This video frame grab image taken from a video aired by NBC
News on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 shows Virginia Tech gunman Cho
Seung-Hui. The video was part of a package allegedly mailed to the network
on Monday, April 16 between Cho's first and second shootings on the
Virginia Tech campus. [AP/NBC]
The Foreign Ministry Wednesday criticized some US media for "irresponsible
reports" claiming that the killer in the Virginia Tech shootings was Chinese.
Liu Jianchao said it was a terrible mistake and a violation of professional
ethics to publish reports before checking the facts.
Before it was revealed that the gunman who killed 32 people on the Virginia
campus on Monday was a student from South Korea, Michael Sneed, a columnist for
Chicago Sun-Times, wrote that the shooter was a 24-year-old man from China.
MSNBC, which cited Sneed's story on its website, said he went to the US last
year on a student visa issued in Shanghai.
Some reports even made public the blog of "Chinese shooter" Jiang Wei'en.
But the US police later identified the killer as Cho Seung-hui; and
university officials said he was a "troubled" young man on medication for
depression. He is believed to have killed himself.
Sneed's story was immediately picked up by other media in the United States
and Jiang's blog had more than 37,000 visits in a few hours.
For those checking the blog hoping to find out the motive behind the shooting
spree, Jiang decided to speak up.
was talking about me as a criminal. I just want to prove my innocence," Jiang
told ABC in an interview widely quoted by Chinese websites.
Chinese President sends
President Hu Jintao
yesterday extended his condolences to US President George W. Bush
over Monday's mass shooting at a university in the state of
In a message to Bush, Hu said he was shocked to learn about the
"At this sorrowful moment, on behalf of the Chinese government
and the people, I would like to express deep sympathy and sincere
consolation to your excellency, the US government and people," Hu
said in the message made public by the Foreign Ministry.
Hu also offered condolences to families of the victims and wished
the injured a speedy recovery.
"Yes, I am an Asian; I live in a school dorm; I am a student of Virginia
Tech; I just broke up with my girlfriend and I love guns. But I am NOT the
murderer," he said.
Jiang said he received death threats till the time the South Korean student
was identified as the killer.
Many Chinese students at Virginia Tech are also angered by the US media
reports and some said they would write a letter of protest to the Chicago
They pointed specifically to Sneed's story.
"The reckless report put pressure on, and tarnished the image of, the Chinese
community here in Blacksburg as well as in the US," said the Association of
Chinese Students and Scholars at Virginia Tech (VT-ACSS) in an email to China
VT-ACSS is the largest international organization on campus. There are over
900 Chinese studying in Virginia Tech or working in neighbouring towns.