Pakistan Terrorist Attack on Chinese Tourists, Reactions

Road sign for Nanga Parbat "Killer Mountain" in Pakistan.

Road sign for Nanga Parbat "Killer Mountain" in Pakistan.

From NetEase:

Tsinghua Graduate Used Martial Arts Against Taliban, Enraged Them and Was Shot Dead

Global Times Military Affairs report — Last year in June, 10 tourists were gunned down by Taliban members in Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat. Included among them were two Chinese and one Chinese-American. This incident shocked the world at the time. On June 29 [of this year], Agence France Presse [AFP] published a report claiming that the Chinese-American among the dead, Chen Honglu, was the target of the attackers, with the gunmen originally hoping to kidnap him as a bargaining chip in negotiations to obtain the release of an important Taliban leader imprisoned in Afghanistan.

The AFP says in 2013 June, the attackers began plotting the Nanga Parabat operation and recruiting participants, with Chen Honglu being designated the prime target. On the night of June 22, the attackers launched their attack on the Nanga Parabat base camp wearing police uniforms and face masks. However, things did not go as planned, when Chen Honglu burst out of his tent and clashed with one of the gunmen named Mujeeb using martial arts. Mujeeb panicked and opened fire, killing Chen, thereby ruining the entire plan as well as infuriating the commanders of this operation. “The attackers then tied up the remaining mountain climbers and shot them one by one.”

The report quotes a local who was a source of information on the attackers, saying it all happened because of Mujeeb. In a publicly released video recording, Mujeeb admit he killed Chen Honglu, but indicated that doing so was entirely in “self-defense”. After the incident, the attackers walked five hours to a remote village where they buried their clothes and then parted ways. AFP analyzes that apart from Chen Honglu’s American nationality, it is currently still unclear why the attackers chose him as their target. Chen had previously studied at Tsinghua University and then afterward worked in California of the United States and Shanghai.

This tragedy has been called the worst attack on foreign tourists in the Gilgit region in the past 10 years, and has also caused heavy losses to the local tourism industry. AFP claims that the Pakastani Taliban claims responsibility for the attack. Pakistan has successively arrested 18 criminal suspect, with 5 still being detained. However, the report quotes a negotiator in the case saying that only one of the arrested suspects was actually involved in the attack, that most of the perpetrators in the case including Mujeeb are still at large.

(Original Title: American National Ethnic Chinese [Chinese-American] Killed After Using Martial Arts Against and Enraging Armed Attacker?)

From NetEase:

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网易广东省珠海市手机网友 ip:27.42.*.*:

“This incident shocked the world at the time.” Why then am I only hearing about it now?

网易河南省手机网友(117.136.*.*): (responding to above)

The world, we are just a small rural village.

网易上海市手机网友 ip:140.207.*.*: (responding to above)

We have not been a part of the world since long ago, we are all treated as idiots/fools.

大哥重出江湖 [德国球迷]:

Too scary! The latest scam! If you encounter a beautiful woman with a great body who hits on you, you must be cautious! She’ll say her father is some high official or businessman, and when you fall for it, the woman will transfer a villa and a luxury car under your name, and give you a large amount of money, and then ask to sleep with you. You’ll gradually sink into this scam, ultimately marrying the woman, and you’ll have to live with her! Then, you’ll get whatever you want without having to work, all day playing and losing your ambition, eventually become a useless person in society.

大哥重出江湖 [德国球迷]:

No matter how good your martial arts is, it isn’t better than a kitchen knife.

wjmeultima [网易湖北省宜昌市网友]:

Fear not a god-like opponent; fear a pig-like [useless] teammate.

网易黑龙江省大庆市网友 [泌尿科主任日理万鸡]:

Well aren’t you [referring to Chen Honglu] stupid now, SB?

无梦即咸鱼 [德国球迷]: (responding to above)

Although what the victim did wasn’t advisable, what you above said reveals your education and attitude [character].

塞可邦勒 [网易北京市网友]:

The ends justify the means. Had he saved one or two people or achieved something similar, he’d be a hero. Even if he were killed, he’d still get all manner of praise. But just because he was taken down with a gun, he is flamed as a stupid cunt by certain people.
What he did indeed looks inadvisable, but first, who can guarantee that the terrorists wouldn’t kill their hostages instead of humanely returning you after achieving their goal? If you’re going to die either way, why not fight? Second, at least he had the courage to fight.
PS: Looks like this has been deemed a negative incident of being rash by the media, so the Global Times headline emphasizes “American National”, while NetEase emphasizes “Tsinghua” University. Talk about amusing.

