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Police Killing Prompts China to Urge France to Protect its Chinese Community

Demonstrators from the Asian community face riot police officers outside Paris' 19th district's police station, Tuesday March 28, 2017.

China is calling on France to protect its citizens in Paris after a police killing of a Chinese father of four children sparked violent protests.

China's foreign ministry says it filed an official complaint over the events and urged France to "guarantee the safety and legal rights and interests of Chinese citizens in France."

The ministry said Tuesday the father was killed by a plainclothes policeman.

French authorities said the officer shot the man in self defense during a raid because the victim allegedly wounded an officer with a "bladed weapon."

Authorities said thirty-five people were arrested after demonstrators from the Asian community gathered Monday outside a northeastern Paris police station. Scores of protestors hurled projectiles and set cars ablaze during clashes with police that lasted several hours.

Amid rising tension between the two countries, China's foreign ministry urged French officials "to get to the bottom of the incident as soon as possible."

France has Europe's largest population of ethnic Chinese. About two million people of Chinese origin currently live in France, according to University of Paris VIII Chinese expert Pierre Picquart.

The ethnic Chinese community regularly accuses police of not doing more to protect them against racism. Last September 15,000 people rallied in Paris to urge an end to violence against the Asian community after the fatal beating of Chinese tailor.

The victim's lawyer claims the attack was ethnically motivated and added that the area's Chinese immigrant community said it is routinely targeted with violence.