NL Times

Netherlands Politics

Chinese Pres shielded from protesters at Dam

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan has said Chinese security services caught him off guard when they erected a mobile shield that prevented their president Xi Jinping from seeing a demonstration by Amnesty International.

AI's banner at Dam Square @humanrightsnl

AI’s banner at Dam Square @humanrightsnl

“I was caught off guard by the Chinese self-sufficiency,” Van der Laan said today. The Chinese president visited Amsterdam today with his wife Peng Liyuan, where they joined King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at a banquet.

Outside Paleis op de Dam though Amnesty International had erected a banner that read “Free Liu Xia & Liu Xiaobo.” Literary critic, writer, professor, human rights activist and Nobel Price winner Liu Xiabo and his wife are political prisoners. They were sentenced to lengthy jail terms on 25 December 2009.

Amnesty International had received permission to demonstrate at De Dam, but due to the impromptu shield of Chinese secret service -which multiple men had trouble keeping up in the strong winds- the president did not get to witness the protest. Xi Jinping also did not see the 60 Tibetans who had come to De Dam square to protest.

The move by the Chinese security officials aroused massive criticism on social media. Several hundred people who had come to the square in hopes of getting a glimpse of the King and Queen with their Chinese guests had left disappointed.