Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for August 3, 2017

Newsline: Germany expels Vietnamese diplomat as Berlin accuses Hanoi of kidnapping

Germany accused Vietnam of kidnapping a Vietnamese asylum seeker in Berlin and ordered a Vietnamese intelligence officer to leave the country within 48 hours. German Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the abduction of Vietnamese citizen Trinh Xuan Thanh on German territory is “an unprecedented and blatant violation of German and international law.” An incident of this kind has the potential to affect relations between Germany and Vietnam in a very adverse way. It is also an extreme breach of trust, the statement said. The Vietnamese ambassador had been summoned on Tuesday afternoon, and Markus Ederer, state secretary of German Foreign Ministry, expressed the German government’s views on this in no uncertain terms. Germany demands that Trinh Xuan Thanh be allowed to travel back to Germany immediately so that the application for extradition and the asylum application can be examined in due process. The official representative of the Vietnamese intelligence agencies at the Vietnamese Embassy in Berlin has been declared persona non grata and given 48 hours to leave Germany. The 51-year-old Thanh was former head of the state-owned Petro Vietnam Construction Corporation, and was accused of causing about 150 million U.S. dollars in losses. The Vietnamese government issued an international arrest warrant for him in September. German media said the asylum seeker kidnapped by armed men in the center of Berlin resurfaced on Monday in Vietnam, where state-owned newspapers reported that he had turned himself into authorities. So far, Vietnam has not responded to Germany’s expulsion of its diplomat.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-08/03/c_136494693.htm

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Newsline: Man opens fire at LA Chinese consulate, kills himself

A man opened fire at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles, then took his own life in his nearby car, police said. There were no other injuries in the shooting, which took place at about 6 a.m. before the consulate was open for the day, said Officer Michael Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department. “Numerous rounds impacted the Chinese consulate,” Lopez said. Lopez said the man was discovered in his car dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Chinese consulate, in a short statement, said it was extremely concerned about the incident and had asked the United States to take all necessary measures to protect the security of the building and diplomats working there. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the gunman was in his 60s and possibly of Asian appearance, according to consulate officials who cited police. The report also cited consulate security staff as saying the gunman fired his weapon at least 17 times, leaving bullet holes in the windows and facade of the consulate building. In 2011 a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from China was arrested after police said he opened fire at the same building with a handgun. There were no injuries in that incident.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-losangeles-consulate-shooting-idUSKBN1AI030