Shoe hurled at China premier in UK

Pro-Tibet protester charged after throwing shoe at Wen Jiabao and calling him "dictator".

    The shoe landed on the stage about a metre from the Chinese premier at Cambridge University [AFP]

    The protester, who was held by university security guards, shouted: "How can the university prostrate itself with this dictator?"

    Protests held

    Demonstrations over China's human-rights record and policy on Tibet have taken place throughout Wen's visit.

    In video

     


    Protester throws shoe at Wen Jiabao in Cambridge



    Earlier, pro-Tibet protesters had gathered outside the Downing Street office of Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, as the pair held talks in London.

    About 50 pro-Tibetan and 100 pro-Chinese had turned up for rival demonstrations, watched closely by a heavy police presence.

    Protests were also held on Sunday outside the Chinese embassy as Wen arrived at the building.

    British police arrested five pro-Tibet demonstrators after several of them leapt over security barriers and tried to run towards the embassy building.

    Trade ties apart, Wen's trip aims to mend relations strained over the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, whom Beijing regards as a separatist for wanting Tibetan autonomy.

    Economic 'disaster'

    Wen called on the international community on Monday for urgent and co-ordinated action to help avert a worldwide economic "disaster".

    Brown, right, was hosting Wen as part of
    efforts to boost bilateral trade links [AFP]
    He said there was a need for confidence and strong measures to tackle the global downturn.

    "This financial crisis is a global one. No single country can remain immune and address this in isolation," Wen said.

    "We are sitting in the same boat and we need to all work together to overcome the difficulties.

    "I am calling for confidence, co-operation and responsibility, I've been calling for that all along because if we do that we can save the world."

    'Vital' partner

    Wen said people were "disappointed, frustrated and pessimistic" about the economy but that there was "light at the end of the tunnel".

    He said he plans to send delegations to Europe to buy commodities, goods and technologies.

    Wen and Brown also discussed the G20 conference, where the world's major and industrialised and emerging powers will meet in April in London.

    Brown has argued that Beijing's increasing economic power makes it a "vital" partner in restoring financial stability.

    He said he and Wen were calling for stalled world trade talks to resume.

    "We both want to see an early resumption of the Doha talks," Brown said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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