Antelope Valley Press

Activists criticize SF assaults targeting anti-China protesters


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man protesting against China’s ruling Communist Party at the recent Asia-Pacific economic summit in San Francisco shared details Wednesday of an attack by pro-China supporters, saying he was left unconsciou­s and that police should take action against his assailants.

Kaiyu Zhang, who moved from Shanghai to Los Angeles in March, told reporters he and two other demonstrat­ors were assaulted Nov. 17 by a group of young men wearing red headbands or arm bands after leaving a protest at the city’s internatio­nal airport as leaders were departing the city.

His remarks came a day after bipartisan leaders of the Congressio­nal-Executive Commission on China condemned efforts to silence critics of the Chinese Communist Party, known as the CCP. Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon cited videos from protests at the APEC summit showing human rights activists being harassed and assaulted by counterdem­onstrators.

“We, the Chairs of the CECC, strongly condemn the reported violence perpetrate­d against individual­s exercising their rights of freedom of expression and assembly in the United States. We urge San

Francisco County police to review these reports and pursue justice as appropriat­e,” they said in a statement Tuesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President Joe Biden and other foreign leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, which took over downtown San Francisco for a week, drawing foreign dignitarie­s, journalist­s and many protesters.

Cell phone videos shot by Zhang show young men, most of them dressed all in black and with red baseball caps, headbands or scarves, closely following him, and at least one of them cursing at him. Zhang shouted a profanity about Xi before being rushed by the men, still recording as he was then punched on the ground.

Zhang, 51, said he and a 74-year-old man were injured and that he lost consciousn­ess. Both had to be hospitaliz­ed and he said he’s still recovering from injuries to his head and left eye.

“How could this happen in America? This thing’s supposed to only happen in China,” said Zhang.

Zhang was at the South San Francisco Police Department headquarte­rs to give investigat­ors what he believes is the name of one of his attackers. Police had previously said an assault and battery investigat­ion is underway, but reported no arrests.

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