Protestor at White House reception yells at Hu to stop religious persecution in China


WASHINGTON - A protestor interrupted President Bush's White House ceremony welcoming Chinese President Hu to America last Thursday, touching off an embarrassing international incident that could have negative repurcussions for the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts to end the U.S.-China trade imbalance.

The protestor, a 47-year old woman who had obtained temporary press credentials to attend the ceremony, waited until Hu started speaking and then, for several minutes, yelled for President Bush to "stop [Hu] from killing" and "persecuting" the Falun Gong, a banned religious movement in China. Hu shot Bush a disgusted glance and curtly muttered, "I am not amused." Bush scurried to the lectern and yelled for secret service agents to "drag her away, just drag her away, would you?"

After the ceremony, Bush tried to prevent the incident from derailing the trade talks between the U.S. and China. He obsequiously told the Chinese president: "How dare that wretched woman question your right as supreme dictator of a sovereign nation to deal forcefully with dangerous subversives. I am so, so sorry for the excessive display of freedom of speech you witnessed today." Bush went on to explain that the American Constitution was "concocted by a bunch of foolhardy old bastards" who "didn't live in the real world." Winking at Hu, Bush promised to "tighten up" the First Amendment.

"Good," snapped the still-angry Hu, "because I will not stop persecuting, or killing, the Falun Gong, in my sole discretion."

"Nor should you," Bush quickly agreed.

Hu then chided Bush for the "lenient" manner in which the United States deals with its dissidents. "We have a very effective way of dealing with undesirables in China," Hu said. "You will find evidence of that in the Tiananmen Square Massacre."

"Well, we have an effective way of dealing with them, too," Bush assured him. "For example, recently a rich lawyer got out of line, so I arranged for him to go quail hunting with my Vice President."