UPDATE: The Chinese President’s State Visit to the UK has been confirmed. The four-day visit will start on Tuesday 20 October. Xi Jinping will stay at Buckingham Palace during the trip, and as well as meeting David Cameron and business leaders, he is expected to address MPs at the Houses of Parliament.
All Tibet supporters are encouraged to attend Xi Jinping’s official welcome and procession along The Mall (expected to at 11.45am, Tuesday 20 October) and express solidarity for Tibet.
Take Action: Write to Prime Minister Cameron and your MP – call on them to stand up for Tibet and human rights during the Chinese President’s State Visit. (Click here for suggested points to raise.)
Further details and campaigns will be issued in the coming days.
[30 September 2015] UPDATE: According to Reuters, the UK government has confirmed the dates of the Chinese President’s State Visit as 20-23 October. The exact schedule has yet to be released. (Read Reuters report.)
[23 September 2015] Research by Tibet Society has unveiled that Xi Jinping will be officially welcomed to the UK at Horseguards Parade at approximately 11.45am on Tuesday 20 October. The ceremony will be followed by a procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where Xi will stay with his wife Madame Peng Liyuan.
The visit is expected to last three or four days, with a number of high-level functions and meetings. An official State Banquet is expected to take place at Buckingham Palace on the evening of 20 October. President Xi is then likely to meet Prime Minister Cameron at Downing Street on Wednesday 21 October. It also understood that Xi will visit the Houses of Parliament and address MPs during his visit.
Chinese President to stay at Buckingham Palace
No official announcement of the date for the State Visit has been yet been made, other than to say it will take place during the month of October. An official statementhas been issued by the Queen confirming the President’s stay at Buckingham Palace.
“The President of The People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, accompanied by Madame Peng Liyuan, has accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom during October 2015. The President and Madame Peng will stay at Buckingham Palace.”
First UK State Visit by a Chinese leader in ten years
This will be the third State Visit by the Chinese Communist Party leader, following visits by President Jiang Zemin in 1999 and President Hu Jintao in 2005. Both visits drew large protests by Tibet supporters and activists calling for human rights in China.
In December 2013, David Cameron met Xi Jinping in Beijing (pictured right), a trip which was seen to repair relations after China had criticised Cameron for meeting the Dalai Lama in 2012. Cameron failed to publicly criticise China’s human rights record, but he told reporters he raised human rights with Xi in private, but not specifically Tibet.
Chancellor George Osborne is currently in China on a major trade mission ahead of Xi’s State Visit. Osborne told the BBC, “I want to make sure that China becomes Britain’s second largest export market.”
Osborne has failed to raise human rights during his trip. In particular, he has been criticised for visiting Xinjiang, a region whose ethnic population are severley repressed. The visit to Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, which coincided with the one-year anniversary of China’s jailing of Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti for speaking out against human rights abuses, is likely to be seen by the Chinese government as an endorsement of their repressive policies.