During the evening of March 26, 2017, French police – apparently responding to an alleged ‘domestic disturbance’ in the District 19 area of Paris, shot dead 56 year old father of five – Mr Liu Shaoyao (刘少尧), after he had gone to the door holding a pair of scissors. Mr Liu had been preparing fish for dinner when the police knocked on his door. His wife and five children later stated that the evening had been peaceful as usual, until the police had ‘violently’ smashed open the door to their home – and shot Mr Liu dead. Within days, thousands of people had taken to the streets of Paris protesting this latest incident of French police brutality against ethnic minorities. The French police state that a neighbour had reported a disturbance in the Liu home and when the police entered the dwelling – Mr Liu is said to have attacked the police with a pair of scissors (described by the police as a ‘knife’). Mrs Liu and her family reject this interpretation of events, and as a consequence, three of the police officers involved were suspended whilst the matter was investigated. Unusually, however, this case has caused an ‘official’ intervention from the government of the People’s Republic of China in a form of a ‘protest’ to the killing, and a demand that the matter be properly investigated. Most Western reports of this incident have got Mr Liu’s name wrong, and have not bothered to provide his name in Chinese script.
Within days, many Parisians of all ethnic backgrounds, took to the streets in protest, but there was a solid presences of thousands Overseas Chinese people present who are citizens of the PRC. The US colony of Taiwan (through its State media) was quick to distance itself from the protests – stating that the PRC was directly behind the agitation. As reported in Chinese language media, on April 3rd, 2017, over 6000 Chinese people, gathered in Republic Square, to protest the murder of Mr Liu Shaoyao, with Mrs Liu and two of her daughters in attendance.
French Authorities state that there are currently between 200,000 to 300,000 Chinese people living in Paris, but Chinese cultural groups and association have reported a marked increase in racial and criminal attacks upon Chinese people living in the city, in recent years. The PRC Government has called for the immediate ‘protection’ of all Chinese Nationals living in France, whilst the police carry-out their investigation into the behaviour of its officers. On the March 28th, at one point in the protests, fire-crackers were thrown at the police – which led to the police attacking the demonstrators. However, it was later discovered that the disturbance was caused by a ‘non-Chinese’ element in the crowd.
Interestingly, certain strands of the French media (which are viewed as racist) have stated that the police had done a good job with its handling of the Liu case, and that if Chinese people do not like living in France – they should go back to China. These rightwing newspapers also stated that the Chinese protests and violence were not due to a spontaneous outpouring of grief over a murdered and innocent man – but rather due to Chinese criminal gangs operating in France in the name of the PRC Government, acting to strengthen China’s influence in the country. According to French news sources (reported in China), the Russian news programme ‘Sputnik’ expressed agreement with this bizarre ‘conspiracy’ theory. Of course, as long as this kind of racist myth-making is allowed to obscure the actual facts of the matter, the real reasons behind the case of the tragic death of Mr Liu Shaoyao will go unreported and unseen.
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