Chinese mission wants rapist arrested and severely punished

China has asked India to “take all efficient measures to protect its citizens” after a 23-year-old Chinese national was reportedly raped in South Delhi on Sunday.

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi expressed “shock and anger” at the incident, and added, in an advisory, that Chinese citizens, women in particular, needed to “strongly remain alert about their personal security, avoid going out of [the] house alone, shun insecure places, and report to the police and the Chinese Embassy once they meet any unusual situation.”

The woman was allegedly raped by her friend, identified in media reports in India as Tariq Sheikh.

The Chinese Embassy was informed by the Delhi Police that the suspect had been arrested and that they were collecting evidence before sending him to court, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

The Embassy, the reports said, had made “official contacts with the Indian police and the… Ministry of External Affairs.” Both said they were “seriously looking into this incident and would take all efficient measures to protect the security, legal rights and privacy of the victim…”

The Embassy said it “urged the Indian government to seriously deal with this incident, protect the security, legal rights and privacy of the victim of the rape and arrest and harshly punish the rapist to render justice to the victim.” It also called on the Indian authorities “to take all efficient measures to protect Chinese citizens in India and prevent similar incidents from happening again.”

The Embassy’s statement was widely reported by Chinese media outlets on Friday, and also discussed on Twitter-like microblogs, where many comments appeared to suggest that the incident reinforced the widely-held perceptions in China that India was an unsafe destination for women travellers.

“India is known for rampant rapes against women and Delhi is called “rape capital of the world,” said the Xinhua report. “A 23-year-old Indian woman died after being brutally raped by six thugs on a moving bus in December last,” it added. “The incidents shocked the whole world. Moreover, rapes are being reported on a daily basis in India.”

In recent months, several countries have urged their citizens, especially women, to remain vigilant while travelling in India. For instance, the U.S. State Department carries a detailed advisory on its website for women travellers, which says “U.S. citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India.”

“Among large cities, Delhi experienced the highest number of crimes against women,” the website says. “Although most victims have been local residents, recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas underline the fact that foreign women are at risk and should exercise vigilance.”

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