Monday, August 11, 2008

Condolences from Chinese Communist Party over stabbing at Beijing Olympics

This is from the People's Daily, newspaper of the Communist Party of China.

Sincerest Condolences to American People

On August 9, 2008, though overwhelmed with excitement about the Olympic Games, Chinese people did not ignore the tragedy from Beijing Drum Tower, where an American couple were stabbed. One of them got killed and the other wounded and this soon became sensational news. People are concerned about investigation progress of the case and the safety of the other wounded American who is still under emergency treatment.

Xinhua News Agency reported the news first and verified the identification of the suspected attacker. Immediately, China's Foreign Ministry reported the event to The United States Embassy in China. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei, on behalf of the Minister, immediately visited the wounded American tourist in hospital and expressed deep shock and sincere condolences to the victim's family and to the US government. Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee also expressed their deep condolences to the victim and sincere sympathy to the wounded tourist and her family. On the morning of August 10th when Chinese President Hu Jintao met with U.S. President George W. Bush, President Hu expressed his sympathy and deep concern to the incident. He said that the case will be carefully looked into and properly handled.

During the author's discussion of the tragedy with friends and colleagues, "disastrous" was the consistently used word. While people believe that it was just an accident that will not change people's opinion about security in Beijing as a whole, still it is seen as a regretful and saddening incident especially to the families and friends of the victim.

The Olympic Games is a great occasion for people all over the world. Just like the rest of foreign visitors, the 62-year-old stabbed couple Todd Bachman and his wife Barbara Bachman came all the way to Beijing with great excitement to see the Olympics.

Todd Bachman was the CEO of a Minnesota based gardening company and the wounded female is his wife Barbara. Their daughter Elisabeth, former Olympic athlete with American Women's Volleyball team, accompanied her parents to Beijing this time. Elisabeth's husband is an assistant to the American Volleyball coach. According to the brief statement of Bachman, Inc. President, the Bachmans were "extremely thrilled" to come to the Olympics. After the Olympic Opening Ceremony, they sent emails to their families and friends saying they were so happy and moved by the ceremony they had seen.

We hate to see unfortunate incidents like this, but what happened has happened. A netizen leaves a message online saying, "As people of the host country we have all the reasons to give them our prayers." Another netizen expressed his feeling in four brief words, "WE ARE SO SADDENED."

Indeed, aren't care and compassion included in the slogan "Beijing embraces the world" and the Chinese character "和" (Pinyin pronunciation as "he" and meaning "peace")? As the most precious thing in the world, a life is never inferior or superior to another despite the different nationalities, ethnic groups, or colors of skin. Love for and care about life is the most fundamental and greatest affections of human being. Chinese people would like to let all of our sincerest sympathy and deepest condolences go out to American people, to American athletes, and to the families and friends of the victim.

By Ding Gang, editor of People's Daily

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