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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Chicago prepares to host Chinese leader

January 24, 2011

www.chicagotribune.com
By Antonio Olivo
Tribune reporter
10:35 AM CST, January 19, 2011

As Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived to Washington today, Chicago is
preparing to play host to the visiting head of state during the last leg
of his American trip on Thursday and Friday.

Several hundred Chinese Americans will gather outside the Hilton Chicago
hotel Thursday to welcome Hu, who will be guest of honor at a reception
there hosted by Mayor Richard Daley. Nearby, hundreds of protesters also
will mark Hu's arrival, hoping to raise awareness of alleged human
rights violations in Tibet, Taiwan and against practioners in China of
Falun Gong beliefs.

“We want Mr. Hu to know he’s not welcome here,” said Lobsang Wangdak,
head of the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago, who plans to be among
demonstrators from as far away as Minneapolis. “We know he is the one
who is holding a firm grip on the Tibetan issue.”

During his visit to Chicago, the Chinese president plans to visit the
Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, home to the Confucious
Center Chinese language program, and will tour several Chinese-owned
businesses in the region, city officials said.

In eager anticipation of what they see as new economic opportunities
brought through Chicago’s strengthening relationship with China, local
Chinese American leaders have been posting Hu welcome signs in Chinatown
and areas of the South Loop.

“Chicago residents should be honored that Chicago is the only city
outside Washington DC that he selected to visit,” said Hong Liu,
president of the Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago, an
umbrella group of more than 100 Chinese organizations that is planning
“street welcoming activities” outside the Hilton Thursday. “He’s going
to bring a lot of businesses to Chicago and promote friendship, not only
between China and the U.S. but Chicago and China’s friendship.”
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