While China’s next President, Xi Jinping, came to Washington on Monday for a Tuesday visit with President Obama, hundreds of Tibetans and their supporters staged protests in the nation’s capitol, calling for a free Tibet. Protests began when two climbers rappelled over the Arlington Memorial Bridge to unfurl a banner that read “Xi Jinping: Tibet Will Be Free.” The climbers were later arrested, along with two others.
According to Tibet Post International, protests included a “rally and march from the Chinese Embassy to the White House, a mass Buddhist prayer offering, life-size puppets, solidarity rallies, and a candlelight vigil.”
Xi Jinping is expected to become China’s next leader in 2013, after a transitional period that will occur later this year. His visit comes at a time when Tibet finds itself in real turmoil, following the two most recent self-immolation protests carried out by Tibetan teens. More protests are planned for today, when Xi Jinping meets with President Obama.