WENYI WANG acted rudely when she yelled and waved a banner at visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao during his White House appearance Thursday. The Secret Service was right to hustle her off the grounds. President Bush was right to apologize. But does Ms. Wang deserve to go to prison for six months? That might be the response to embarrassing and rude speech in Beijing. It shouldn’t be in Washington. But yesterday the U.S. government charged Ms. Wang under a law that could bring her that sentence.
Ms. Wang, a member of the Falun Gong sect, which China suppresses, got into the media section at the White House lawn ceremony with credentials from a newspaper run by the spiritual group. According to court documents, she waved a yellow banner and shouted in Chinese: “Stop oppressing the Falun Gong,” “Your time is running out,” and “Anything you have done will come back to you in this lifetime.” She also yelled to Mr. Bush, “Stop him from persecuting Falun Gong!”
See also: half-hour Q&A on C-SPAN with the Falung Gong spokesman Erping Zhang. And ESWN’s round-up of news and blog posts about Wang Wenyi’s protest.