Human rights protesters vied with China supporters and tourists to see President Xi Jinping ride in a carriage to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the first day of his state visit to Britain. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: A group of around 80 people protesting against China's human rights record interrupted the pomp of Xi's Royal carriage to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. Amid thousands of supporters who held red and yellow Chinese dragons and huge portraits of Xi on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace, the group shouted and waved Tibetan flags with banners reading "Don't trade away human rights" and "China: Buying UK's silence on Tibet" as Xi and Queen Elizabeth rode past in the closed ceremonial carriage. "Xi Jinping does not deserve to be wined and dined by the Queen, by David Cameron in the UK today, because he shows no respect for human rights and for values that British people stand for. So it is really important that the UK government and David Cameron start speaking out on Tibet and not let China bully them into silence over the topic which they do not want to discuss, which is Tibet," said Padma Dolma, from Students for a Free Tibet. The activists included backers of Falun Gong, the spiritual sect banned as a cult in China. The group was hugely outnumbered by spectators waving Chinese flags and kept well back from the processional route up to the palace by a large police presence. Xi is being feted by the royal family and leading politicians during the trip this week which Prime Minister David Cameron hopes will cement Britain's lucrative place as China's closest friend in the West. Cameron has said he will not duck sensitive issues like human rights during the visit. "There is nothing off the table in our discussions with the Chinese," his spokeswoman said. The trip has also ruffled feathers among some of Britain's traditional allies, such as the United States, where Xi's visit last month was tainted by friction over cyber theft and Beijing's moves in Asian maritime disputes.