Taiwan condemns anti-Asian hate crimes in U.S. after NY hammer attack

05/05/2021 02:24 PM
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From Eyewitness News ABC7NY
 

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday condemned the recent rise in hate crimes targeting people of Asian descent in the United States amid media reports that an Asian woman attacked with a hammer in New York on Sunday plans to move back to Taiwan to be with her parents.

According to U.S. media reports, the 31-year-old woman, identified only by her first name Theresa, was walking with a female friend to a subway near Times Square on Sunday night when she was attacked.

The female assailant struck Theresa on the head with a hammer, but the two women managed to disarm her before trying to get help.

The victim was rushed to the hospital but said to be in a stable condition.

She suffered a gash to her forehead and needed seven stitches, reports said.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) Hate Crimes Task Force later said in a Tweet that the suspect asked the women to remove their masks immediately before the attack. They also asked for anyone with information on the attacker to come forward.

Theresa told ABC New York that she recently graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan, but following the attack plans to return to Taiwan to be with her parents.

Asked to comment on the case during a legislative session in Taipei Wednesday, Regine Chen (陳慧蓁), deputy head of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs, said Taiwan's representative office in New York was aware of the incident and had tried unsuccessfully to contact Theresa.

Officials also contacted the NYPD but the police said they could not disclose the nationality of the victim, citing privacy reasons, Chen added.

As a result, the ministry is unable to confirm whether the victim is a Taiwanese citizen, Chen said.

Meanwhile, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) called on MOFA to take the matter seriously as no government can tolerate its citizen being assaulted overseas.

Although Taiwan and the U.S. maintain cordial relations, the DPP lawmaker said MOFA should push the U.S. police to identify and arrest the perpetrator as quickly as possible.

In a separate press release, MOFA said its office in New York has left contact information with the NYPD in the hope the victim will contact them.

The ministry condemned all forms of violence targeting Asians, while calling on Taiwanese nationals in the U.S. to remain alert.

The ministry attaches great importance to the safety of its nationals in the U.S. particularly in the wake of a number of anti-Asian hate crimes recently reported in U.S. cities, according to MOFA.

The ministry has asked its representative offices in the U.S. to stay in close contact with local overseas Taiwanese groups and student associations and to offer assistance if and when needed, it added.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Joseph Yeh)

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