking about free speech. And even our president denied her that. I think it's time the Conservative Party fights back a little bit.

Sorry, gotta agree with Ste... (Below threshold)

Sorry, gotta agree with Steve on this one. Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

If you shake your head at every leftist useless (sorry, that's redundant) use of trying to shout down speakers for things they don't agree with, there is no substitute for manners or decorum. Where to draw the line? Guess it was easier pre-60s (fuckin' hippies). I guess it's the difference between peaceful but still respectful means of protest (say, a sign that the non-CNN media would broadcast) and making an ass of yourself.

According to Falong Gong, t... (Below threshold)

According to Falong Gong, their members are being used at organ farms. If true, then the time for polite good manners and decorum might just be past. The Chinese represent a different and more sohisticated threat than AQ. We could be their next farm of organ donors...

Silence is not golden.... (Below threshold)
Michael Baun:

Silence is not golden.

Who was heckled?Hu.<... (Below threshold)

Who was heckled?
Yes, Hu.
That's what I ased you.
I know. I said Hu.
I just asked you who.
...and I said Hu.
Oh forget it.

It will be even more hilarious to see the anti-Iraq left start screaming about the U.S. taking a hard line with China. We begin bombing at dawn...

Pritchard declined to sa... (Below threshold)

Pritchard declined to say whether CNN protests such acts of censorship to government officials.

Of course they declined, they're already admitted that they aid censorship by gov't officials. As long as those officials are represetatives of horrible dictatorships.

This Chinese reporter</i... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

This Chinese reporter obviously feels that totalitarian communism is still real personal threat to her in this century."The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet, in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last centuryand demands a total commitment ... that the defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice." from a Bush speech October 2005.
Other times, other places, she might have been awarded 'A Presidential Medal of Freedom'.

Sorry Guys but i could,nt u... (Below threshold)

Sorry Guys but i could,nt understand a word She said?

The Chinese government is k... (Below threshold)

The Chinese government is killing members of a
religious group and selling their organs and you're
worried about breaching "good manners and decorum!?"

If Hu weren't a dictator, maybe I would agree.
Dictators speak at the people; not to the people.
They need to hear from the people as often as possible.

By the way, how does anybody get away with calling
Hu "President?" He is no president. The Chinese
people did not elect him. I'll give you some
"decorum." Whenever he is introduced, he should
be referred to as the dictator from the
illegitimate government of China.

So many hawks among the ant... (Below threshold)

So many hawks among the anti-Iraq war crowd. Are you really ready to trade some nukes with China over their human rights record? Why not start small by not buying their cheap crap at Wal-Mart?
Or let's see, how would the left put it: Are you going to join the Army and volunteer to go to China?

Guess it was easier pre-... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Guess it was easier pre-60s (fuckin' hippies)

Oh really, how did they protest pre-60's? In nice white suits with spectacles on? No?

I'd say pre-60's the main type of protests were brawls between hired goons and employees for workers' rights. And don't even ask how blacks protested in the south, I don't think it ever got to the protest.

The world was not fine and dandy pre-60's like so many conservatives like to think. People beat the shit out of each other and repression was standard for the day. The fuckin' hippies you decry gave the peaceful, non-violent, verbal protest you denounce some clout in America (although Gandhi was probably the worldwide leader). Otherwise we'd still be in a world where protesters get there heads smashed with lead pipes whenever they tried to speak up.

Why not start small by n... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Why not start small by not buying their cheap crap at Wal-Mart?

You're telling anti-Iraq war liberals to stop buying crap from Wal-Mart?

In case you didn't know, there are no wal-marts in nyc and they've been trying to build one there for a few years now. They might get one in Staten Island, far from the heart of nyc.

Now I'm not saying some anti-war people don't shop at wal-mart, of course some do. But I highly doubt it is the anti-war crowd who has been primarily supporting wal-mart these past few years. So you probably should be turning your questions on your conservative brethren.

The fuckin' hippies you dec... (Below threshold)

The fuckin' hippies you decry gave the peaceful, non-violent, verbal protest you denounce some clout in America...

