Activists, Harvard Students Disrupt Chinese Ambassador’s Speech Over Human Rights

Dorothy Li
By Dorothy Li
April 22, 2024China News
Protests against the Chinese Communist Party broke out at Harvard University over the weekend. It happened when Xie Feng, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, was invited to give a speech at the institute in Boston. He was interrupted at least three times by student protesters during the speech.

A speech by China’s ambassador to the United States on Saturday was disrupted by activists and students opposed to the communist regime’s human rights abuses.

During the speech at the Harvard Kennedy School’s China Conference, the ambassador, Xie Feng, found his opening remarks repeatedly derailed as protesters stood up to denounce the regime’s repression in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. Demonstrators also criticized the regime’s aggression toward Taiwan, a self-ruled island that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) views as its territory.

A female student, holding a small banner saying “China Lie,” accused Mr. Xie of painting a “delusion of a prosperous China” when Hong Kong’s freedom was eroded by the communist regime.

The Taiwanese student was quickly escorted out by a man in a dark suit.

“You robbed the Hong Kongers of fundamental freedoms and devastated their democracy. Now, in my country, Taiwan, you sought to do the same,” the protester yelled as she was removed, according to clips released by Students for a Free Tibet.

Another female student then stood up and protested against the regime’s repression in Tibet. Eighty percent of Tibetan children are now forcibly placed in “colonial-style” boarding schools, she shouted, saying the practice is aimed at “destroying my Tibetan people’s existence.”

Holding a similar sign saying “People Die,” the student also drew attention to the CCP’s suppression of the Uyghur people and the practice of forced organ harvesting. She said the regime had placed Uyghurs through a sprawling network of internment camps, where they were subjected to rape, torture, and forced sterilizations.

“You have blood on your hands. Guilty of genocide,” she yelled. The student was ushered out by security guards.

Mr. Xie remained silent throughout the disruption which lasted lasted about two minutes.

According to a summary of Mr. Xie’s remarks, published by China’s embassy in the United States, the diplomat urged the United States to work with China to “push bilateral relations to the track of stable, healthy, and sustainable growth.”

Mr. Xie also warned Washington not to interfere in what Beijing deems to be its internal affairs. If Washington continues to pressure China over Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, and the South China Sea, “no ‘guardrail’ can stop the bilateral relationship from reaching rock bottom,” Mr. Xie said at the event.

Six students and activists interjected during Mr. Xie’s speech, according to Students for a Free Tibet, a group that campaigns for Tibetans’ political freedom.

The organization said protesters wanted people to know that the regime’s ambassador “was not welcome on campus.”

In another video released by the group, a male demonstrator was removed after he unfurled a Tibetan flag and protested against Harvard for hosting Mr. Xie.

“You are a representative of a government that advocates for genocide. The genocide of the Tibetan people, of the Uyghur people, the occupation of Hong Kong,” the activist said.

“You do not deserve to be here. This is a free country. You cannot project your transnational repression in this country, in this continent.”

Campus Protests

Outside the Littauer Center, where Mr. Xie delivered the speech, dozens of people held banners and flags in the rain, calling for an end to human rights abuses in China.

“We’re here to protest the conditions in China, the way they treat people, [and] the persecution of so many groups: the Falun Gong, the Uyghurs, the Tibetans, and the underground Christians,” Michael Tseng, wearing a yellow raincoat, told The Epoch Times.

NTD Photo
Falun Gong practitioners at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass., on April 20, 2024. (Learner Liu/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners held aloft placards bearing messages such as “End Transplant Tourism in China” and “Stop Genocide in China.”

The CCP began persecuting Falun Gong in 1999. Millions of practitioners have been thrown into forced labor camps, brainwashing centers, and jails across the country, where they are subjected to torture and abuse in an attempt to force them to recant their beliefs. A large but untold number of adherents are believed to have been tortured to death or killed for their organs.

NTD Photo
Che Chungchi, a protester, holds U.S. and Taiwanese flags at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass., on April 20, 2024. (Learner Liu/The Epoch Times)

Some activists were protesting against the CCP’s tightening grip over Hong Kong.

The city has taken a swift authoritarian turn since the enactment of a Beijing-imposed national security law in 2020, with many democratic politicians now either in jail or self-exile. In March, Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing government adopted its own national security legislation, known as Article 23, heightening concerns about the financial hub’s future.

“Free Hong Kong,” Che Chungchi, one of the demonstrators outside the meeting hall, told The Epoch Times, calling for the release of “every political prisoner” in Hong Kong and the mainland.

Learner Liu and Eva Fu contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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