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Posted at 09:59 AM ET, 02/15/2012

Xi Jingping’s visit to Washington met with protests, diplomatic flaps

Xi Jingping’s visit to the U.S. isn’t going quite as smoothly as planned.


Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrives Tuesday at the Pentagon. (Manuel Balce Ceneta - AP)
A day after the man expected to be China’s next president arrived in Washington, news broke that China had blocked a visit by the U.S. religious freedom envoy, Suzan Johnson Cook. 

That same day, protesters began to gather outside the White House, chanting “Xi is a liar,” according to the Associated Press. Among the protest groups were Tibetans; Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking ethnic group; Falun Gong, a Taoist-Buddhist sect; democracy activists, and pro-Taiwan independence protesters.

Many of the protesters shouted President Obama’s name along with Xi’s, a reflection of the ongoing criticism that Obama has not being forceful enough in challenging China on human rights issues, including China’s crackdown on Tibetans and the recent imprisonment of several religious leaders and dissidents.

To further complicate Xi’s visit, a newly public WikiLeaks cable shows what may be the current vice president’s true feelings about America, Foreign Policy reports. At a lunch meeting during a February 2009 trip to Mexico, Xi had this to say:

“There are some well fed foreigners who have nothing better to do than point fingers at our affairs. China does not, first, export revolution; second, export poverty and hunger; third, cause troubles for you.”

His outburst was a response to criticisms about Chinese diplomacy.

The Obama administration is hopeful Xi’s visit will help ease tense U.S.-China relations.

That may be unlikely, if journalists succumb to these bad Xi headline puns.

More world news coverage:

- Chinese blocked visit by U.S. religious freedom envoy, advocates say

- India caught between U.S., Iran

- Vote masks tension over successor

- Read more headlines from around the world

By  |  09:59 AM ET, 02/15/2012

Tags:  World, China, Xi Jinping, Obama, Wikileaks, protests

 
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