TAIPEI, Taiwan – The President of Taiwan has condemned this shooting at a Taiwanese church in California The man is reportedly driven by hatred for the island, while lawmakers from her ruling party have questioned whether Chinese propaganda is a motivating factor for violence.
On Tuesday, President Cai Ying Wen’s office issued a statement saying it condemned “any form of violence,” expressed condolences to those killed and injured, and asked the island’s chief representative to fly to California for help.
68-year-old David Chow from Las Vegas was expected to appear in a California court on Tuesday on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. Police said he hid the bombs before Sunday’s shooting in a gathering of mostly elderly Taiwanese parishioners at a church in Laguna Woods. One person was killed and five were injured, the eldest 92. A federal investigation into hate crimes is also ongoing.
According to police, Zhou, who he said was born in China and is a US citizen, apparently had claims against the Taiwanese community. Zhou was born in Taiwan in 1953, according to the Taiwan Central News Agency, citing the head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Bureau in Los Angeles, Taiwan’s actual consulate in the city.
According to Taiwanese media, Zhou had ties to a China-backed organization that opposes Taiwan’s independence, although details could not be confirmed immediately.
Chinese embassy spokesman Liu Penyu told the AP by e-mail that the Chinese government “consistently condemns incidents of violence. We express our condolences to the victims and our sincere condolences to the families of the victims. “
China declares Taiwan as its own territory, which it will join by force if necessary, and regularly condemns Tsai, its ruling Democratic Progressive Party and their foreign supporters in increasingly harsh terms.
Tensions between China and Taiwan have peaked in decades, and Beijing is stepping up military persecution by directing fighters toward the self-governing island.
In Taiwan, DPP lawmaker Lin Ching-yi said “ideology caused genocide” in a message on her Facebook page.
Lin said Taiwanese need to “face hate speech and organizations” backed by China’s ruling Communist Party, nominating the United Front’s Labor Department, which seeks to promote China’s political agenda in Taiwan and among Chinese communities abroad.
The United States is Taiwan’s main political and military ally, although it is not expanding official diplomatic relations with the island out of respect for Beijing.
Bi-chem Xiao, de facto ambassador of Taiwan, wrote on Twitter on Monday that she was “shocked and saddened by the fatal shooting at Taiwan’s Irwin Presbyterian Church in California.”
“I join the families of the victims and Taiwanese American communities in grief and pray for the speedy recovery of the survivors,” Xiao wrote.
Zhou’s hatred of the island, documented in handwritten notes found by the authorities, apparently began when he felt he had been mistreated when he lived there.
A former neighbor said Zhou’s life unfolded after his wife left him and his mental health deteriorated.
The Zhou family was apparently among about 1 million refugees from mainland China who moved to Taiwan around the time of the communist rise to power on the mainland in 1949.
The former Japanese colony was handed over to nationalist Chinese only in 1945 at the end of World War II, and relations between mainlanders and indigenous Taiwanese were often strained.
Divided by language and lifestyle, there were frequent cases of bullying and confrontation between the parties.
Many mainland youths, who were concentrated in major cities, joined tough organized crime groups linked to military and Chinese secret societies, in part to protect themselves from Taiwanese rivals.
Presbyterian Church is the most famous of the Christian dominances in Taiwan and was closely identified with the pro-democracy movement during the decades of martial law era and then with the goal of Taiwan’s independence.