US: Taiwanese, Tibetan students disrupt Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng's speech at Harvard

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
6 Min Read

A group of Taiwanese-American and Tibetan Harvard students disrupted Chinese Ambassador to the United States Shi Feng's speech at Harvard University on Saturday, alleging human rights violations in the country. The incident occurred during the opening ceremony of the Harvard Kennedy School China Conference 2024, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported on Sunday.

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Four students, including two Taiwanese-Americans and two Tibetans, held banners inside the conference hall where Xi was addressing the gathering. In a video provided by the “Coalition of Students Resisting the CCP”, Taiwanese-American Harvard student Cosette Wu was seen holding a banner reading “China lies, people die”.

Wu, who is also co-director of the student organization, shouted at Chinese Ambassador Xi, accusing him of creating the illusion of a prosperous China despite having “blood on his hands.”

He added, “You took away the most fundamental freedoms of Hong Kong people and destroyed their democracy. Now in my country Taiwan, you tried to do the same,” before being forcibly removed by an organizer from Harvard Kennedy School's Greater China Society, Central News Agency Taiwan reports.

Local police intervened and warned the organizer and Zee's speech was delayed by 45 minutes due to the protest.

Meanwhile, a similar protest organized by the Coalition of Students Opposing the CCP and “Students for a Free Tibet” was also held outside the conference hall on Saturday, CNA Taiwan reported.

After this, Xi's speech was delayed by 45 minutes.

The protesters' press statement said Saturday's protests targeted the Chinese government for human rights abuses and aggression in Tibet, Hong Kong, East Turkestan and Taiwan, and specifically targeted Xi.

The statement said Xi is responsible for turning Hong Kong into a dystopian state during the 2019 protests and the enactment of the national security law.

“He has also made veiled threats of war to intimidate Taiwan and organized propaganda tours in East Turkestan to whitewash the CCP's genocide against Uyghurs,” the statement said.

Later, in an interview with CNA Taiwan, protester Wu said that Xie was the CCP commissioner in Hong Kong during the 2019 protests and when the national security law was imposed.

“So this was a person who is directly in charge of overseeing the CCP's complete takeover of Hong Kong society and the destruction of their democracy,” Wu said during a phone interview.

“And now in his role as ambassador, he is making veiled threats of military invasion of Taiwan,” he said, adding that as a Taiwanese, it was his duty to speak out.

Meanwhile, the protesters' press statement quoted a Tibetan student, who spoke on condition of anonymity as saying that “thousands of Tibetans were massacred by China during the CCP's military invasion and colonization of my homeland, after which her families were was forced to flee Tibet.”

He said, “Today, in occupied Tibet, China is continuing the genocide of Tibet by snatching 80 percent of all Tibetan schoolchildren from their families and forcing them to attend colonial boarding schools, where speaking Tibetan is prohibited. “

The unnamed co-chair of the “Students for a Free Tibet” Boston chapter accused Xie of being an “advocate for the genocide” of Tibetans and said that as a Tibetan Harvard student it was his duty to show the truth to the world. “The occupation must end. Tibet will be free.”

CNA Taiwan reported that in a press release by the Chinese Embassy in the US regarding Xi's Saturday speech, Xi warned Washington to “stop interfering in China's internal affairs.”

“If the US side continues to interfere in China's internal affairs and harm China's interests on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Xizang.” [Tibet] And the South China Sea, how can the two sides keep a floor in the relationship, no matter how many guardrails there are.”

Xi also stressed that “the Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations.”

So-called “Taiwan independence” is a dead end, he said, and the one-China principle is a red line that should not be crossed.

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