Presumptuous: Jiang Zemin's Dicatorship on German Soil--Chinese conditions during his state visit in Germany
The following is a translation of the feature of a news program "Tagesschau" on Friday, April 12, 2002 on ARD (a national TV station in Germany) "Tagesschau" is one of the most popular news programs in Germany. Evening News report on TV (German, Real Player format).
Friday April 12, 2002
Chinese president Jiang Zemin, this past week guest of Germany, is a strange man. Every time his eyes perceive the color yellow, he sees red. Yellow is the color of clothing Falun Gong followers wear. And he sees red because this Communist does not tolerate any form of opposition. So far, so bad. Even on German soil, Chinese guardians of the protocol have taken every step to shield their state chief to the greatest extent. That is really a bold deed! Our correspondent Stefan Niemann is used to these things in Beijing, but here, in Germany?
They have shuttered the whole town of Goslar today; kept law-abiding citizens under surveillance; snipers had their weapons at the ready. A state of siege reigned in this usually scenic city in the Harz Mountains, because the Red Emperor from the Middle Kingdom was arriving. Nothing was to offend the eyes of Jiang Zemin, nothing must mar his delicate psyche. No one was allowed to come near China's Number One, they were kept at bay, for fear of protests. The Chinese visitors experienced Goslar as a version of Tiananmen Square, but the hosts, though, thought it to be ghostly.
Sigmar Gabriel, SPD (Socialist Party Germany), Saxonian Minister President, said," We have to accept that. It is a Security Alert No.1, dictated to us from Berlin. I have to admit to you, it makes me feel very alien."
An "army" of uniforms was present in Dresden yesterday. China's chief of state experienced a Germany devoid of human beings, because that is exactly what he wanted and, without his security apparatus in place to shield him, he is fearful of the common man on the street. Asia's mightiest male crawled into hiding before the "yellow danger," the Falun Gong movement, which is banned in China, avoided the Falun Gong followers here who are demonstrating peacefully against the persecution and abuse of their fellow followers in China. Tibetan activists also demanded an end to Chinese repression. Then followed scenes similar to those in the PRC: police officers putting an end to the demonstrations, pushing the demonstrators away and ordering them to disperse. This "guest of the state" must not be bothered with slogans. It brings to mind another state visit, that of a scandal years ago when China's then-president Li Peng broke a German visit short, in a furious rage, because the demonstrators he encountered caused him to "lose face." The German government, this time, denied it had accommodated Jiang Zemin too favorably.
Mr. Uwe-Karten Heye, government spokesperson, said, "There was a demonstration. In this country [Germany] everyone has the constitutional right to free speech and to free expression, including demonstrating, if it is done within legal parameters. I think that the BKA (Bundeskriminalamt/Germany's equivalent to the FBI,) was involved, as usual, to make the necessary preparations for this visit. But all that took place within the realm of normalcy and convention."
Was it really within the norm? One is allowed to cheer, but not to protest. This is the kind of image the hosts conveyed to this visiting party and state chief. Whether done this way deliberately or inadvertently, and whether one allowed the police to rudely drag a lone woman Falun Gong follower in Dresden away, outside Jiang Zemin's hotel residence will not be known. It is just like what the police are doing in that police state called China.
(Original text in German)