WASHINGTON The Bush White House's airtight security umbrella was breached by a heckler on Thursday (April 20) during South Lawn ceremonies welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao.
During remarks by President Hu, a female Asian heckler standing on a platform reserved for journalists began shouting in Chinese and English at the two leaders. She reportedly shouted in both Chinese and English, "Stop the torture and killings!"
The woman was removed from the South Lawn by uniformed U.S. Secret Service police.
White House security, already heightened following the 2001 terror attacks, is extremely tight for state visits. The incident raised immediate questions about how the hecklerwho was well within shouting distance of the two leaderswas able to obtain closely-held press credentials to cover the the U.S.-China ceremony.
Members of the Fulan Gong sect, which has been banned and harassed by the Chinese government, have flooded the capitol this week to protest Hu's first visit to the White House since becoming China's president. During a march on Pennsylvania Ave., Fulan Gong members shouted in English: "Down with CCP!" a reference to China's ruling Communist Party.
No breakthroughs were reported in talks between the two leaders after the ceremony. Trade, intellectual property property protection and security issues dominated the discussions, the White House said.
Earlier this week, Hu visited the headquarters of Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co. Meetings with Bill Gates reportedly drew a Chinese pledge to load all new Lenovo laptops with Windows and future Vista operating system software. China also placed a large order for new Boeing 737 aircraft.