Tibetan Snowlion banners indicate a notable presence during the APEC meeting in San Francisco.

Tibetans with their Snowlion national flags – some being waved about or held up, others draped around them, yet others being held from or planted on strategic high spots – were a marked presence among hundreds of protesters who were reported to have marched, waved signs and flags and occasionally scuffled Nov 15 in San Francisco where President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping were attending an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit of 21 world leaders after holding talks down the road at a Woodside estate.

Protestors waving Taiwanese, Tibetan, and East Turkestan flags gathered at many stages of Xi’s trip to the US, including the airport, outside the APEC venue, and outside the mansion where he held talks with Biden, reported taiwannews.com.tw Nov 16.

A banner at the venue that went up in the air over the Moscone Centre, the site of the APEC Summit, read: “End CCP, Free China, Free HK, Free Tibet, Free Uyghur”, reported wionews.com Nov 16.

The banner called for an end to the rule of the Chinese Communist Party that Xi currently helms, as well as for the independence of Hong Kong, Tibet and freedom for Uyghur people who reside in the Xinjiang province of China, the report said.

Pro-Tibet protesters confront supporters of China President Xi Jinping near an entrance to the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy: SFC)

Demonstrators waving Tibetan flags marched midday down Market Street chanting “Free Tibet” and criticizing the Chinese Communist Party and Xi. There were repeated incidents of pushing and shoving between critics and supporters of China as police separated the groups, reported the siliconvalley.com Nov 15.

“The United States is a country that believes in human rights,” demonstrator Penpa Dhundup, 50, of Berkeley, draped in a Tibetan flag and wearing a “Save Tibet” headband, has said. “How can they welcome a Communist Party who takes away everything which the United States is based on?”

Protests were held not only in the area near the city’s Moscone Center, but also near the Filoli Historic House in Woodside where the Chinese leader held a high-stakes meeting with President Jose Biden, said cbsnews.com Nov 15.

It said there were physical confrontations between some of the protesters in the area of 3rd and Market Streets, with one group holding banners condemning China’s ruling communist party and flying Taiwanese flags, and others holding pro-China placards and chanting “only one China.”

Pro-Tibet protesters confront supporters of China President Xi Jinping near an entrance to the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy: SFC)

Earlier in the day, a large crowd gathered outside the Chinese Consulate at Laguna Street and Geary Boulevard, with some protesters holding signs reading “Free Tibet” and “Tibet belongs to Tibetans,” the report said.

It said pro-China demonstrations has been held outside the St. Regis Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Hotel, both about a block away from each other on 3rd Street in the city’s South of Market, where it was believed members of the Chinese delegations were staying.

Also, the “No to APEC Coalition”, a bloc of 150 organizations opposed to the 21 member economies’ partnerships, began gathering at the Powell Street BART Station around 7 a.m. in an effort to disrupt attendees’ entry into the CEO Summit, reported sfexaminer.com Nov 15.

The “No to APEC” summit protest on Nov 15, the first of the two-day summit, was generally peaceful and petered out before the afternoon, with the coalition’s wide-ranging interests – climate change and anti-imperialism, among others – reflected in demonstrators’ motivations, the report said.

News Desk

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