Ill-Fated Taiwan Tour Group Pawns in a United Front Propaganda Game

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs today denied that Chinese embassy officials had gone to the assistance of a group of Taiwanese tourists after one was killed in a hippo attack, and 16 were injured in a bus accident. The Chinese embassy in Kenya had offered to help, but the offer was declined, MOFA said.

On Saturday, August 11, Chang Ming Chuang, 66, died after being attacked by a hippopotamus at the Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort. Chang was rushed to hospital with another man injured in the attack but died of massive blood loss. The other Taiwanese man, Wu Peng Te, 62, was treated for minor injuries.

The men had been taking photographs during a bird watching walk when the hippo attacked them.

As Kenya and Taiwan have no formal ties, and Taiwan has no representative office in the county, MOFA sent an official from its representative office in South Africa to assist with the case.

In the meantime, Xinhua reported that the Chinese embassy in Nairobi had sent diplomats to the scene.

“It is the unshakable duty of the Chinese government to provide consular protection services to Taiwanese compatriots,” an embassy spokesman was quoted as saying in an article titled “Tourist from China’s Taiwan killed by hippo in Kenya.”

“The Chinese Embassy in Kenya will work closely with the Kenyan government to help evacuate the body of the victim, treat the wounded, and handle the aftermath,” the spokesman said.

On the following day, the rest of the tour group arrived at the airport to find that their flight had been cancelled. On the way to a hotel, the bus carrying the group was involved in a traffic accident. Fifteen people were injured and taken to hospital for treatment. Most of the injured were released, and boarded a flight bound for Bangkok on Monday. However, three of the more seriously injured remained hospitalized.

According to MOFA, the Chinese embassy contacted the tour leader and offered assistance in the aftermath of the hippo attack and bus accident. However, the offer was declined.

Today, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) attempted to clarify the facts after the media reports coming from the PRC government mouthpiece, Xinhua News Agency. Lee said that the Chinese embassy only called the tour leader once to offer assistance, and the tour leader politely responded that there was no need. China did not provide assistance, and these claims are not facts, but a deception using the techniques of the “United Front,” Lee said.

MOFA expressed gratitude to those who assisted the tour group after the deadly hippo attack, and the traffic accident, including staff of the Ministry of Trade, and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee member Chen Fa.

MOFA said that it has 112 representative offices around the world to provide Taiwanese abroad in need of assistance in emergencies.

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