免运费 [网易江西省新余市手机网友]:

[Using] martial arts… killed by a gun… This sequence of events is so familiar.

网易广东省东莞市网友 ip:14.218.*.*:

Why is Tsinghua specifically emphasized in the headline? Who can give me an answer?

sjdd990 [网易浙江省金华市网友]:

The author/editor went out of his way to dig this up to make fun of Chinese people and make fun of Chinese martial arts.

网易澳大利亚手机网友 ip:202.76.*.*:

“My left [hand/foot] is the Azure Dragon! My right is the White Tiger!” … “blam blam”…

网易广东省深圳市手机网友 ip:112.97.*.*

This story tells us that Tsinghua isn’t the best martial arts school in the country; Peking University is.

虎头猫 [网易江西省新余市网友]:

Now does everyone know what a “bandit” is? It’s: When you use your mouth, they use their fists; when you use your fists, they use guns; when you use guns, they use the “truth”.

网易湖北省襄阳市手机网友 ip:111.177.*.*:

Why is it that Tsinghua and Peking University students all become Americans after they graduate? Are we spending our taxpayers’ money fostering Americans? Is it they who have a problem or is it it this country that has a problem?

爱国爱家别爱党 [网易山东省东营市网友]:

Although this Chinese-American’s actions should not be promoted, the spirit of fighting back [resisting] should not be negated.
The editor/author’s title seems to be saying this person who resisted is the main reason why the other people were killed.

我在找寻0 [网易广东省广州市手机网友]:

You [NetEase] just had to add “Ethnic Chinese”, “Tsinghua”, “Martial Arts” and such words to get eyeballs.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Honibaz

    Why anyone would want to visit a country that is fighting an implicit war against its neighbour and a strong networks of Islamic fundamentalists, is beyond me.

    • Yes, in hindsight, perhaps there wasn’t much wisdom in his decision to visit Pakistan, but yo wtf he just wanted to climb da mountains ='(

      • Don’t Believe the Hype

        There are plenty of places with mountains, not sure i understand why pakistan was on the list

        • Boris

          So you can get a ‘I went to the Taliban heartland and made it back alive!” T-shirt.

    • Surfeit

      I hear Pakistan is a stunningly beautiful country to visit. But aye, for the reasons you mentioned I wouldn’t venture there myself.

      • Xio Gen

        I heard the opposite. My grandpa has been around the world and loved every country he’s been to… except Pakistan. He hated it there.

  • Shoulda traded in his diploma for a mac10 yall feel me

  • Tey

    “No matter how good your martial arts is, it isn’t better than a kitchen knife” I haven’t laugh this hard since long ago.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Whoever brings nun chucks to a nuclear war, will…

      • James Clark

        …..get 10 out of 10 for style.

    • ClausRasmussen

      I didn’t laugh. But it still true.

    • Irvin

      He brought piss to a shit fight.

    • Thor

      The correct sentence should rather be “No matter good your martial arts is, it isn’t better than an entire army with ground troops, drones and fighter bombers to protect you from nearly anything”.

    • James Clark

      I think to a well trained martial artist a person with a knife would be about twice as dangerous as a person without one. i.e. still not at all.
      Of course, said example holds up significantly worse with guns and multiple opponents. Unless you can catch bullets.

  • Rick in China

    *Shocked* the world. Agree! Shocking – ninja-wannabe bursts out of tent, plays kung-fu with Taliban, gets shot. People with him get shot. Absolutely shocking… no words left.

    • Kai

      That line with “shocked” was referring to the incident originally getting worldwide media attention a year ago, NOT this latest AFP report and its new detail about Chen apparently “using martial arts” to tackle one of the attackers.

      “Shocked” may not be the best translation of 震惊. I would’ve translated it as, well, “got media attention”.

      Still, it was “shocking” in that it was the deadliest attack on foreigners in Pakistan in the past 10 years. They were just an international group of mountain climbing enthusiasts. People didn’t know why they were targeted and executed as they were. The whole reason the AFP followed up on it over the past year was to try to figure out why it happened.

