Protests Erupt in San Francisco Ahead of Xi’s Meeting with President Biden
Written By Shafeek Ahmad, Published On 14-November-2023.
San Francisco and Washington— In anticipation of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival in San Francisco for the APEC summit, a wave of protests and pro-democracy activism has emerged, addressing concerns rarely expressed within China or the region.
The summit, expected to be a platform for the first face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Xi since the G20 summit in Bali in November 2022, holds significance against the backdrop of strained relations between the two nations. The last meeting between Xi and then-President Donald Trump in Osaka, Japan, in 2019, occurred amidst a trade war and disputes over human rights, preceding the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent diplomatic engagements, including the October meeting between Biden and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, hint at a potential desire to ease tensions. However, dissident voices are expected to echo during this week’s meeting in San Francisco, a city where a fifth of the population has Chinese roots, according to U.S. Census figures.
During a press conference, San Francisco Mayor London Breed emphasized the importance of First Amendment rights and peaceful protests, setting the stage for a city-wide dialogue on these critical issues.
Chairman Mike Gallagher of the U.S. House of Representatives Special Committee on China strongly criticized the apparent coziness between U.S. business leaders and Xi. Referring to a high-profile dinner costing $2,000 per ticket, he questioned the ethicality of discussions over fine dining while human rights issues persist, particularly highlighting the situation of Uyghur Muslims.
Gallagher emphasized the pervasive influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on American CEOs, stating that fear of Beijing’s reprisals has led to a reluctance to address sensitive topics publicly.
China’s alleged illegal overseas policing, extending to the U.S. heartland and financial center, was highlighted by Gallagher, who called for a global strategy and collaboration with allies to counteract this phenomenon.
Human rights activists and dissidents, including Wei Jingsheng and Wang Dan, expressed skepticism about compromising with Xi Jinping. They called for a focus on blocking trade loopholes, restricting technology theft, and promoting human rights and democracy to influence the CCP’s international behavior.
As pro-democracy groups and activists gather in San Francisco to protest at the APEC summit venue, voices like Wu Shaoping’s underscore the interconnectedness of human rights with economic and environmental discussions.
Jin Xiuhong, head of the Chinese Democracy & Human Rights Alliance, emphasized the importance of international voices in supporting those persecuted in China, urging for the release of political prisoners, religious figures, and human rights lawyers.
Zhao Xin, the general coordinator of anti-Xi protests in the San Francisco Bay Area, labeled Xi Jinping as the ‘enemy of all Chinese people,’ emphasizing the widespread opposition to his leadership.
As tensions escalate, the APEC summit becomes a stage for both diplomatic discussions and public dissent, highlighting the complex dynamics between economic interests, human rights, and global politics.
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Disclaimer:- This news article was written by the help of syndicated feed, Some of the content and drafting are made by the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) ChatGPT.About the author: Shafeek Ahmad is a freelance writer passionate about business and entrepreneurship. He covers a wide range of topics related to the corporate world and startups. You can find more of his work on Howtobeaspoonie.com.