RANCHO MIRAGE – Protesters gathered Friday afternoon near the Sunnylands estate, hours before President
The Falun Gong spiritual movement, which has been banned by the Chinese government, had a large contingent at Xi's hotel Thursday and was just beginning to amass shortly after noon at the corner of Bob Hope and
"Bring Jiang to Justice," one banner read -- a reference to former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, who spearheaded government crackdowns against the group.
Most of the early arrivals were Southern California Vietnamese Americans angry at
With temperatures hovering around 110 degrees, many took refuge in the shade.
Obama should suspend economic ties with "the evil Communist government" until China improves its human rights record, said Carly Huynh of
Like many in the crowd, Tim Voh of Little Saigon fled Vietnam decades ago when the Communists took over. He and others equate the Chinese government with the current regime in their homeland.
"As long as the USA wants to be the leader of the world, China cannot bully," Voh said.
Local Chinese Americans who support Xi have gathered outside his hotel, the Indian Wells Hyatt. They peacefully faced off there Thursday night against the Falun Gong, singing Chinese patriotic songs to drown out their rivals' chanting.