China strongly condemned the bombing in Boston and expressed sympathy to the victims of the attack, which killed three people and wounded 170 others.
Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “We extend our deep condolences and sincere regards to the victims and their relatives.” Chunying also said that a Chinese student was injured and was treated in a local hospital.
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According to the Boston Athletic Association, 74 Chinese from the mainland and Hong Kong participated in the marathon and seven others from Taiwan.
The report about the Boston Marathon bombing spread rapidly in China. The micro blogging sites in the country were flooded with messages of sympathy, and wrote updates about Chinese nationals who were present in the event.
One of the Chinese nationals who witnessed the explosion was Wang Shi, CEO of Vanke, the largest real estate developer in China, who accompanied 15 of his employees who ran in the race. According to him, he heard an explosion from the right side of the finish line.
Another Chinese national, Shi Yanxiu who was part of the marathon, slammed the attack. She said, “We have to continue running! From heaven, those who died probably want more people to take part in marathons and finish the journey they could not finish.”
One of the bloggers in Beijing admired the response of U.S. authorities to the incident and commented that the Chinese government should learn from the United States on how to handle similar situations. The blogger wrote, “If the Chinese government were to respond to a sudden accident like this, being open about its procedures and investigations, and without covering up, the Chinese public would trust its government just like the Americans do.”
One of the killed victims was an eight-year old boy. Martin Richard was standing at the finish line when the blast happened. His mother suffered a brain injury and his 6-year old sister who ran in the kids’ race last Saturday lost her leg. According to Cong. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Martin’s dad was a runner but he hadn’t joined the race. They were at the event to support their friends who were running.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called the Boston bombing a “cruel act of terror” during the House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. Sec Hagel said, “We still do not know who did this or why. Any event with multiple explosive devices as this appears to be is clearly an act of terror and will be approached as an act of terror.” He assured that the government will find out who was responsible in the attack. Lawmakers shared the same opinion that the bombing was an act of terror.