Many people have been anxiously awaiting the Chinese President, Hu Jintao’s, arrival, but not for all the right reasons.
Dueling demonstrations broke out Thursday afternoon built around Jintao's visit to Chicago. Nearly 200 people -- some pro- some anti-China -- gathered on opposing corners near Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue to either celebrate or protest the leader's arrival.
Opposition protestors supporting Tibet and the Falun Gong religion stood outside in the cold to bring attention to China's dismal human rights record. They held signs reading, "Stop The Massive Arrests of Falun Gong practitioners in China" and yelled phrases like, “Down, down, Hu Jintao!” and “Liar, liar, Hu Jintao!”
The protesters are unhappy with China’s treatment of Tibet and other minority groups in China, but they haven’t been the only ones opposing Hu’s visit. When Hu visited Washington,D.C. on Wednesday, he was also greeted by a large group of protesters in Lafayette Square.
The political situation between Tibet and China has been sensitive for many years. Currently, China claims a rule over Tibet, but many other countries and human rights group allege its sovereignty.
Pro-Chinese demonstrators set up across the street and performed a dragon dance and shouted pro-Hu messages.
Police were on the scene, but the situation remained contained.
Hu will be in Chicago until Friday night, doing business with Mayor Richard Daley.