Now they just make a spectacle of themselves with salad dresssing and cream pies, screaming out at State functions, desecrating Veterans' funerals...
All things to be very proud of.

Sorry, but not everything fits into your NYC perspective of things. Let's just put aside Wal-Mart for the moment (Does Pier One feel better?). How many things do you have in your house, or parts of things, like computers, appliances, dishes, toiletpaper holders, curtain rods, whatever, that were NOT made in China?

In China the only means peo... (Below threshold)
A Falun Gong Practitioner:

In China the only means people have to complain about anything is to appeal to the government. If you watched Sky news early this week it showed what happens to people who try to appeal. There were dozens of uniformed police to intimidate anyone who had the courage to try to make an appeal and even the Sky reporter was stopped from filming and pushed around. Why? What is there to hide? When people are illegaly arrested and thrown into labour camps for having a religion or spiritual belief, when ther're given years of imprisonment for protesting that they don't have safety on machines in work or that the government can put you out of your home at a moments notice, no compensation, no appeal, and then minutes later bulldoze your home into rubble for development, when you know that 1000's of Falun Gong have disapearred off of the face of the earth
and that there are 36 concentration camps who are doing a fast, profitable organ trade, what do you do. You protest at every opportunity you can.
By the way, in case you're interested, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists are in these labour camps too. I can't understand why no-one is highlighting this and just letting them die.
When thousands have been murdered and thousands more are next for murder, do you think about manners and when is the right time. In this case the right time is any time someone will listen.
When Human Rights in China and in other countries of the same ilk, is a reality and not just lipservice, then there will be no need for people like this couragous woman to shout at gangsters like "Hu".

Now they just make a spe... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Now they just make a spectacle of themselves with salad dresssing and cream pies, screaming out at State functions, desecrating Veterans' funerals...
All things to be very proud of.

how about dumping tea into boston harbor? a bunch of hippies, right?

and asking how much chinese crap people have in there house is an exercise in futility. EVERYONE has that crap, liberal/conservative/dem/repub. the people who are least likely to have that crap probably are the hippies considering they only own 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts, still live with their parents and don't have a job to buy anything (sarcasm).

Seriously though, if you really want to know what I have: I just moved into a new apt and my roommate had all the couches and tv. I bought a bed, a bike, and a gateway computer when I moved here. I brought my stereo, coffee table, dressers, and clothes that I've been using since college. I didn't have a car for 4 months. Now I'm using my step-sister's saturn cause she moved to Alaska. I walk/bike/bus to work everyday and use my car almost entirely when my girlfriend comes to town or to drive to the airport to visit her. There is no convenient mass transit to the airport, otherwise I'd use that.

So am I completely free of chinese crap? of course not. I buy stuff for people on holidays and birthdays, but I would say that I do own less and consume less (both materials and fuel) than most people. I spend most of my money on food, either groceries or out at a retaurant. If our leaders in gov't asked us to sacrifice to help the trade deficit or counter dependence on foreign oil, I'm already doing quite a bit and could easily do more.

If conservatives really want to compare this war to WWII, as some do, then where is the similar sacrifice that was expected of the citizens of that time. Buying war bonds, factories being converted to help the war effort, recycling, rationing, drafting for public service, athletes and celebrities joining up, etc. You might say we can't do that because of the effect on the economy. But that just leads me to say why didn't the "deciders" in our gov't consider what a war would do to our economy and weigh that possibility before commiting to war.

Sorry for the rant, but conservatives questioning all liberals motives while there are plenty of us doing everything (and possibly more) that has been asked of us. In return, we only see the leaders in our gov't misjudge, miscalculate, and mistakenly (IMO) invade a country that was not the imminent threat they portrayed it to be.

I think she was courages to... (Below threshold)

I think she was courages to speak out, I was informed her court date is wednesday, may 3. there will be supporters in front of the court in D.C. if i was informed correctly. It is only humane and our responsibility to publicize this horror. innocent people that are our brothers and sisters are being butchered. God be with us-






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