On Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that the UK Police have yet to confirm that the 39 victims found dead near London in a truck were Chinese nationals.
On Thursday, a Chinese Consular Official has travelled to Essex; just a day after emergency workers have discovered the dead bodies inside the refrigerated container of a vehicle parked in an industrial area.
The UK Police have said that “all are believed to be Chinese nationals.” The truck had been suspected to arrive on a ferry from Belgium.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has stated in a statement that “British Police said they were verifying the identity of the victims and could not confirm whether they were Chinese.”
Tong Xuejun is the Chinese Consular Official, told sources that he had met with British Police.
Tong continued, “We will urge the British police to further find out the truth. We will keep the media informed… of the latest progress of the incident.”
The local police personnel, who have detained the driver of the truck on suspicion of murder, informed that thirty-one of the dead and men and eight of them are women.
Therefore, it is considered to be the largest murder investigation in Britain since a decade.
The death echoed the discovery of fifty-eight Chinese immigrants, who were hidden in a Dutch truck in the English Port of Dover in 2000. However, only two of them had survived.
On Friday, the Chinese newspaper Global Times has said that Britain and other European nations must accept the responsibility for the deaths.
It continued that at this moment it is difficult to say how much responsibility the dead should bear for the tragedy, adding that “but such a serious humanitarian disaster has occurred under the eyes of the British and Europeans.”
The Global Times further stated, “It is clear that Britain and relevant European countries have not fulfilled their responsibility to protect these people from such a death.”
Even if found to have been smuggled into the nation, the deaths wasn’t their fault, reads the state-backed newspaper, which is published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily.
It continued, “We hope that Britain and European countries will put into effect their various commitments to human rights and make due efforts for Chinese people to be free from abuse and sudden death.”
The state-backed newspaper has further said that it seems Britain hasn’t leavened its lesson from Dover’s incident.
“Imagine how thoroughly European countries would take measures if dozens of Europeans were collectively tragically killed in some way,” said the newspaper, “Could the British and European people ask themselves why they have not been able to avoid a similar tragedy…Did they take all the serious remedial action that they could have?”
However, China hasn’t formally confirmed yet that the victims are their citizens. As the Chinese Embassy in London has said that it had sent a team to Essex to meet with the UK Police.
The Chinese Embassy was quoted saying, “The British Police said they are verifying the identity of the deceased, and at present are unable to be certain that they are Chinese nationals.”