Xi Jinping to visit London this month

London protests during Li Keqiang's 2014 visit
London protests during Li Keqiang's 2014 visit
7th October 2015

State visit follows trip to US in September

Chinese president Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the UK between 20 and 23 October. The visit will be his first since becoming president in 2012 and the first by a Chinese president since Hu Jintao in 2005.

President Xi's visit to the US in September was met by Tibet protesters, along with China's number two leader Prime Minister Li Keqiang's visit to the UK last year. Demonstrations are being planned for the UK this month (see below).

Dalai Lama shunned: red carpet for China's leader

Xi's visit takes place a month after the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, came to the UK for a series of events. Prime Minister David Cameron did not meet the Dalai Lama as he had done in 2012. That meeting led to an angry response from China's government, after which Mr Cameron stated he had "no plans" to meet the Dalai Lama again.

That announcement paved the way for visits by senior UK politicians to China. During these visits, the politicians have been at pains not to offend their hosts over human rights and Tibet.

Free Tibet submitted a 4,000 signature petition to Downing St calling on the Prime Minister to meet the Dalai Lama in September. Although it was ignored, other political groups expressed their support for the Dalai Lama.

Raising human rights in China and Tibet

During a joint press conference with the Chinese leader in September, President Obama criticised China's approach to human rights and called on it to reopen talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives over Tibet.

Mr Cameron and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne have both come under pressure recently for their poor records defending human rights.

China protests in London

The Chinese President's full schedule is not yet known but Tibet groups and others with grievances against China are currently planning events during his visit.

A protest on the Mall in central London is expected to take place on 20 October as Mr Xi's ceremonial procession is taking place.

For further details of this and other protests and events during the visit, please watch this website and check the Facebook event page.

Take action

If you live in the UK, please share information about protests and invite friends to the Facebook event.

If you live outside the UK, you can use our website to contact your government to demand justice for Tibet.