As Bush and Hu Discuss Issues, a Protest Erupts

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Potesters use a megaphone to address the the White House.

Potesters use a megaphone to address the the White House as Chinese President Hu Jintao meets with President Bush. One protester made it inside the security area. Reuters hide caption

toggle caption Reuters

President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao hold talks on nuclear proliferation and energy policy as they work for closer U.S.-China ties. Outside the White House, activists protested human rights abuses by Hu's government. At east one managed to get inside to disrupt the day's ceremony.

The two leaders' summit included discussions about North Korean nuclear weapons, Iranian nuclear weapons and China's growing demand for oil. The White House visit was Hu Jintao's first as China's president.

With the White House in a sea of U.S. and Chinese flags, President Hu and his wife, arriving in a large black limousine, were accorded full military honors. The two presidents reviewed a fife-and-drum corps, and a 21-gun salute was fired as a military band played the American and Chinese national anthems.

President Bush spoke first, praising China as peaceful and prosperous. But he also called for more freedoms for China's citizens, saying the country "can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely, and to worship."

When it was President Hu's turn to speak, a woman standing on the top level of a viewing stand set up for the press began to shout loudly, yelling in Chinese that, "President Hu, your days are numbered". In English, she shouted, "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong," referring to the spiritual movement banned by the Chinese government.

Hu stopped briefly but continued his remarks. In several minutes, uniformed Secret Service agents removed the woman, still screaming, from the South Lawn. The protester was later identified as a reporter with credentials issued for a Falun Gong newspaper.



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