Vietnamese demonstrators voice concerns over China, Chinese supporters welcome President Xi Jinping

Posted at 6:48 PM, Apr 06, 2017

While Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to the U.S. to meet with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, hundreds of Vietnamese Americans traveled from across the country to voice their concerns about China's leader.

Demonstrators gathered along Southern Boulevard and Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. The words spoken and signs flashed, were not welcoming.

"I just want to tell the people of American and American government watch out [for] Chinese communist government," said Hien Nguyen of Boynton Beach.

Nguyen joned the Vietnamese Americans from all over the state on Flagler Drive and Southern Boulevard, the presidential route to Mar-a-Lago. The group waved American and Vietnam banners to send a message to President Trump.

"We support President, our President any way because we voted for him, we just let the world know China's communist leader is no good," added Nguyen.

In between the signs saying 'Stop China aggression' and 'China get out of Vietnamese waters,' was a welcome sign for China's President.

"Chinese people here welcome my country's people," said Chull Yu, a Chinese supporter who lives in West Palm Beach.

Yu says she did not mind the Vietnamese demonstration, she just wants to show Chinese and Americans are coming together. Khoa Nguyen of Fort Lauderdale says his issue is not with the Chinese people, it's with the country's leader.

"This is a free country and we want President Trump to hear our voice and help our people," said Khoa Nguyen.

It's ironic having President Xi around all this free speech.

“This is totally different from China,” says Iris Lu, 28, who was born in China.  She moved to the US five years ago.  She works at the University of Florida.

She's one of about 100 Florida based members of a Chinese religion Falun Gang.

She wanted the communist leader to hear her message.

“Ask President Xi to release my mom,” she says.

Lu says her mother, Cuipeng Deng, was sentenced to prison for practicing her religion.

“I think it's very very good that we have the freedom here and tell people the truth about what's happening in China,” she says.

It remains to be seen if human rights will be discussed between the two world leaders.