Opposing groups clash at SFO before President Xi's arrival

ByJaclyn Lee ABCNews logo
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Opposing groups clash at SFO ahead of Xi's arrival
Hundreds of Chinese nationals clashed with anti-Chinese sentiment counter-protesters ahead of President Xi Jinping's arrival at SFO.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hundreds of Chinese nationals clashed with anti-Chinese sentiment counter-protesters ahead of Xi Jinping's arrival at SFO. Chants, bullhorns and screaming took over North Access Road, as President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' motorcade drove through.

ABC News spoke with Topjor Tsultrim, communications director for Students for a Free Tibet, who said the first thing he wants Xi Jinping to see upon his arrival on American soil, is the Tibetan flag and the counter-protesters to remind him that his policies amount to genocide.

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"We've had our homeland stolen, our religion, our culture destroyed, Xi Jinping's state policy of sanitization, the destruction of Tibetan culture, Tibetan identity," said Tsultrim. "For all these reasons Tibet is not free, but we will be here we will be resisting until that day when we can return to our homeland."

There were about 30 Uyghur, Hong Kong nationals and Tibetan counter protestors who wanted to make their presence known to Xi Jinping and their disapproval of his policies.

In contrast, hundreds of Chinese nationals, including students from local San Francisco universities like UC Berkeley and Stanford, gathered with massive Chinese Communist Party flags to welcome their leader Xi Jinping.

Yanghua Duan, a student at U.C. Berkeley and Chinese national, was holding a massive banner that said they welcome Xi Jinping to APEC.

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Yanghua said Xi Jinping is his "idol" and he wanted to thank him and show his appreciation in person.

"Students just like him generally and how the country's going," said Yanghua, adding that China has a bright future.

ABC News also spoke on camera with an alleged CCP concentration camp survivor who said she was subjected to torture, sexual assault and had her family persecuted because she is Uyghur. She said the U.S. granted her asylum.

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