New fallout over decision to fly Chinese flag over San Leandro

Flying the Chinese flag over San Leandro City Hall was supposed to attract Asian-American businesses, but opponents are very upset.
September 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
There is new fallout from the decision to fly the Chinese flag over San Leandro City Hall. The move was designed to attract new Asian-American business, but opponents say it endorses a brutal government.

On Tuesday night the San Leandro School Board, which meets at city hall, voted to hold its regular meeting someplace else on October 1, the day the Chinese flag goes up one of the flag poles outside the building.

Flags from the People's Republic of China fly over some areas of San Francisco on a regular basis, but the decision to raise it over city hall in San Leandro for one day has riled human rights activists like Kunjo Tashi, president of the Tibetan Association of Northern California.

"But it represents blood, blood of the Tibetans, Uighurs and the Chinese people who've been killed and massacred by the Chinese government," said Tashi.

Critics have long accused the Chinese Government of oppression including the exile of the Dalai Lama from Tibet. On Monday night, San Leandro voted to temporarily replace the city flag at city hall on Oct. 1 -- the date the People's Republic was formed in 1949.

Supporters of the measure say it's a way to attract Asian and Chinese-American business to San Leandro and that the Chinese flag represents the people of China, not political support for the government.

Arlene Lum is president of the Asian Community Cultural Association. She told us, "We just want to show that we welcome them to San Leandro. We want them to come and live here, if they're not here already, and open up businesses."

San Francisco has raised the Chinese flag on Oct. 1 along with Oakland and Alameda.

When it goes up at San Leandro City Hall for the first time next month, opponents are planning protests.


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