Chinese Student in U.S. Threatened to Chop Hands Over Call for Democracy

BY DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW

A25-year-old Chinese music student in Boston has been arrested and charged with stalking over alleged threats to a woman who posted fliers calling for democracy in China.

The announcement of the arrest of Xiaolei Wu by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts comes at a time of rising concern for U.S. authorities over Beijing’s reach into the country to harass and intimidate opponents of China’s ruling Communist Party, as reported by Newsweek in a recent investigation.

Wu targeted someone who had posted a flier around the campus of the Berklee College of Music in Boston that read “Stand with Chinese People”, “We Want Freedom,” and “We Want Democracy”, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

He had told the victim that he had informed the public security agency in China about the victim’s actions and that it would “greet” the family back home.

He had also tried to find out where the victim was living and had shared her email address to encourage online abuse, the statement said.

“We believe Mr. Wu stalked, harassed, and reported the victim’s support for democracy to law enforcement in the People’s Republic of China so it would launch an investigation into the victim and her family. This alleged conduct is incredibly disturbing and goes completely against our country’s democratic values,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, was quoted as saying.

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