News / USA

China Reacts to Boston's Bombing

Boston police patrol near the finish line of the Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, April 15, 2013.
Boston police patrol near the finish line of the Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, April 15, 2013.
VOA News
As news of the Boston Marathon bombing started spreading in China early Tuesday, the country's microblogs filled with messages of sympathy for the victims and updates from Chinese nationals present at the scene of the attack.

On Tuesday, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying expressed Beijing's condolences and said that China strongly condemns any violent attack against civilians. She said that one Chinese student had been injured following the bombings and she was being treated at a local hospital.

Wang Shi, CEO of China's largest real estate developer Vanke, was at the finishing line of Boston's marathon, where he witnessed the blasts and uploaded pictures to his Chinese microblog account.

In a phone interview with CCTV news, China's state TV news channel, he said he heard the explosions from the VIP box where he was watching the race.

"There was a sudden blast from the right side of the finishing line," he told the CCTV reporter. "Then white smoke started spreading. At that moment, there was no fire yet nor people hurt that I could see."

Wang Shi was in Boston to accompany 15 of his employees who were taking part in the race.

Wang had been documenting the race from his Twitter-like Weibo account. Minutes before the explosion, he had posted a picture of the fifth member of the Vanke team to cross the end line, wrapped in a Chinese flag as a cloak.

Deadly bombings in the United States

  • April 15, 2013: Twin blasts at the Boston Marathon kill at least 3, injure more than 140
  • September 11, 2001: Hijacked jets crash into World Trade Center, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field killing nearly 3,000
  • July 27, 1996: Atlanta Summer Olympics bombing kills 2, injures more than 100
  • April 19, 1995: Car bomb at Oklahoma City federal building kills 168, injures more than 500
  • February 26, 1993: Van explosion in World Trade Center garage kills 6, injures more than 1,000
  • December 29, 1975: Bomb at New York's LaGuardia Airport kills 11, injures 75
  • September 16, 1920: Bombing in New York's Wall Street area kills 40, injures hundreds
The following pictures were of a very different kind: white smog engulfing the street and people ducking for cover.

Wang Shi was not the only Chinese at the marathon who provided live updates on the events.

Fang Sanwen, a former deputy editor in chief at the Chinese news portal Wangyi, also took part in the race. He responded to concerned messages on his Weibo account saying that he had stopped running at the 40th kilometer and he did not know yet what had happened. Later, he posted a message saying that other members of his team had crossed the finishing line only two minutes before the blast.

The attack in Boston was headline news for most Chinese news portals and messages of condolences came from many online users.

On her microblog account, marathon runner Shi Yanxiu condemned the violence and encouraged people to react after the initial shock and anger.

"We have to continue running!," she wrote, "From heaven, those who died probably want more people to take part in marathons and finish the journey they could not finish."

​Some comments online highlighted the intense Chinese media coverage of the tragedy and comparisons to state media coverage of similar domestic accidents.

"Chinese media are full of detailed and timely reports with pictures and texts on accidents that happen abroad," one Internet user from Fujian wrote on his microblog account on Tuesday. "But I did not see such an array of reports for the fire that happened in Hubei on the 14th causing 14 deaths and 47 people injured."

​Another Internet user from Beijing praised the U.S. response to the attack and said that the Chinese government could learn from how American officials handled the situation.

"If the Chinese government were to respond to a sudden accident like this, being open about its procedures and investigations, and without covering up, the Chinese public would trust its government just like the Americans do," she wrote.

​Figures from the Boston Athletic Association indicate 74 Chinese from the mainland and Hong Kong took part in the race, and another seven athletes from Taiwan.

  • In this image from video provided by WBZ-TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers transport the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
  • One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by two people in protective suits in the wake of two blasts in Boston April 15, 2013.
  • Runner John Ounao cries when he finds friends after several explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • A police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers aid a wounded woman at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two explosions there, April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, April 15, 2013.
  • A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up after explosions went off at the 117th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • A Massachusetts state police officer guards the area containing the medical tent, rear, following an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
  • A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • Justine Franco of Montpelier, Vermont, holds up a sign near Copley Square looking for her missing friend, April, who was running in her first Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • President Barack Obama leaves the podium after speaking in the press briefing room at the White House, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

