Study in US safe, Chi­nese par­ents as­sured

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By LI XIAOKUN

A com­mu­nity leader has called on Chi­nese par­ents with chil­dren study­ing in the United States not to over­re­act about the al­leged kid­nap­ping of Zhang Yingy­ing, a vis­it­ing scholar who went miss­ing in June.

Si­mon Pang, pres­i­dent of the US Sino Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion, said the in­ci­dent had con­cerned Chi­nese peo­ple — and Asians gen­er­ally — but stressed it was an iso­lated case.

The Asian com­mu­nity has been ac­tively in­volved in the case, he said. “Even Henry Chang-Yu Lee (one of the world’s fore­most foren­sic sci­en­tists) has been in­volved. I was also in­volved, mak­ing com­ments, mak­ing sug­ges­tions,” he added.

Zhang, 26, who was on a study pro­gram at the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Ur­bana-Cham­paign, has not been seen since June 9, when a cam­pus se­cu­rity cam­era recorded her get­ting into a dark-col­ored car near a bus stop.

Prime sus­pect Brendt Chris- tensen, 28, of Cham­paign, was in­dicted this month on a charge of kid­nap­ping and pleaded not guilty. He will stand trial on Sept 12.

Based on the ev­i­dence col­lected, po­lice say they be­lieve Zhang is no longer alive.

Peo­ple of Chi­nese ori­gin liv­ing in the US have made ef­forts to look for Zhang and closely fol­lowed the case.

Still, Pang pointed out that “in every coun­try you travel there are good peo­ple and bad peo­ple”. Con­cern over se­cu­rity is not a good rea­son to miss out on op­por­tu­ni­ties to study or work in the US, he added.

He said the Chi­nese con­sulate in Los An­ge­les is do­ing a good job of pro­tect­ing Chi­nese stu­dents by “work­ing very closely with Chi­nese stu­dent bod­ies to make sure ev­ery­body stays safe” and by shar­ing its emer­gency con­tact num­bers.

Pang is lead­ing a del­e­ga­tion of elected of­fi­cials from Cal­i­for­nia, in­clud­ing five may­ors and en­trepreneurs, to China. The trip is sched­uled to take them to Bei­jing and then to Sichuan, Fu­jian and Guang­dong.

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