Chinese fear rising US gun violence

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/6 22:23:40 Last Updated: 2017/11/7 2:11:19

Many parents reconsidering sending children to US for studies: adviser

A candlelight vigil is observed on Sunday following the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 people dead. Photo: AFP

Concern is rising among Chinese living in China and the US after a gunman killed at least 26 people at a church in Texas on Sunday. 

The Chinese-Consulate General in Houston said on its website Monday that there have been no reports of casualties of Chinese citizens in the attack.

The Chinese consulate said it would closely follow developments, urging Chinese citizens to stay safe.

The gunman attacked the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 65 kilometers east of San Antonio, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others, Reuters reported.

US President Donald Trump called the shooting Monday "a mental health problem," not "a guns situation," Reuters reported.

"We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn't a guns situation," he said.

However, the shooting was cause for concern among many Chinese living in the US, Li, a designer who works in New York, told the Global Times on Monday.

"Chinese in the US feel shocked and sorry for those killed in the shooting. We are concerned about our security. Some have become cautious in planning trips," Li said.

The massacre comes just weeks after the mass shooting in Las Vegas where 58 people were killed at an outdoor concert.

Many Chinese parents have started to put more importance on security in deciding whether to send their children overseas for studies, Vivi, a Shenzhen-based consultant advising  Chinese students who wish to study in the US, told the Global Times.

"Some parents prefer to send their children for studies in Canada, Australia and the UK instead of the US," Vivi said. But Vivi added that the US remains attractive to parents for its quality of education.

Violence involving firearms happen daily in the US, but they used to be more random. However, more innocent people have become victims in recent years, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday.

The mass shootings reflect divisions in the country - politically, socially, culturally and economically, Li added, saying American citizens are divided on their identity based on gender and political affiliation, and lack spiritual cohesion, he added.

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the clamor for stricter gun control resurfaced, but it fizzled out later, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times.

Gun control has been a chronic problem in the US. Problems like this reveal the disadvantages of the US political system, Xin added.


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