China, Pakistan Investigate Illegal Preaching by Chinese

By Ruth Wang, June 17, 2017 07:06 AM

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang (China's Foreign Ministry )

In China's Foreign Ministry Regular Press Conference on June 15, 2017, Spokesperson Lu Kang answered questions concerning two Chinese who were murdered by the Islamic State while engaging in illegal preaching activities in Pakistan.

According to China News,  a reporter asked, "Regarding the latest information on the Chinese nationals kidnapped in Pakistan, last evening the ROK rejected the version that the two Chinese were preaching in that place under the influence of South Koreans. What is your comment?"

Lu replied, "We have noted these reports saying that the two kidnapped Chinese nationals who might have been killed and the other ten-plus Chinese nationals may be used by some ROK religious group to do illegal preaching activities. The Chinese government is gravely concerned about the fate of the two nationals, and continues to coordinate with Pakistan to verify the situation as soon as possible. Like I said yesterday, the Chinese government always asks its people living and traveling overseas to observe local laws and regulations, respect local customs and practices, and heighten awareness of potential risks.

"I would like to reiterate that as for reports on Chinese nationals allegedly engaging in illegal preaching activities in Pakistan, I would repeat that we will work with the Pakistani government to carry out an investigation in accordance with the law."

Another question was raised, asking "You said that the two Chinese nationals, along with eleven more, were found to have been preaching. Has it been established that they are involved in preaching in Pakistan?"

The spokesmanLu answered,  "As for reports on these young Chinese people being used by some ROK religious group and engaging in illegal preaching activities in Pakistan, I would repeat that we will work with the Pakistani government to carry out an investigation in accordance with the law."

About the background: 

Islamic State killed two Chinese citizens kidnapped in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province who were Mandarin teachers in a local private school, on May 24, the militant group's Amaq news agency said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Pakistan confirmed the deaths of two Chinese nationals abducted by the Islamic State on Monday, claiming that they were preachers named Meng Sili, 24 and Li Xinheng, 26, according to the latest report by Reuters released on Monday. Earlier, Pakistan claimed that they were Chinese teachers.

After the report was released by the Global Times on June 9 saying that two Chinese nationals murdered by the Islamic State might be preachers, a Chinese Christian shared an  inclusive report from a Chinese newspaper that Elsa, a local friend of theirs, shared their life in Pakistan and clarified that they were not a couple.

"They came to Pakistan for work and were close friends." She said that Meng Li-Si, Li Xinheng, and the other 13 Chinese taught Chinese in a Korean-led language institute and were each paid 30,000 rupees (about 286 dollars) monthly. She revealed that they had recently been studying Urdu because they needed to master Urdu as a teaching acquirement, planning to open a Chinese course.Their language institute didn't have a name and was set up in a house beside a white mosque without any marks or advertisements. "I have never seen kinder people than them." Added Elsa.

As of now, specific and accurate information of the event, as well as the developments, have been unclear. 

Translated by Karen Luo

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