Sunday, August 14, 2022

Belgium reminds South Korean ambassador after Chinese woman beats clerk from shop

The Belgian ambassador to South Korea has been recalled after a China-born woman slapped a shop assistant in Seoul, causing a commotion across the country.

On May 28, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes had decided to end the summer of South Korean Ambassador Peter Lescouhier, a position he has held for three years.

In early April, Lescouhier’s wife, Xiang Xueqiu, slapped a clerk in a clothing store in Seoul after the employee wrongly accused her of shoplifting. The incident was captured by a security camera, and the footage was widely circulated on social media, which drew strong criticism of Xiang’s behavior.

South Korean police have launched an assault investigation against Xiang.

Some people called on South Korean President Moon Jae-in to oust the Belgian ambassador, and many even went to the Belgian embassy in South Korea to protest.

Lescouhier said on April 22 that his wife, Xiang, was receiving treatment at the hospital due to a sudden stroke after the incident, and that the police investigation had been postponed. He officially apologized on behalf of his wife.

However, some South Koreans were not happy with the apology.

Public outrage was caused again when news broke on May 18 that Xiang had demanded diplomatic immunity to avoid criminal charges for the assault.

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On May 28, the Belgian embassy in South Korea posted Facebook confirming that Xiang met the two shop assistants involved in the incident in a private meeting and apologized after being discharged from the hospital. It added that Xiang’s diplomatic immunity had been revoked at the request of the South Korean police and that she would cooperate fully with the police investigation, if health allowed.

South Korean media report that according to South Korean foreign officials, the Belgian government’s “withdrawal of diplomatic immunity” was limited to the police interrogation this has already taken place and does not mean that Xiang would be subject to further judicial proceedings, such as court hearings.

“However, it has become clear that the current situation does not allow him to continue his role in a calm manner,” the Belgian Foreign Ministry said of its decision to recall Lescouhier.

Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes holds a news conference following a National Security Council meeting amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Brussels, Belgium, on 23 July 2020. (Dirk Waem / Pool via Reuters)

This year is the 120th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Belgium and South Korea. Wilmes and the Belgian government said in a statement that they highly value the long-term friendship based on solid political and economic ties between the two countries.

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Xiang was reportedly born in Beijing in 1958 and worked in the Chinese communist regime foreign affairs office. She met Lescouhier in China.

The news about the recall of the Belgian ambassador was a popular topic in China. A Chinese netizen commented: “Even if the clerk made a mistake, [Xiang] should not have gone behind the counter to slap her. This is not dignified behavior befitting a diplomat’s wife. This is not the first time that Chinese have acted wildly in other countries. ”

Another said: ‘She blew her own cloak’, while someone in another post accused the lack of refined behavior among many Chinese of destroying traditional Chinese customs and values ​​under communist rule.

“The contemporary culture on the mainland of China under the Chinese Communist Party is nothing like the traditional Chinese civilization,” they said.

Other comments speculating about the mentality behind the woman’s aggression. “The ‘wolf warrior’ mentality has been implanted deep in the hearts of Chinese people,” said one person. Another said: ‘The Chinese Dama is still a communist bandit in her bones, even though she has changed her nationality. ‘


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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