April 9, 2002
BERLIN, China -- Chinese President Jiang Zemin held talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as demonstrators criticizing Beijing's human rights record were kept behind police lines.
Jiang, in Germany until April 13, hopes to use the five-day visit to strengthen relations with Germany -- China's biggest trading partner in Europe -- with deals for educational and cultural cooperation.
But groups critical of China's human rights record and its handling of religious communities -- such as the Falun Gong spiritual [group] [...] -- demonstrated on Tuesday behind police lines.
The protesters were kept several hundred meters away from the chancellery, nearly out of sight of the arriving motorcade.
Scores of Falun Gong members meditated en masse outside the grand Adlon hotel in central Berlin. Wearing yellow jerseys, they performed exercises and meditated beneath banners reading "Truth, Compassion, Tolerance," "Stop the persecution of Falun Gong."
"We have two goals -- to show the public that Jiang Zemin is responsible for the oppression of the Falun Gong and for Jiang to stop torturing practitioners," one member, Zhihong Zheng, told Reuters news agency.
Schroeder has so far avoided saying whether he will raise human rights issues in their talks.
Amnesty International accused China last month of stepping up repression and executions of separatist Muslim Uighurs by invoking the "war on terrorism."
[...]Berlin marks the start of a five-nation tour that will also take Jiang to Libya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Iran.
(Our Source: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2002/4/10/20836.html)
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