By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, Nov 17: In a protest of solidarity and advocacy for human rights, activists representing Tibet, Uyghur, and Hong Kong jointly organised a mass protest on the day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, where Chinese President Xi Jinping is slated to attend. The demonstrators carried banners emblazoned with messages advocating for human rights and chanted slogans to raise their voices against alleged Chinese atrocities in their respective regions.
A 20-year-old Tibetan activist, identified as Tsela, garnered significant attention outside the hotel where Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to meet with prominent U.S. business leaders during the APEC summit. The youth activist of the Students for a Free Tibet, climbed a flagpole roughly 25 feet off the ground, unfurling a Tibetan flag while chanting “Free Tibet.” Despite the heightened security and the presence of law enforcement officials, she remained perched on the flagpole for over an hour.
“Under Xi’s rule, we have witnessed the establishment of a residential school system that has ripped one million Tibetan children from their families, and the mass collection of DNA from Tibetan monks, nuns, and children. Xi Jinping now faces serious internal challenges to his power, that’s why our message is that Xi’s time as the dictator of China is up. It’s time for a new era of freedom for all people suffering under the CCP’s rule,” Tsela said.
The joint demonstration organised by activists representing Tibet, Uyghur, and Hong Kong was a deliberate effort to bring global attention to the severe human rights violations faced by these regions under the rule of the Chinese government.
The meeting between President Biden and President Xi, which lasted for four hours, resulted in both American and Chinese accounts suggesting “scant progress” on the issues that have strained the relations between the two nations, the New York Times noted.
According to the White House press release on Nov. 15, “ President Biden underscored the universality of human rights and the responsibility of all nations to respect their international human rights commitments. He raised concerns regarding PRC human rights abuses, including Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong.”