Image: Shoe that was thrown
Darren Staples  /  AP
A security guard picks up a shoe that was thrown towards Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Britain's Cambridge University on Monday.
msnbc.com news services
updated 2/2/2009 12:49:54 PM ET 2009-02-02T17:49:54

A protester threw a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and called him a dictator as he delivered a speech on the global economy in England on Monday.

The shoe missed Wen, landing about three feet away from him.

The protester was sitting in the crowd and threw the shoe after standing and shouting, "How can you listen to this unchallenged?"

The protester, who was held by university security guards, blew a whistle and then shouted, "How can the university prostitute itself with this dictator?"

Wen hesitated for a few moments before continuing speaking. University officials bundled the protester out of the building and security guards fanned out across the stage.

After the protest, Wen continued his speech, saying: "We come in peace. This is not going to obstruct China-UK friendships. History shows harmony will not be obstructed by any force, so would you let me continue."

Police said the man, who has not been identified, was arrested.

About 80 people, both supporters and critics of China, had earlier gathered outside the venue. There was a large police presence in the city and security guards within the building.

Groups of anti-China protesters, including pro-Tibet campaigners, have followed the Chinese premier during his visit to Britain.

On Sunday, police arrested five pro-Tibet demonstrators after they broke through police lines as Wen arrived at the Chinese embassy in London.

The incident follows a similar one on Dec. 14 when an Iraqi journalist threw both his shoes at then President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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