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Asia-pacific Asia-pacific

A shoe thrown at Chinese PM

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Latest update : 2009-02-03

During a conference at Cambridge University, a protestor threw a shoe at China's Prime Minister Wen Jiaboa in a move reminiscent of an Iraqi journalist's protest against former US President George Bush in December.

AFP - A protestor Monday threw a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao as he was giving a speech at Britain's Cambridge University, just missing him.
  
"This is a scandal" he shouted before security staff bundled him out of a concert hall at the university, where Wen was speaking on the last day of a five-nation tour of Europe.
  
The protestor, a young Western-looking man in a T-shirt, added: "This dictator here, how can you listen to the lies he's telling? You are not challenging him."
  
"How can the university prostitute itself with this dictator?", he added.
  
Echoing the incident in December when an Iraqi journalist hurled two shoes at US President George W. Bush in Baghdad, he threw the well-worn trainer from near the back of the auditorium.
  
It landed about a yard (metre) from the Chinese premier, but did not hit him.
  
Security officials went on to the stage and kicked it off and a Chinese official took it away under his jacket.
  
The protestor also blew a whistle. As he was bundled out, he said: "Stand up and protest." Audience members retorted: "Shame on you, shame on you."
  
Wen said after the interruption: "This despicable behaviour cannot stand in the way of friendship between China and the UK."
  
He received a round of applause from the audience, who were apparently mostly Chinese students.
  
The premier appeared unruffled by the incident and resumed his speech before taking questions.
  
Pro-Tibet protesters questioning China's human rights record have demonstrated throughout Wen's three-day visit to Britain.
  
Wen was to return home later Monday at the end of a trip that has also taken him to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and to Germany, the EU headquarters in Brussels and Spain.

Date created : 2009-02-02

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