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Death of ASU Chinese student raises concern over studying in US

Memorial for Jiang Yue near McClintock and Broadway Photo: Weibo

Another shooting took place in the US on Saturday. A Chinese undergraduate student studying in Arizona State University was shot dead by an American woman after a car accident at Broadway Road and McClintock Drive.

The victim, a 19-year-old Chinese girl named Jiang Yue was waiting at a red light in a Mercedes with her boyfriend, and was shot several times by Holly Davis, a 32-year-old woman, after the two were involved in a minor fender bender crash, ABC 15 quoted local police at Tempe as saying.  

It was not the first time a Chinese student studying in America was shot dead. Like the previous cases during 2012 to 2015 in which Chinese students were shot dead, the innocent death of Jiang has also made headlines on China’s news portals and social media.

The hashtag “Chinese student shot dead in the US” became an instant hot topic on China’s largest social media, Sina Weibo, on Monday (Beijing time) with over 1.6 million views within 24 hours.

Many expressed their regrets for the victim. “Why the young girl should die? She is only an ordinary student realizing her dream in her dream country.” This was the most common reaction.

“She is only a girl whose life just started, but ended in a foreign country. Please let her go peacefully. R.I.P.” said @ Ricardo鱼小恒 who claimed to be Jiang’s schoolmate at ASU.

There were also expressions of anger and hate toward the killer. “Devil,” “inhuman,” “psychopath,” “death penalty” are the most frequently used words for the criminal. Some even believe that the two countries’ governments should take responsibility for the girl’s death.

While people shed tears for the young girl and cursed the criminal, they also criticized gun ownership, which has caused a series of tragedies in the US, and expressed concerns over the safety of studying and living in America.

“The international students should protect themselves well,” many said in comments under the official Weibo account of CCTV, China’s stated-owned TV station, which also posted the news.

“If gun control is not put in place, accidents will happen anytime,” said @疯情小疯子.

“It is so easy to get robbed and shot even in day time, and how can we trust anyone in this place?” remarked @kuiqui.

“The problem of gun ownership is that you cannot make sure that all gun ownership is legally authorized, so you never know when such an accident will happen,” another netizen named @单眼皮的小兔子 said.

According to an article in Foreign Policy magazine in November, the number of Chinese students studying in the US during 2014-2015 had increased nearly five-fold since the 2004-2005 academic year, when there were 62,523 Chinese students stateside. Out of the more than 974,000 international students currently in the US, almost one in three was Chinese, and the Chinese students had become the most visible international presence at many universities across the US, the article read.

Experts attributed the reasons for the rising number of Chinese students to China’s rising middle class and the high education quality of the US.

The increase in the number of Chinese students in America not only has raised concerns over the Chinese students’ involvement in the American-style campus environment and social life, which has created problems like school bullying among Chinese students themselves, but also the safety of the students in the country caused by high rate of gun ownership.

Holly Davis has been arrested by the police and charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct with a deadly weapon and prohibited possessing.

According to the police, Davis also suffered from depression and had previously "expressed a desire to be shot by law enforcement."

One of the Weibo users commented that the motive behind the killing was utter senselessness. However, as the New York Times put it in an article supporting gun control in December, “the motive does not matter to the dead” at all.


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