China security guards push around New Zealand MP at parliament
Posted by Author on June 18, 2010
AFP, Via Sydney Morning Herald, June 18, 2010 –
A New Zealand MP waving a Tibetan flag was involved in a scuffle on Friday with members of a delegation accompanying China’s Vice President Xi Jinping as he arrived at parliament in Wellington.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman clashed with members of the delegation, believed to be security guards, as Xi arrived at parliament on the second day of a three day visit.
Norman was waving the Tibetan flag and calling for democracy as Xi arrived in front of the parliament.
One of Xi’s party tried to put an umbrella in front of Norman, who fought back when men believed to be security guards tore the flag out of his hands and threw it to the ground.
Norman shouted out that freedom of speech could be suppressed in China but not in New Zealand.
“I think it’s pretty outrageous that Chinese security can come to our country and push around an elected member of Parliament simply because we are standing up for democracy and freedom in our own country,” Norman told reporters later.
“The Chinese security guards elbowed me out of the way, and then I got an umbrella over the top of me and they took the flag out my hands and trampled on it.”
He said it was unacceptable for a foreign country’s security services to “rough up” a legislator outside parliament.
During the scuffle, Xi was escorted into the building for a meeting with parliament’s Speaker, Lockwood Smith.
The vice president, widely tipped to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2012, is on a tour of the region that takes him to Australia on Saturday.
Xi brought a large business delegation with him as both countries aim to expand economic ties after New Zealand became the first developed economy to sign a free trade agreement with China in 2008.
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This entry was posted on June 18, 2010 at 5:47 am and is filed under China, Human Rights, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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