Congress members, activists condemn attack on anti-China protesters during San Francisco summit


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man demonstrating against China’s ruling Communist Party at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Summit in San Francisco shared details of an attack by pro-China supporters on Wednesday, saying he was knocked unconscious. It happened and the police should take action against him. Attacker

Kaiyu Zhang, who moved to Los Angeles from Shanghai in March, told reporters that she and two other protesters were attacked by a group of young men wearing red headbands or arm bands on November 17 as they arrived at the city’s international airport. The protestors were leaving when the leaders were going back. City.

His comments came a day after leaders of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China condemned efforts to silence critics of the Chinese Communist Party, known as the CCP. Republican Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley oregon The protests at the APEC summit cited videos showing human rights activists being harassed and attacked by counter-protesters.

“We, the President of the CECC, strongly condemn the alleged violence against individuals exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in the United States. We urge the San Francisco County Police to review these reports and bring appropriate justice.” He said in a statement on Tuesday,

Chinese President Xi Jinping met President Joe Biden and other foreign leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit, which occupied downtown San Francisco for a week, drawing foreign dignitaries, journalists, and numerous protesters.

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Cell phone video shot by Zhang shows young men, most of whom were dressed in black and wearing red baseball caps, headbands or scarves, following him and at least one of them Was cursing him. Zhang shouted abuse about Xi before being chased away by people, still recording, and was punched to the ground.

Zhang, 51, said he and a 74-year-old man were injured and left unconscious. Both had to be hospitalized and he said he was still recovering from injuries to his head and left eye.

“How can this happen in America? This thing should only happen in China,” Zhang said.

Zhang was at South San Francisco Police Department headquarters to tell investigators that she believed it was the name of one of her attackers. Police had earlier said the assault and battery were under investigation, but no arrests had been reported.

Human rights groups in China have alleged that the protesters may have ties to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, the Congressional-Executive Commission said. An email seeking comment from the consulate was not immediately responded to on Wednesday.

Opposition groups and dissidents have long accused the Chinese government of being behind incidents of violence and online or physical harassment of critics living abroad. Chinese officials have denied any involvement, although local pro-Beijing groups rally at major events to provide rousing welcomes and disperse protesters when Xi visits.

In San Francisco during APEC, protesters carried messages against Xi and the Chinese government outside the Chinese Consulate and the main APEC conference center. But high metal fences were erected to separate the crowds from Xi’s motorcade and Chinese and American flags were used to hide them from view. Pro-Beijing groups surrounded the protesters with large Chinese flags and used loudspeakers to drown out their slogans.

Several clashes broke out and people were pushed to the ground, in some cases with the intervention of police officers.

The San Francisco Police Department received numerous complaints of violence throughout the week of APEC and took action to make arrests when officers either witnessed the attacks or were alerted to the attacks in time, said Sergeant Katherine Winters. He said the department continued to investigate complaints arising from the summit, but did not specifically answer whether it was investigating allegations of harassment or assault against people demonstrating against the Chinese government. Is.

US law enforcement officials in recent years have repeatedly warned of what they say are aggressive and criminal efforts by Beijing to stalk, harass and intimidate political dissidents in the US – a pattern of conduct that has been described as Known as international repression.

The Justice Department has brought several cases against the operatives He says he worked on behalf of the Chinese government, including trying to derail the congressional campaign of a little-known candidate New York Who was a student leader of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing decades ago. In one particularly notable case, a private investigator in New York was convicted last June after prosecutors said he was hired to try to intimidate an expatriate Chinese dissident living quietly in New Jersey into returning home. Was placed on.

Relations between Britain and China worsened last year when a Hong Kong protester said he was dragged into the Chinese Consulate in Manchester, England, and beaten by several consulate staff during a peaceful pro-democracy protest. Did.

The incident was widely criticized by British MPs and China subsequently recalled six officials from Britain, including the head of the Manchester Consulate, before British police had a chance to interrogate them.

Associated Press writers Didi Tang and Eric Tucker in Washington, Sylvia Hui in London and Jenny Haar in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Copyright 2023 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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