Kaiyu Zhang, Pema Doma, Anna Kwok : “Congressional Commission Calls for Investigation into Beijing’s Role in San Francisco Attacks”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Congressional Commission Calls for DOJ Investigation into Alleged Chinese Violence against Protesters in San Francisco

A congressional commission has urged the Justice Department to launch an investigation into the alleged involvement of the Chinese government in the violent attacks on protesters in San Francisco last November. The demonstrators, who were advocating for the rights of Hong Kong, Tibet, and ethnic Uyghurs, claimed that their attackers exhibited signs of official Chinese involvement, including coordinated attire and a strong reaction to anti-Communist Party rhetoric. While no definitive evidence has been provided, previous accusations against Chinese operatives targeting individuals in the United States have been made by U.S. officials.

Rep. Chris Smith, chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, stressed the need for a thorough investigation to determine the reasons behind the violence inflicted on the peaceful protesters. Smith expressed concern over the lasting scars and injuries suffered by these individuals, stating, “find out why all of these wonderful people who were peacefully protesting were hit with poles, have scars that now you know will not go away.”

The Chinese Embassy, however, has denied any involvement in the attacks and instead accused the protesters of violence. According to the embassy, individuals voluntarily traveled to San Francisco to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping and show support for the stabilization of U.S.-China relations. The embassy claimed that these “rioters” met violence, demanding an investigation into the matter.

The congressional commission intends to request that the Justice Department determine whether the violence against the anti-Beijing protesters was orchestrated by the ruling Chinese Communist Party and whether the civil rights of the demonstrators were violated. Such incidents of transnational repression, where foreign governments attempt to silence their overseas critics through threats and assaults, have raised concerns in Washington about the potential impact on civil rights within the United States.

One victim of the violence, Kaiyu Zhang, a Chinese dissident who sought refuge in the U.S., recounted being attacked by a group of Chinese men in South San Francisco. Zhang highlighted the attackers’ red headbands and scarves, which he believed indicated organized backing by the Chinese Communist Party. Zhang expressed fear of further retaliation from Beijing, stating, “I feel not safe anymore, even in the U.S., which was unthinkable before the assault.”

The repression against pro-Hong Kong, Tibet, and Uyghur protesters has apparently intensified, with a larger presence of pro-Beijing demonstrators in San Francisco compared to previous occasions. Pema Doma, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, reported instances of violent aggression by organized groups, including forcibly removing a banner from Tibetan students, posing a risk to their safety.

Similarly, Anna Kwok, executive director of the Hong Kong Democracy Council, faced threats to her life and verbal abuse via pro-Beijing accounts on social media. Kwok, who fled Hong Kong due to the 2019 unrest, expressed concerns about continuing her advocacy work in the U.S. after witnessing violence against fellow protesters in San Francisco.

In response, the Chinese Embassy released an English-language statement stating that those who welcomed President Xi in San Francisco were themselves victims of “provocations and violent attacks,” resulting in injuries to numerous individuals, including women and the elderly. The embassy condemned these acts of violence and called on the U.S. to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The FBI has previously leveled charges against Chinese operatives, including Chinese police officers, for targeting individuals in the U.S. through threats, harassment, and intimidation. The bureau has accused China of projecting its authoritarian views worldwide, including within American borders. One case involved two New York residents accused of operating an illegal police station for the Chinese government, which included participating in counter-protests during President Xi’s visit in 2015.

The San Francisco Police Department denied allegations that officers were ordered to “stand down” during the attacks, stating that arrests were made based on witnessed or reported incidents. Both the San Francisco Police Department and the South San Francisco Police Department have pledged to continue investigating the complaints.

In light of these events, the congressional commission’s call for a thorough investigation aims to shed light on the alleged involvement of the Chinese government in the violent attacks on protesters in San Francisco. By determining the extent of this involvement and potential violations of civil rights, the investigation seeks to address concerns surrounding transnational repression and protect the rights of individuals advocating for human rights and democracy.

Leave a Comment