US police shot dead a person who crashed their car into China’s consulate in San Francisco on Monday afternoon, as expectations build for President Xi Jinping to visit the California city for a key summit next month.
(Bloomberg) — US police shot dead a person who crashed their car into China’s consulate in San Francisco on Monday afternoon, as expectations build for President Xi Jinping to visit the California city for a key summit next month.
San Francisco police confirmed they shot the driver who was pronounced dead at a local hospital, and said an investigation is underway. Unverified video on social media showed a blue Honda vehicle inside the consulate as people streamed out into the street.
“When officers arrived on scene, they found that the vehicle had come to rest in the lobby of the Chinese Consulate,” according to a police statement. “An officer contacted the suspect and an officer-involved shooting occurred. Officers rendered aid and summoned paramedics to the scene.”
The Chinese consulate said in a statement that it asked the US to “promptly investigate” and “seriously handle the matter.” It also urged the US to ensure the safety of the consulate premises and personnel.
A witness told the San Francisco Standard that the driver shouted “Where’s the CCP,” using the acronym of the Chinese Communist Party.
The police statement added that “the SFPD and officials from the US State Department are working with the Chinese consulate” in the shooting’s aftermath.
The incident took place hours after Xi met with a bipartisan group of US congressional leaders for the first time in eight years, paving the way for a potential meeting with President Joe Biden next month at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco.
Beijing hasn’t confirmed Xi’s attendance, but both the US and China have been scouting sites in the coastal city for a Biden-Xi meeting, Bloomberg News reported earlier. If Xi visits San Francisco, it will be the Chinese leader’s first trip to the US since April 2017, when he was hosted by then-President Donald Trump.
Xi and Biden last met at the Group of 20 gathering in Indonesia in November last year. China-US relations cratered months later, after the US shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon that was floating over the US. Ties have remained under strain as the world’s two biggest economies feud over issues including Taiwan and restrictions on the trade in semiconductor chips.
The consulate attack was among the top trending topics on China’s microblogging platform Weibo on Tuesday morning, racking up some 90 million reads. Some internet users sought to contrast the incident with the situation in China, which they said is far safer. Others gave the police credit for their actions, with one Weibo user saying: “This is a good ending.”
–With assistance from Jing Li.
(Adds police statement starting in third paragraph.)
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