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British cops detain protesters during Wen visit

British police detained five pro-Tibet protesters who jumped over security barriers outside the Chinese Embassy in London during a visit by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

world Updated: Feb 02, 2009 10:57 IST

British police detained five pro-Tibet protesters who jumped over security barriers outside the Chinese Embassy in London during a visit by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. The demonstrators were led away as Wen's car arrived at the building. Police said the five were arrested for breach of the peace.

Police soon confined the rest of the 200 or so protesters to the other side of the street.

Wen is on a three-day visit to Britain focusing on building economic ties and fighting the global downturn. He met Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday and is due to hold more talks with him Monday.

Pro-Tibet groups have said they will protest throughout the trip. On Sunday, they faced off outside the embassy with a group of pro-China demonstrators who beat drums and set off firecrackers to welcome Wen.

Relations between China and the West have been strained by Western governments' support for exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who calls for autonomy for Tibet.

The global economic downturn also has heightened tensions between the West and China, which has blamed the financial turmoil on U.S.-style capitalism and its institutions.

Brown has made improving relations with Beijing a priority for his government. He also is seeking agreement among world leaders on how to bolster the global economy before the G-20 group of industrialized and emerging nations holds a summit in April in London.

Among Brown's proposals is a call on China and other cash-rich countries to contribute to an International Monetary Fund emergency loan fund for struggling economies.

Wen's visit to Britain is the last stop on a regional tour that also included Spain, Germany, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and EU headquarters in Brussels.