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Comment Sorting
by: Dora-the-Kid from: The Doraemons USA
April 19, 2013 1:42 PM
I can't believe it. It is so dark too say, but... I will never forgive for two crazy Chechens who killed the people in Boston.
Maybe that will unites Russia and America. I really don't know Vladimir Putin could realize it.

by: braveworld from: washington
April 16, 2013 2:04 PM
Consideration has to be given that this could be a case of "domestic terrorism" similar to the Murrah bombing in Oklahoma in 1995. There are a lot of disgruntled Americans like Tim McVeigh out there.

by: Maurin H. from: NJ
April 16, 2013 11:14 AM
hey hey... guys calm down please... the perpetrators of these revolting atrocities might not have been Arabs or Muslims... they could have been Iranians... or Saudis... or Egyptian... or Muslim Brotherhood... or Hamas... or hizbullah... or "palestinians" which is just another term for Arabs... or Libyans... or Syrians... or Al Nusra... or Qataris... or Kuwaitis... or Jordanians... or Iraqis... have i forgotten some of usual scumbags...???

by: Ken Rollings from: Canada
April 16, 2013 11:05 AM
I agree with Dorean and Kamil... its like 9/11 and 7/7 never happened... the greatest danger we face today are Muslims with western passports... "political correctness" has castrated us... look what liberal "multiculturalism" has done to the UK... London looks and smells like Islamabad... Paris stinks like Cairo... we have got to put an end to Arab and Muslime immigration to North America...

by: Dorean Montigue from: Boston
April 16, 2013 8:49 AM
isn't it amazing that the terms Muslims and Arabs have yet to be mentioned in connection with this despicable atrocity?
we have heard that it might be... the boy scouts...or the Girl scouts... or Catholic choir boys... or Rabbinical students... or some gays from the C of E... or Mormon missionaries... or christian charity organizations... but no Muslims or Arabs... hmmmmm....
In Response

by: No Name from: Boston
April 16, 2013 9:29 AM
Mr. Montigue, Do you always racial profile? Just because they blame the Arabs, or the Saudis, or Any other "terrist' race, do you think there always responsible for every explosion/terristic threat? In my eyes your ignerant and blind, ever heard of a christian exstremest, people of the lord bombing abortion clinics? See the people from other countries arent all terrist. Who ever did this was not from another country, if it was a(n) terrist, im most likley sure they would of bombed the entire race and killed alot more people the the catualties that were counted, so read a book before you blame Muslims or Arabs.
Excuse My Spelling.
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 16, 2013 9:29 AM
unintelligent people shouldn't talk

by: hoa minh truong from: western Australia
April 16, 2013 7:50 AM
The US domestic security has failed again after September 11, 2001. The US has been facing many enemy while the number one super power expects as the wealthy state, then sometimes the interests have been engaging the conflict to some country, plus jealousy even though friends. The enemies have no relaxation, but US government often release the stress when the situation being peaceful, that time the enemy could act and raise the casualty and injure people aftermath.

The terrorism war is not over yet, even the post cold war should be starting by the leftover communist countries after Soviet Union collapsed. US has been targeting from multiple enemies, so the caution has to obtain permanently. The closure should be taken before hand, not after the horse ran away.
Hoa Minh Truong. ( author of 3 books: the dark journey, good evening Vietnam & from laborer to author)
In Response

by: WardMD from: Carson, CA
April 16, 2013 9:22 AM
It is estimated that approximately HALF of the 10 to 20 MILLION Illegal Aliens in the country crossed the border SINCE 9/11 (2001). We are (and have been) at a either YELLOW or ORANGE (stupid color system) - yet an estimated 5 to 10 MILLION Illegal Aliens have just waltzed across our southern border. It should be noted, that these are NOT all Mexicans!

NOW, I'm not saying that the person (or persons) responsible for these bombings are Foreign (they could, very well, be "Domestic Terrorists"), and not to diminish the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School, but it is IRRESPONSIBLE to suggest that GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION is a HIGHER PRIORITY than NATIONAL SECURITY! It should ALSO be noted (to the Gang of 8) that NOW (clearly) IS NOT THE TIME to be ramming (so-called) "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" (more CORRECTLY called AMNESTY) through!

WE NEED to KNOW who is in the country, AND (more importantly) to SECURE THE DAMN BORDER (BEFORE we even BEGIN to talk about what we do with those who are here NOW)!

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