The Death Of A Chinese Diplomat

Mr Tan Jinyong (谭锦镛) was a proud Chinese man because he was a kung-fu master and he was a diplomat.

But Mr Tan decided to kill himself. Why?

Two Colonies

To start with, it was in the year 1903 when China was reigned by Manchus who established an apartheid system with invaded Manchus as the ruling class and native Chinese at the bottom level.

Mr Tan was, unfortunately, a native Chinese and, like all the Chinese men, was forced to be stamped with a repugnant mark on the back of their head: a pigtail – the only noteworthy physical heritage that Manchus brought to China; and was, tragically, sent to his post in St Francisco in the United States, a country by then was also under an apartheid regime.

The Eight-Power Allied Forces in China in 1900 – A comedy drawing published in a European newspaper at the time.

A Deadly Encounter

At the nightfall of August 13, 1903, Mr Tan was returning to the embassy after completing some diplomatic tasks in the town. When he walked onto a bridge on the urban fringe, he met his fate: an American cop.

Seeing Mr Tan passing by, the cop lurched out of the darkness and cursed aloud in Chinglish (English twisted with Chinese tongue), “Hi, Chink, yellow pig!” He then thrust his hand towards the diplomat’s head and threw off his cap. “Wow, a long braid, what a pigtail!” the cop cackled.

The diplomat picked up the cap from the dirt and pronounced in clear English, “Please mind your manners, Sir. Chinese are also humans!”

“Yeah? Chinese are also humans?” the American cop mocked, stretching his hand to lift Mr Tan’s chin.

The diplomat suppressed his anger and repeated his statement emphatically, “Yes! Chinese are also humans!”

But before he barely finished his sentence, the American cop slapped firmly across his face.

Mr Tan erupted. With just one strike, the kung-fu master knocked the American cop into the air and threw him onto the ground in a distance.

The cop was badly hurt and blew the whistles to call his mates. Soon a large number of cops swooped down on the bridge from all directions and encircled the diplomat. One shouted sternly at Mr Tan, “How dare! Attacking police officer! Who are you?”

Mr Tan presented his ID. “I’m a military officer of the Chinese embassy to the United States.”

“Military officer of the Chinese embassy!” The cop yelled back. “Know what, all Chink yellow pigs deserve to be beaten up!” He struck Mr Tan hard with his club. All the cops sprang forward to join the violent assault on a barehanded foreign diplomat before they chained him on the bridge fence with a paper flower tied onto his hair.

The Final Insult

A large crowd of local Americans gathered under the bridge watching the show with excitement. Some clapped their hands in the high thrill, others laughed and cheered, while a few threw stones at or spitting on the injured Chinese man.

Mr Tan closed his eyes and clenched his jaw tightly that causing the blood to drip from his lips.

Eventually, the diplomat was driven to the St Francisco police station with his hands cuffed for the only crime he committed that is being a Chinese.

At the station, when he once again presented his diplomatic ID, a chief cop barked at him, “All Chinese deserve a slap in the face. No exceptions! Understand?”

It was until approaching midnight after paying a large sum of money to the cops by a Chinese American businessman, the diplomat was finally released.

The Death of a Diplomat

Reportedly, when Mr Tan stepped onto the bridge again, his heart was broken and bleeding. China, home to one of the most brilliant civilisations in human history, had been turned into the laughing stock of the world under Manchus.

His body was found in the river the following day.

Bearing in mind, 1903 was just three years after the incident in which the Eight-Power Allied Forces formed by the countries including the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan occupied Beijing under the pretext of ensuring the safety of their diplomats in China.


  • Anonymous

    What a horrific event

    • America hasn’t really changed by essence. Its mainstream culture just swings from one extreme to another – from the violent & racist extreme right to the hypocritic & unethical extreme left at the moment and will again swing back to the extreme right soon. It doesn’t deserve to be the superpower to dominate world affairs and should not be allowed to keep dragging humanity back to the barbaric hunting era.

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