October 30th, 2008
So somehow after what seems like an eternity of really boring news, 新京报/The Beijing News has turned the magic back on again. I’ve already referred to a few articles today, but the need to take care of the Mrs, who is starting to look more healthy but is still a ways from one hundred percent, has stopped me from going into any kind of depth or detail (not that I ever do, but…) Anyway, this article really grabbed my attention: Two foreigners stabbed in two separate incidents and no apparent motive:
Young male successively stabs two Westerners
[Note: I’m running with the more “realistic” if less lexicographically precise translation of 老外 as ‘Westerner’. I mean, it may mean foreigner, but how often do you hear it used to refer to Koreans or Africans or Indians? Well, maybe sometimes…. Anyway, I don’t want to get into this debate. Back to the subject at hand:]
Incidents happend at Chaowai’s Fenglian Plaza and near Beijingzhan East Road. One Russian seriously injured
At 12 noon yesterday and then at about 2:30 pm at Chaowai Fenglian Plaza and then near Beijingzhan East Street, two foreign men were stabbed successively. One was a Russian who was seriously injured.
Last night the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau confirmed that the suspect was a young man. Currently, the police are sparing no effort in the investigation.
Scene 1 12:00
Attack in a busy commercial area
The incident occurred on the footpath on the north side of Fenglian Plaza, bordering Chaowai Dajie.
At one yesterday afternoon, 5 police were at the crime scene, one photographing a bloodstain, four others interviewing witnesses.
The owner of a newsstand 20 metres from the bloodstain said, at 12 noon a blond foreigner walking from west to east past the Fenglian Plaza North Gate carpart was suddenly attacked, then the foreigner called for help. When security heard the news and rushed out, the foreigner had already fallen to the curb in a puddle of blood. The whole incident lasted less than a minute.
According to a security guard, the victim was lifted into a taxi and sent to Chaoyang Hospital.
“Didn’t see the assailant” many passersby said after the incident.
At 1:30 yesterday afternoon, police at the crime scene found similar hairs in the blood stain and put them in an envelope.
To one side, a witness told police that at that time the foreigner wasn’t carrying a bag, he carried only an English newspaper in his hand. The assailant fled to the east, leaving no trace.
Scene 2 14:30
At about 3 yesterday afternoon, in the Yoshinoya restaurant on the west side of the first (ground) floor of the Henderson Centre on Beijingzhan East Road, seven or eight police cars had already surrounded the scene and a dozen criminal police carrying every kind of equipment were coming and going, carrying out the investigation.
Looking through the window, a bloodstain stretching from the innermost table right to the doorstep could be seen.
“Sorry, we’re temporarily closed,” several staff said to untimely customers, explaining as they hung a notice.
The woman in charge of the restaurant said that because the incident happened so quickly, it was only by watching the video that they could see how it happened.
She said that at about 2:30 pm a Chinese man followed a foreign man into the restaurant. As the foreign man took his food into the restaurant to eat and was turning around a table, the man who followed him suddenly attacked him from the front, stealing his bag. “The two struggled for a bit, then he (the assailant) took a knife and stabbed the foreigner a few times, grabbed the bag and ran.”
She said the assailant moved very fast, taking only a few seconds. Immediately after, the front desk staff saw an injured person and immediately ran after him, seeing that the assailant had run towards Beijing Railway Station. Then the staff helped the victim dress his wounds and called 120 [note: the emergency number for an ambulance] to send him to Peking Union Hospital [why does google go apeshit with a malware warning on that website?]. “The police are still looking for the assailant. He is not easy to describe.”
Witnesses said the assailant was a man, wearing a dark jacket, short hair, about 1.7 metres tall.
Police sent the victims flowers
At about 4 yesterday afternoon, the two foreign victims were receiving treatment in the international clinic of Peking Union Hospital.
Medical staff said the American man of roughly 40 years of age had been injured in the hand, back and leg, but not seriously. The Russian man had been injured more seriously four times in areas such as the arm and stomach.
The Russian man’s wife said that her husband had just arrived in Beijing one or two days previously. When the incident occurred, her husband had just drawn money from the bank and was going to eat lunch. In the bag that was stolen was a laptop worth over 20 thousand yuan and a wallet.
At 5:10 yesterday afternoon a dozen officers and representatives of the Beijing Municipal Entry and Exit Bureau brought fresh flowers to the two victims and their families.
According to an assistant to the head of the Peking Union Hospital, the American victim is already out of danger and is resting, the Russian victim is still being treated.
Alright: It’s a bloody awful translation. Sorry. After a day of looking out for a sick colleague and taking care of my ill wife, I’m a bit tired. Actually, the fact that I even translated this shows that my wife is getting better- she was needing less attention, therefore I had more time to spend first reading then translating. Anyways, as always, corrections are welcome. This time because of the conditions under which I read the article- I’ve almost certainly got something wrong.
Secondly: Be careful out there. I’m not seeing this as an “anti-foreign” thing, although the crim in question quite likely targetted “foreigners” because everybody born with white skin is born with a collossal huge trust account [I’m still waiting for the keys to mine…]… but back in the real world, even if the skin colour of the victims was an attraction to the crim this time, doesn’t mean, well, much.
Actually, I am a little freaked at the possibility foreigners, specifically those allegedly rich white kind of foreigners, were targeted this time. That’s just absurd, for starters. There’s a hell of a lot more Chinese driving BMWs than there are foreigners of any kind driving any kind of car. Still, that ridiculous prejudice exists.
But these two incidents do not make a trend. Especially considering the locations: Places those mythical foreigners would be expected to be.
Also, a lot of foreigners I’ve met over the last nine years, especially the white-skinned variety, have blethered on endlessly about how much safer China is than their home countries. I strongly suspect that if these bletherers ever learnt enough Chinese to open their local newspaper on a regular basis and browse the headlines, they’d discover China’s just as safe as their home country.
So I’m not making much sense, but: Don’t panic, but for crying out loud keep your wits about you, especially when you’re in the kind of place that will attract obvious foreigners. All of you, regardless of skin colour, nationality, or ethnicity.