For his first state visit to the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping was met by a typically American mix of supporters and protesters, chanting slogans, holding signs and waving flags to warmly welcome him to Seattle.
Around 100 people marched in downtown Seattle late yesterday afternoon to the Westin Hotel, where the Chinese president is staying. The Seattle Times reports that dozens of police officers blocked them from reaching the hotel. But that didn’t stop the crowd from shouting “Xi go home!” Hoping that the Chinese leader would just take the hint and leave. When that didn’t happen, the protest wound down after a couple of hours.
Protestors are chanting "Free Tibet!" and "Xi Go Home!" #ChinesePresident
— Lindsay Cohen (@lindsaycohen) September 22, 2015
— Jane Perlez (@JanePerlez) September 22, 2015
Before that, hundreds of people lined the streets as Xi’s motorcade sped to the downtown hotel. Some (sponatenously) turned up to show their patriotic support for the Chinese leader, waving Chinese flags and wearing “Love China” t-shirts.
According to The Seattle Times, after the motorcade passed, some supporters handed around pastry boxes filled with pork buns, even sharing Xi’s favorite treat with Seattle police officers.
Meanwhile, Falun Gong followers held up signs and stood in silent protest against the harsh treatment that Falun Gong adherents have received in China.
— Daniel Beekman (@DBeekman) September 22, 2015
— Ian Imhof (@ianimhof) September 23, 2015
Xi will likely meet with this same kind of thing in Washington D.C. and New York City later in the week. Notably, the capital’s Newseum has a special display for the Chinese leaders arrival. The museum of news and journalism will be draped with six enormous banners that protest the state supression of media and crackdowns on press freedom under Xi Jinping’s rule, reports the Washingtonian.
“All people should be able to speak truth to power without fear of government retribution,” says Newseum CEO Jeffrey Herbst in a press release posted to the museum’s website. “While the banners on the front of our building are temporary, the freedoms that permit their display are permanent, universal, and are a fundamental human right.”
[Images via NetEase]