The US is ‘deeply concerned‘ about the arson attack that led to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco being set on fire on Wednesday night, and China has urged the US to ensure all measures of safety following the event.
“The intent was to set the place ablaze,” FBI spokesman Peter Lee was quoted as saying in an SFGate report.
So far, suspects and motives behind the attack have not been determined. A spokesman for the consulate said that video surveillance footage shows somebody getting out of a van with two buckets of petrol, pouring it on to the entranceway and setting it on fire, according to CRIEnglish.
“We strongly condemn this despicable act,” consulate spokesman Wang Chuan said. “We urge the U.S. side to take all necessary measures to provide adequate protection for Chinese consular personnel and properties, and bring the culprits to justice as soon as possible.”
Fortunately, nobody was injured in the fire that burned the doorway and reached the lobby of the consulate. The costs of the damage are not yet known, but the building was open for service on Thursday with increased security.
A similar attack on San Francisco’s Chinese consulate took place in 2008 when a group of people poured flammable liquid on a security gate in the back, according to SFGate:
That attack, which FBI officials said was not related to Wednesday’s, came the same day the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was hearing public comment on China’s human rights record in advance of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The issue had arisen because of the planned passage of the Olympic torch through San Francisco.