Chinese student carrying bulletproof vest denied entry to US: ‘How are we supposed to avoid getting shot?’

China's ministry of culture warns citizens to 'fully assess the risk of travel to the United States'

Chris Riotta
New York
@chrisriotta
Thursday 29 August 2019 17:08
comments
A Chinese student was reportedly denied entry to the United States after carrying a bulletproof vest in his luggage through security at the Detroit Metro Airport.
A Chinese student was reportedly denied entry to the United States after carrying a bulletproof vest in his luggage through security at the Detroit Metro Airport.

A Chinese student carrying a bulletproof vest was reportedly denied entry to the United States earlier this week, sparking a backlash online from social media users who noted the rise of mass shootings targeting US schools.

The student was going through security at the Detroit Metro Airport in Michigan when he informed security officials he was carrying the bulletproof vest, according to the Chinese-language newspaper World Journal.

Despite US Customs and Border Protection allowing the importation of “soft body armour”, officials made a decision to cancel the student’s visa and send him back to China, Shanghaiist reported.

A spokesperson for the Detroit Metro Airport referred The Independent to the US department of homeland security’s local Detroit field office, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It was not immediately clear whether the bulletproof vest was the only factor that led officials to deny entry to the student, who reportedly held a gun licence in Michigan. But the incident was criticised by users of the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo, one of whom reportedly wrote: “Americans get to have guns, but we don’t get to have body armour. How are we supposed to avoid getting shot?”

The issue of gun violence in the US has led some Chinese nationals living in the country to consider purchasing their own weaponry, China Daily reported.

The incident follows the death of a 19-year-old Chinese exchange student who was shot and killed after being involved in a fender-bender near Arizona State University in 2016.

China’s ministry of culture and tourism issued a statement in June warning its citizens about gun violence in the US.

“The ministry of culture and tourism reminds Chinese tourists to fully assess the risk of travel to the United States, keep abreast of information on public security, laws and regulations, and improve their awareness of safety and security,” the statement read.

Other countries have also released similar warnings, including Uruguay, Venezuela and New Zealand, which put simply: “Active shooter incidents occur from time to time in the United States.”

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