Embassy bombing protested

More than 200 members of the Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars gathered on Northrop Plaza on Monday afternoon to peacefully protest the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
NATO missiles struck the embassy on Friday, May 7, killing three and injuring more than 20. Although President Clinton apologized for the attack that NATO blames on outdated intelligence, Chinese students want more.
Tiezhong Ma, an electrical engineering graduate student and Friendship Association member, said the Chinese people demand that the United States conduct a fair and quick investigation in order to find an explanation and solution to the problem.
“We are waiting for answers,” Ma said. “It is very important to let the Chinese people know the results or it will make (relations between the United States and China) worse.”
Another member, Feng Fang, a graduate student in water resources science, said the goal of the protest was to raise awareness of the effects of the bombing.
“American students need to know how Chinese students feel,” Fang said. “(The bombing) definitely could have been prevented.”
Institute of Linguistics and Asian Languages Professor Yu-Shih Chen said the bombing was an unfortunate act of war and is deeply regrettable. But Chen said she believes that if the bombing was not an accident, proper steps should be taken to compensate the victims’ families and punish the accused.
“If it was deliberate, it should be condemned,” Chen said.
After a moment of silence on the Northrop Plaza to remember the victims, the group quietly marched to Coffman Union and back, pausing on the pedestrian bridge momentarily to attract the attention of passing motorists.
They held signs that read, “Mourn for innocent victims,” and, “Punish those responsible for the attack.” They also carried pictures of two who died.
Fang said that two of the dead were a recently married couple.
After returning to Northrop Plaza, the protesters signed a letter addressed to President Clinton. In the letter, the Chinese students and scholars listed their demands of the U. S. government and NATO.
The students voice their beliefs in the document. “Only with a sincere apology and a thorough investigation can the U.S. government regain the trust of Chinese people and extend a good relationship between the two countries to the new millennium.”
The letter also states that the bombing has “deeply hurt the feelings of our Chinese people.”
On Saturday, up to 20,000 Chinese students protested NATO’s actions outside the United States and British embassies in Beijing. Because of the incident, talks between the United States and China regarding human rights have been suspended.