Chinese reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing came to a fever pitch Wednesday after the third victim was confirmed to be Chinese graduate student Lü Lingzi.
Liu Kuan, a Chinese graduate student who witnessed and filmed the Boston Marathon bombing, was interviewed by ifeng news. According to Liu, she was following and filming a runner near the finish line when the explosion went off near her.
“I thought about going closer and filming the explosion, but then my reaction was, I’m an only child and should get myself to safety,” Liu said.
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After the explosion, Liu updated her Weibo (China’s Twitter) with first-hand accounts of the incident and became widely followed.
“I still don’t feel safe,” Liu said, when asked whether she felt safe now, having escaped relatively unscathed. “Because I don’t know where there will be more bombs.”
Liu added she wants to go home to China badly, because the United States makes her feel very unsafe.
After Lü Lingzi’s death was confirmed, many, from Chinese President Xi Jinping to netizens on Weibo, expressed their condolences to her family and sadness that a young, beautiful woman’s life ended in such tragedy. Lü was also an only child, something not uncommon among her generation in China, due to the one-child policy inaugurated in the late 1970s.
Tuesday, the president expressed his deep grief, and extended his condolences to Lü’s family, as well as sympathies to wounded Chinese student Zhou Danling and her family, Xinhua reported. Xi also instructed the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy in the United States and the Chinese Consulate General in New York to make all efforts to handle the aftermath and arrange treatment for Zhou.
Officials from the Chinese Consulate General in New York have already visited Zhou in Boston, according to China News. Zhou is badly injured but stable, and in no danger for her life.
Many Chinese students, both in China and abroad, expressed on the Internet their sorrow for Lü’s death.
“After reading the news, I felt a terrible chill,” blogger mexiao wrote. “I went to the same high school as Lü Lingzi, she’s my fellow alum and we are from the same town. I can’t believe the terrorist act hit so close to us. Terrorism isn’t only America’s enemy; it’s the enemy of all of humanity.”
The last update Lü Lingzi posted on Weibo was a photo of her breakfast the morning of the Boston Marathon. The post now has more than 20,000 comments from well-wishing netizens. The earliest comments were from her friends, checking to see if she was okay. These stopped when news of her passing came to light.
"Lü Lingzi, Rest In Peace," many of the later comments said.