A fresh diplomatic scandal has erupted after a Chinese man was shot dead by police at his Paris home, triggering rioting in the French capital by members of the Chinese community and an angry reaction from Beijing. The shooting which took place on Sunday brought 150 members of the French-Chinese community on to the streets in Paris's main Chinatown district on Monday night, resulted in the detention of 35 people, and led China's foreign ministry to summon in a French diplomat.
Local media said the police were called to solve a domestic dispute on Sunday night and a Chinese man was shot dead by the police after he stabbed a policeman. A staff member of the police station in Paris' 19th District told reporters that the policeman would have been killed in the attack if the officer had not been wearing a bullet-proof vest. A second policeman on scene who witnessed the stabbing is said to have fired the fatal shot.
However, reporters from Chinanews.com got a different story from one of the man's daughters who was at the site when her 56-year-old father was shot dead. She said that the police broke into their home and immediately opened fire after seeing her father holding scissors. She said her father was using the scissors to prepare fish. Moreover, she added that her father, being only about 160 cm (5.2 feet) in height, was almost knocked over by the police after they broke into their house.
After the shooting, some Chinese protesters threw projectiles outside the district's police headquarters and a number of vehicles were torched in a confrontation with riot police.
China Plus adds that 35 people were detained by police in Paris after around "150 members of the Asian community" gathered near a local police station late Monday local time to protest the death. There officers were reportedly slightly injured and at least one man of Chinese origin was also injured in the protest.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded on Tuesday that it had lodged representations with officials of the French Embassy in China and urged the authorities in France to take practical and effective measures to protect the legal rights and wellbeing of Chinese citizens. It also sought a thorough investigation by French authorities and steps to be ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in France.
The Foreign Ministry said that it will pay close attention to the development of the incident in Paris and hoped Chinese people in France express their appeals in a proper and legal manner.
The French foreign ministry said in a statement that an inquiry was under way into the shooting and added that the security of Chinese citizens in France was a priority for the national authorities. "Additional (security) measures have been taken in recent months and everything has been done to provide them with the best conditions for living here and for their security," it said.
So far, local police have cordoned off the site of the incident and the man's wife and 5 children are temporarily staying at a hotel. It's been reported that the testimonies of the man's daughters will be heard on March 28. Local Chinese associations issued an appeal to Chinese communities to remain calm and refrain from protesting before the results of the police investigation were unveiled.