Protesters will be there to greet him
Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, is to visit London next week. Li is second only to President Xi Jinping in China's political hierarchy. According to media reports, China threatened to cancel the visit unless the premier was able to meet the Queen. The meeting will take place, even though the Queen normally meets only heads of state, which Mr Li is not. The visit is expected to be to discuss trade deals, although when UK Prime Minister David Cameron was asked if human rights would be raised he stated that “no issues would be off the table”.
Tibet protest in London
A coalition of UK-based Tibet groups, including Free Tibet, has organised a demonstration at Downing St next Tuesday. Mr Li is expected to visit Mr Cameron there during the day, although his schedule has not been confirmed. The protest will take place between 9am and 2pm on Whitehall, immediately opposite the gates of Downing St. In 1999, police parked vans in front of a Tibet demonstration in London to ensure that visiting Chinese leader Jiang Zemin would not see it. After Free Tibet made a legal challenge, the police admitted that their action was unlawful.
China attacks human rights defenders in London
In a sign of China's intolerance for any protest, in London last week Chinese Embassy staff violently pushed the director of Amnesty International and a Canadian advocate during a peaceful wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the Tiananmen massacre. Free Tibet director Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren also attended the event.