A protest against Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) near where the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was taking place in San Francisco took a comedic turn after protesters failed to light a Chinese flag on fire on video.
The context: Several groups of demonstrators, in support and against Xi’s visit at the APEC 2023 Summit, gathered at multiple locations in San Francisco amid Xi and U.S. President Joe Biden’s face-to-face meeting on Wednesday.
Some locations where demonstrations were held include areas near the Moscone Center and near 3rd and Market Streets. Groups of demonstrators also organized outside the Chinese Consulate at Laguna Street and Geary Boulevard, and the St. Regis Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
What happened: MeidasTouch editor-in-chief Ron Filipkowski shared a clip from former top Trump strategist Steve Bannon's “War Room,” a program on the conservative news outlet Real America's Voice, on X on Thursday. Bannon organized the protest seen in the clip, according to Filipkowski.
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Steve Bannon’s organized protest of President Xi today was a smorgasbord of unintentional comedy. They are supposed to light the Chinese flag on fire here, but couldn’t get it to burn. pic.twitter.com/Ji3McmpVIi
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) November 16, 2023
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Comedic turn: The video starts with Bannon asking a man if he could rally the protesters to make noise so loud that it can be heard in mainland China. The man then gets on his megaphone and begins hyping the crowd to chant “Take down the CCP,” as seen in the video.
As the crowd continues with their chant, a woman holding a lighter gets into the shot and can be seen attempting to set afire a small Chinese flag held by another person. After numerous failed tries, the person holding the flag gives up and moves away from the camera, followed by the woman with the lighter.
Reactions: Several X users found the video, which has so far garnered over 170,000 views, hilarious, with one user writing in their comment, “The jokes just write themselves.”
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"To be fair, that flag was made in China," another wrote.
"Even when they come prepared, they fail. I wonder how they do in life," said another.
Welcoming the agreement: Several tech leaders reportedly welcomed Biden and Xi’s intergovernmental agreement on artificial intelligence technology on Thursday, embracing the cooperation between the U.S. and China despite the two countries’ race to dominate the space.
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