Chinese PM met by protests in London

18th June 2014

UK Tibet protesters continue to hound China's Premier

Update: Tibet protests continued on Premier Li’s second day in the UK with protesters at Mansion House and Parliament Square.

Premier sneaked into Downing Street

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang found hundreds of protesters waiting for him as he drove to Downing St for his meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron on the first day of his visit to London.

In a humiliation for the number two leader of the world's largest nation, his car drove through the Foreign Office (next to Downing Street) to avoid sight of the protesters but members of Free Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet were able to wave the Tibetan flag within feet of him as he drove by.

Mr Li never faces protests in China, or sees the Tibetan flag which is banned there.

Tibet protest

Free Tibet joined other UK Tibet groups (including Students for a Free Tibet and Tibet Society) and members of the Tibetan community at the noisy demonstration.

Tibet supporters wearing masks of Mr Li were photographed and filmed by international media above a banner saying "Jail Li for China's crimes in Tibet" in English and Chinese. Chinese, Vietnamese, Uyghur and Falun Gong protesters also made their presence felt.

A large crowd of Chinese people waving Chinese flags tried to drown out the protests but, as Sky News noted, their "spontaneous" demonstration was actually organised by the Chinese embassy in London.

Another Tibet demonstration met Mr Li at a prestigious business dinner later in the day.

Human rights

Mr Li visited Downing St after meeting the Queen.

A letter from Free Tibet and other Tibet groups condemning the meeting and calling on the UK government to express clear support for Tibetan self-determination was published in The Guardian newspaper.

Free Tibet campaigns manager Alistair Currie was interviewed by Voice of Russia about the visit, saying the visit "symbolises the willingness of Britain to trade its reputation as a defender of human rights, as a country which stands up for democracy, the rule of law, for cash."

Take action

Contact your foreign minister and ask them to stand up for Tibet. To view and share photos of the protest, visit our Facebook page or Flickr.