Missing Chinese student raises question over FBI's efficiency

By Liu Yan Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/27 23:03:39

Nineteen days after Chinese student Zhang Yingying went missing from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), the FBI announced a breakthrough that the car related to her disappearance was found. The whereabouts of Zhang is still unknown.

The FBI's breakthrough brings little comfort. The fate of the missing woman has caused grief to the Chinese public. As people pray for Zhang's safe return, they raised questions over the slow progress of the US police investigation. Zhang was last seen on a surveillance video getting into a black Saturn Astra in Urbana on June 9. There are reportedly only a few thousand black Saturn Astras in the US, but it took the police nearly 20 days to trace the suspect car. Zhang didn't go missing in a no-go zone. The reportedly cautious woman disappeared on her way to sign a lease with a housing agent not far from the campus, supposedly a safe place for students.

The FBI has indicated that the case is a national priority for the agency. However, the way this case is being processed and the progress being made so far suggests more attention should be given to it. 

Zhang's father, now in the US for the search, told US media that the family trusts the police and that they won't leave without finding her. Her father's emotional appeal broke people's hearts. As time drags on, it is increasingly questionable whether the US police are performing their duties efficiently and whether US universities are well equipped to protect the safety of their students.

The case and the way the police are handling it will definitely have a psychological impact on Chinese students now studying in the US and those who have similar plans in the future. There are more than 300,000 Chinese students living in the US. UIUC is one of the American universities highly favored by Chinese students. They choose to study in the US not just for quality education, but also for the environment. But now safety has become a serious concern for them.

The US crowns itself as the world's top cop, poking its nose everywhere. The FBI also reportedly runs a massive surveillance program for national security. But when a lovely young woman goes missing in broad daylight, the US police's capability in pursuing this case is disappointing. Chinese authorities should raise their concerns and exert pressure on US police.

Last week, Otto Warmbier, a 23-year-old American student, died one week after being released by North Korea. What he went through in North Korea has enraged his family and American public. We hope Zhang's fate will be better than Warmbier's.


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