Jiang was out of sight of a rally at Lafayette Park in front of
the White House when he stepped into his limousine for the short
motorcade ride from the Blair House guest headquarters to the
About 100 demonstrators shouted and passed out brochures calling
for a free Tibet, the first small wave in a daylong series of
protests and vigils.
Hundreds supporting Taiwan marched from Washingtons grassy Mall
to streets around the White House.
Change the Politics
If we want to transform China into a progressive country, we
must change the bad politics first, said Fang Nengda, a former
teacher in China who was placed under house arrest for his
political beliefs. If China does not change the broad system of
politics, education cannot make a difference.
The pro-Taiwan group urged the United States to stand in support
of Taiwanese independence.
We want Taiwan to be for the Taiwanese, said Su Chang, who
came to Washington on an overnight bus from Atlanta with about 50
They melded into a crowd of Free China protesters supporting
human rights in China and Tibet, and their voices joined together
at a street corner near the White House.
Four men donned cardboard sheets on which chains were drawn and
holes were cut out for their heads and arms, each representing a
persecuted Chinese dissident. Supporters gathered around them.
Im 50 years old and I cannot see that democracy will be
filled in China, said Zhilang Ching, who fled China recently and
is here under asylum.
The cardboard represented an ancient Chinese punishment in which
prisoners were made to don sheets of metal.
Wide Array of Groups
The visit brought together a diverse collection of groups with
nothing else in common except their advocacy of freedom for the
Chinese people and others under Beijings control.
On Tuesday night, hundreds rallied outside the Chinese embassy
to protest religious persecution in Tibet, annexed by China in
We are here to draw attention to the fact that Tibet is really
being suppressed, and its culture is being dissolved. said Jane
Drake, a Buddhist nun.
Four large red lanterns in the backdrop served as a reminder of
the dignitarys presence in the capital. Speakers at the rally
stressed their support for Jiangs meeting with Clinton but said it
should be an opportunity to discuss human rights issues.
Earlier Tuesday, about a dozen members of Congress pledged to
adopt prisoners of conscience in China or Tibet and lobby on their
behalf with letters to government officials and prison wardens.
Various religious leaders opened the evening vigil with their
prayers for the people of Tibet, as the group lit candles and
raised signs in support.
Former Chinese dissidents and advocacy group officials voiced
their concerns in meetings with Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Chairman Jesse Helms and a House International Affairs Committee
panel that deals with human rights.
One dissident, Li Lu, a survivor of the Tiananmen Square
crackdown, said it was horrifying that the person responsible for
this massacre was being received as an honored guest in this
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