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Bush hosts top Chinese communist, amidst protest.

President Bush received communist Chinese President Hu Jintao at a White House event on April 20, in the first meeting at the White House between the two world leaders since Hu's ascension to power in 2002. During a press conference on the White House grounds, journalist Wenyi Wang, 47, a naturalized U.S. citizen who emigrated from China, shouted out protests against the head of the world's largest totalitarian state. Wang had a press pass as a reporter for The Epoch Times, which is affiliated with the Falun Gong, a meditation and exercise movement that has been persecuted in China.

Wang was not only escorted off the grounds by uniformed Secret Service agents, as might be expected, but also, according to ABC, she was charged with "knowingly and willfully intimidating, coercing, threatening or harassing ... a foreign official performing his duties." Ironically, during the event, President Bush called for expanded Chinese freedoms to "assemble, speak freely and to worship."

CNN reported that Bush made an "expression of regret to Hu ... at the outset of their meeting in the Oval Office," and quoted Dennis Wilder, acting senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council, who announced: "[The president] just said 'This was unfortunate,' and 'I'm sorry this happened.'"

The White House experienced another embarrassing protocol gaffe when its announcer, in introducing the national anthems of the two nations, mistakenly referred to Communist China as "The Republic of China," which is the formal name of the free Chinese state on Taiwan.

If the Chinese were upset by that error, the president's later statement must have soothed their concerns. Bush reiterated his support for the "one China" policy that supports communist domination over Taiwan. The government of the Republic of China escaped to Taiwan in the early 1950s to flee the violent communist takeover. "We don't support an independent Taiwan," Bush said.

The Times reported of Hu's visit: "Mr. Hu did get a big part of what Chinese analysts said he came for: images of him with the American president on the White House lawn, as Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, his predecessors, had posed for."
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Title Annotation:Hu Jintao
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 15, 2006
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