Friday, December 16, 2011

RE-UPDATED: Shots fired at Chinese consulate in Los Angeles

You just know this place is filled with lead paint.

AFP is reporting that the person arrested was not Korean but, in fact, a Chinese-born activist:
A Chinese-born activist has been booked for attempted murder over a shooting at China's consulate in Los Angeles after a human rights protest there, police said Friday.

Jeff Baoliang Zhang, a 67-year-old originally from Shanghai, turned himself in to police a few hours after Thursday's shooting, which left a number of bullet holes in the front of the diplomatic building.

"A lone gunman fired several shots at the local Chinese consulate after participating in a protest at the location earlier in the day," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.

"Acting independently from the other protesters, he opened fire on the consulate building and then drove away in his car."

The LAPD said it appeared the suspect was acting alone.
So the possibility I mentioned turned out not to be the case. And for that, I'm glad. It would be very, very, very bad if South Koreans or Korean-Americans are avenging someone's death by attacking or trying to kill random people who have nothing to do with the murder.

Don't get me wrong, the ROK Coast Guard and the ROK Navy need to use adequate force to patrol and protect South Korean waters and South Korean people, but shooting up the consulate has nothing to do with that. We must take the high road, and I'm glad we can still do that.

UPDATE 1: is reporting that the person who turned himself in is "a 65-year-old Chinese man with grey or white hair." Frankly, I don't know if they wrote Chinese because they know his specific ethnicity or if they are assuming so because the police description was of an "Asian" man and there have been ongoing protests involving mostly Chinese people. Having been in journalism for a while, I'm skeptical: we hope it would be the former but it is, more often than not, something like the latter.

I'm not saying I'm right, that it is a Korean angered by the Coast Guardsman's murder; I think it is equally possible that it's a Falun Gong protester or even a random drive-by. But the timing with the recent Korean-Chinese tension makes it quite a coincidence. Frankly, though, despite having written this post, I'm hoping it's not a kyopo or KoKo.

Though I haven't seen the person identified yet, reports are saying a white-haired Asian in his 50s or 60s is being sought was arrested after turning himself in (for earlier pre-arrest reports, see here, herehere, and here). He had apparently been protesting in front of the building before shooting at a consulate security guard named Cipriano Gutierrez. Nine shots were reportedly fired.

Given the escalation of tension* between Beijing and Seoul over the murder of a ROK Coast Guardsman by Chinese fish pirates, including something being fired at the ROK embassy in Beijing and someone trying to ram the PRC embassy in Seoul with his car, one can't help but wonder if this is related to all that.

Seriously, if this is the case, this is getting out of hand. China has behaved badly when it comes to this whole issue of Chinese boats behaving violently when they're caught illegally fishing in ROK waters or the South Korean EEZ, but none of that warrants shooting at the consulate. The folks at the PRC consulate in L.A. have nothing to do with any of this.

* Tensions include a Chinese protester peeing on a flag, though I'm not convinced that wasn't just a coincidence that the flag happened to be where he was peeing. I mean, in Seoul there are flags everywhere, and that's exactly where Chinese pee. Ha ha! I keed! I keed! I keed because I love... to keed!

South Koreans protesting in front of Chinese embassy in Seoul.
Their signs read, "Forget Dorothy... Surrender Toto!"
There, no one can accuse me of not providing
equal time on the whole national mockery thing. 



  1. Now, now, Anonymous. It's time for us to be the bigger person. Animosity will only make things worse.

    A stern response to the fish pirates and a stern response — not animosity — to Beijing is what's in order.

  2. I haven't heard a damn thing about it (the Chinese-Korea tensions) from anyone around here (Anhui, China). People just talk about how much they love Korea because of K-pop and shitty dramas. Then again, people don't talk much about politics. It's only in the international press I learn anything relating to this country.

  3. Well frankly, David, I'm glad to hear it. Not because I want people to love Korea because of shitty dramas (I myself prefer Korean movies over television shows) but because it sounds like this is a good counter to the online orchestration of Korea-bashing done by the authorities (they also do it against the US, Japan, France, and the UK, among others, but lately especially agains Korea).

    Most of the Chinese I meet here in Honolulu (and there are loads of them) have a view of Korea that ranges from very positive to neutral. Once or twice, however, I've been asked why Korea is "always claiming Chinese things as Korean." Obviously, I set them straight, but they weren't all that surprised that people on the Chinese Interwebs are spreading hoaxes.

    How are you enjoying Anhui? Never been there, but I have been to Jiangxi, which is the province to the south. The inland provinces one removed from the coast can be quite different from the coastal regions.

  4. Zhang Baoliang contacted Falun Gong to offer atrocity testamony in exchange for asylum assistance. Check out this report from Falun Gong’s propaganda outlet NTDTV:

  5. Dude! Hurry up and post your thoughts and opinions on the death of Jong-il Kim!

  6. I just got off a plane. It's coming (but I wrote a short placeholder post).

  7. Yes, the local people seem to adore Korea. I'm actually writing something about it this now for a Korean magazine. They have stereotypes, but as stereotypes go, these are a hell of a lot more flattering than the ones Korean people (along with the rest of the world) seem to hold of Chinese. Mostly it goes like this: "All Korean men are handsome and chivalrous; all Korean women are beautiful and feminine."

    Yeah, I agree. K-dramas suck bit time. K-movies are usually pretty watchable. Did you know that Hu Jintao loves Dae Jung Geum? He said that he's spend all his time watching it if he wasn't so busy running China. Crazy bastard.

    Anhui is great. I absolutely love it. I'm writing another article (keeping busy) that tries to entice people in Korea to visit Anhui. It's a poor place that doesn't try to promote itself as a tourist destination, but outside the cities its gorgeous. A lot of wildlife, too. Very friendly people.

  8. I'm writing another article (keeping busy) that tries to entice people in Korea to visit Anhui.

    That is so hilariously ironic. LOL.


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