29 mai 2024

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Tibetan community demonstrates against Xi Jinping’s visit to France

2,000 people, mainly from the Tibetan community, gathered on Sunday in Paris to protest against the visit to France of Chinese President Xi Jinping, described as a "dictator".

2,000 people, mainly from the Tibetan community, gathered on Sunday in Paris to protest against the visit to France of Chinese President Xi Jinping, described as a “dictator”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping landed at Orly airport at 2 p.m. on Sunday May 5 for a two-day state visit to France, welcomed by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal. As during official trips to China, a welcoming committee of hundreds of Chinese from France was present at the exit of the airport, waving Chinese and French flags and singing in Mandarin: “we warmly welcome you”.

2,000 people, mainly from the Tibetan community in France, gathered on Sunday May 5 in Paris to denounce the Chinese president’s visit to France, according to the capital’s police headquarters.

“Stop the threat against Taiwan, stop the repression in Hong Kong, stop support for Putin, stop interference in France,” they demanded on a large banner displayed at Place de la République, a traditional place of demonstration in the French capital. .

Over the centuries, Tibet has alternated periods of independence and control by China. Beijing took over the reins, after an intervention by the People’s Liberation Army in October 1950. The Dalai Lama, in exile, has always refused to recognize that Tibet was historically part of China, as requested by Beijing, which has used it to refuse dialogue with its representatives since 2010.

Hundreds of protesters flew the Tibetan flag. On numerous occasions, the crowd chanted “France, country of human rights”, “Long live free Tibet”, or even “Free Tibet”.

Sunday afternoon, despite the rain, more than a thousand people gathered at Place de la République, including a large majority of Tibetans from France and even Europe: three buses had been chartered from Belgium and one from the Down.

“Dictator Xi Jinping, your time is up”, “no to Chinese totalitarianism”, signs also indicated. Hundreds of protesters flew the Tibetan flag. The crowd chanted in China, “there is no freedom of expression, there is no freedom”, “France is a country of human rights and freedom, it is not compatible with his coming to France.”

On Saturday, two Tibetan activists were arrested after hanging a large banner between two lampposts in front of the Arc de Triomphe, proclaiming: “Europe, say no to Xi’s genocide.” They were released after around ten hours in police custody.

On the route of President Xi Jinping’s diplomatic procession, visiting France, a large “Free Tibet” banner was held by pro-Tibet activists. An arrival denounced by several human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.

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