      • Don’t Believe the Hype

        Well the Pakistani Taliban has had a war on the state for years, it probably just wanted to mess with the tourist industry. These tourists were probably just a good target because, for once, a group of people actually wanted to vacation in Pakistan.

  • GC

    “Tsinghua Graduate Used Martial Arts Against Taliban, Enraged Them and Was Shot Dead”

    sounds like an onion headline if i ever heard one

    • Dick Leigh

      Well, Chinese news organizations have fallen for Onion news reports multiple times. There must be a weird overlap in the style guides the Onion and Chinese journalists use.

  • Surfeit

    It’s Monty Python-esque.

  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    “Why is it that Tsinghua and Peking University students all become Americans after they graduate? Are we spending our taxpayers’ money fostering Americans? Is it they who have a problem or is it it this country that has a problem?”

    Neither, it is the parents who make the education system and then send their children elsewhere. It is interesting that this issue rarely comes up.

  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    Why is it that not a single person mentioned that Pakistan is pretty much the worst place you could possibly go on vacation?!? Is that not common knowledge in China?

    • Boris

      There are other eqaully bad places to visit. Think Middle Eastern and African countries out there not doing so well either.

  • JabroniZamboni

    RIP. Finally one with convictions.

  • moop


    haha, this is by far my favorite quote above.

    why is it that none of the above comments seem to be condemning terrorism?

  • donscarletti

    Sad to see how many netizens are calling him stupid.

    If he hadn’t, he would have helped the terrorists use him as a tool, but would not be all that much more likely to live to return home.

    He died as a brave man, which is far better than living as a pussy and infinitely better than dying as a pussy on an execution video.

  • Science Patrol

    You really can’t claim self defense after you attack someone.

  • mr.wiener

    Most informative, thanks very much.

  • mr.wiener

    Hmm, yes. If a Chinese tourist got capped by some ganga bangers in the states they’d be going ballistic.

  • BillBo

    Why would you go on vacation there? Go to Turkey, Isreal, Palastine or Iran if you want a middle east experience. Anywhere else and there’s a chance you may not leave the country with your head attached.

    This reminds of that Canadian/American couple who are being held right now in Afghanistan. They went there for vacation and were hiking around the mountains there. I understand the need for thrill seeking but I’d rather go sky diving

    • fabulous

      That sort of tourism is grotesque.

      You visit a country, where the people live in terror and are actively risking their lives to leave, so that you will have a nice story to tell your friends.
      “They may be killing their ethnic minorities, but they treated me quite well. And look at this photo of Arabic graffiti on a tank!”

      Who but hipsters is impressed by Vice and Dennis Rodman?

  • Submariner

    I see by many of the comments here that some people would rather live a life of servitude than a life of freedom. I think his American experiences and heritage most likely gave him the desire to stand up and defend himself in the face of overwhelming odds instead of surrendering and begging for his life like the others. He has tasted freedom in all it’s glory and knows how addicting it is. Many here are calling him stupid for resisting and dying in the process. Some think that the others would have been spared if he had not fought back. Using that logic, then the attackers should have just left them alone after they killed the Chinese-American since he was their main objective anyway. So why kill everyone after your objective is lost unless you planned to kill everyone except your objective anyway. You call him stupid, I call him courageous for defending himself against terrorist. A person can have all the face and wealth in the world, but neither one of the two will get you honor, courage, or dignity, these are character traits you learn, adopt, and practice daily. We all have to eventually decide if we wish live a life of servitude or a life of freedom. The choice is yours to make, You can fight like a lion for your life or be led to your slaughter like sheep.

    • fabulous

      I’m reminded of the recent picture from Iraq. A line of poor souls, face down in the sand, backs to certain death. And one lone fellow, sitting up facing the gunmen. There are people who can’t be bargained with, and that’s why some people decide to go out on their own terms.

      • masonman

        I think I know what photo you are talking about (an ISIS execution I believe) and I’m pretty sure he was just trying to get up because he had been shot and was in pain

        • fabulous

          Hey! I prefer to remember it my own way. And I’m not going to check those photos again. You can’t make me type those key words into google.

  • What a sad turn of events. I heard the same tales about Lebanon and Afghanistan too.

  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    that is crazy specific, thanks. seems a hell of a lot more ethnic centered than I would have thought.

  • Vernon Alarcon Jr.
  • Rafasa Arandas

    Why do people go to Pakistan in the first place?