Yesterday’s shocking attack at Beijing’s upscale Sanlitun area may have people wondering what caused this horrible tragedy. Beijing police there isn’t much to explain because the assailant committed the crimes “for no reason”, but reports circulating in social media point to a man who was angry at foreigners in China.
Beijing police say the suspect in the stabbings is a 25 year-old man named Gao from Tonghua, Jilin Province. Gao is described to have attacked two pedestrians, a French man and a woman from Shandong Province believed to be his wife who died in hospital. Chinese reports don’t mention any relationship between the two victims or to their attacker. The report also says the attack took place at the southern entrance to the local bar street, even though pictures show the victims and the attacker located at the public square in front of the popular Tai Koo Mall.
Speculation is running rampant in social media, however, that the man was angry at foreigners in China.
— Jordan Phillips (@jordanp) August 14, 2015
Sanlitun sword attack does have Boxer echoes. https://t.co/jrv6auAPg0
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) August 14, 2015
Tai Koo Mall in Sanlitun has been part of other recent incidents. A promotional campaign involving several men dressed up as “Spartans” from the film 300 were arrested by police on a pedestrian bridge immediately adjacent to Tai Koo Mall for “disrupting public order”.