Zhu Weiqun, Vice-Minister of the United Front Work Department, received a noisy reception during his visit to London, Students for a Free Tibet said. Tibetans and supporters chanted slogans against Zhu and Chinese government at Chatham house at St. James square where Zhu took part in a ’round-table’ discussion on the recent failure of the eighth round of talks.
A Chinese FedEx employee briefly disrupted the protest as he stormed towards the Tibetan protesters in an attempt to provoke the Tibetans into confrontation. He snatched a Tibetan national flag from a Tibetan protester and snapped the flagpole. The Chinese man was warned by the police for his provocative behavior.
Padma Dolma, a Tibetan student, threw herself in front of the Chinese diplomat’s entourage carrying a Tibetan national flag. Four other Tibetans splashed tomato sauce onto the windows of the car in which Zhu was traveling.
A protester splashes tomato sauce on a van carrying Chinese officials in a symbolic representation of bloody killings in Tibet.
The protesters banged the glasses and yelled, “Zhu Weiqun, liar, liar.” Pema Yoko, who took part in the skirmish, said the Tibetans will not stand down to the Chinese government. “We showed the London public that the Chinese government is responsible for the bloodshed and death of hundreds of Tibetans in a brutal crackdown after the protest in Tibet in March this year.”
Zhu Weiqun in the firs ever press conference by China after talks with Tibetan envoys accused the Dalai Lama as being responsible to for the failure to make any progress.
Zhu Weiqun was among the Chinese representatives who met with the Tibetan delegation during the two-day talks in Beijing last week. The Executive vice minister of China’s Central United Front, the Chinese government department in charge of talks with representatives of Dalai Lama, said Monday that no progress was made at recent talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama and accused the exiled leader of trying to split Tibet from China.
“The sovereignty is the most fundamental issue. The Dalai has — by denying Chinese sovereignty over Tibet — been trying to seek a legal basis for his claims of independence or semi-independence over Tibet,” Zhu said at the press conference on Nov 10.
Tibet supporters also condemned the Chinese government’s latest wave of hard-line rhetoric. “To spuriously blame the Tibetan side for the collapse of talks was patently false, but to accuse the Dalai Lama of plotting ‘apartheid’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Tibet is both ludicrous and deeply offensive to all Tibetans,” said Terry Bettger, Campaigns Coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet UK. “Rhetoric like this only serves to embarrass Chinese diplomacy on the world stage, and exposes the absolute lack of sincerity the Chinese government have shown to talks with the Dalai Lama’s envoys.”