9 arrested at White House China protest
Jiang visit criticized from political right and left
October 26, 1997
Web posted at: 6:58 p.m. EST (2358 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Chinese President Jiang Zemin was hardly
off his airplane in sunny Hawaii Sunday when protests against
his U.S. visit began -- beneath a chilly drizzle in front of
the White House.
Nine conservative Christian activists were arrested Sunday as
they prayed on a sidewalk, carrying anti-Jiang signs. They
were protesting what they see as China's poor record on human
rights and the Clinton's administration's willingness to
overlook that record in the interest of better trade
relations with the world's most populous country.
"Our policies are immoral," said Randall Terry, a founder of
the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. "This has nothing
to do with helping the citizens of China. This has to do with
fattening the wallets of American big business."
The red carpet being laid for Jiang's visit is "stained with
the blood of thousands of innocent people," said the Rev.
Patrick Mahoney of Christian Defense Coalition and Loyal
The protesters were arrested by U.S. Park Police after they
refused to leave a restricted area outside a White House
fence. They carried signs reading, "Jiang, Anti-Christ" and
"Jiang, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot -- Blood Brothers."
The White House protesters were critical of the Chinese
government for allegedly persecuting Christians and forcing
women to undergo abortions as a means of population control.
Some of the signs they carried called for the release of
But criticism of Jiang's visit wasn't coming only from the
political right Sunday.
"Why should we be rolling out the red carpet for the leader
of a regime that crushes dissent in its own country?" said
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a liberal Democrat from San
Francisco, on CNN's "Late Edition with Frank Sesno."
"Why should we give a 21-gun-salute to the leader of the
People's Liberation Army, which proliferates weapons of mass
destruction in rogue nations?" she said.
Jiang, who arrived Sunday in Honolulu to begin the first U.S.
visit by a Chinese leader in a dozen years, is expected to
face protest rallies at each of his stops in Williamsburg,
Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
In addition to the Washington protest, at least two others
were planned for Sunday outside of events honoring Jiang in
Hawaii. They were being organized by critics of China's human
rights record and its policies toward Tibet and Taiwan.