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Chinese state media: Essex lorry tragedy preventable

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Essex lorry tragedy

British authorities have been harshly criticized for the deaths of 39 people in the Essex lorry tragedy, which could have been prevented, according to Chinese state media.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, confirmed that police were still trying to verify the Chinese origins of the 31 men and eight women discovered in a refrigerated semi-truck about 30km east of the British capital on Wednesday.

“We hope that the British side can as soon as possible confirm and verify the identities of the victims, ascertain what happened and severely punish criminals involved in the case,” she said.

The widely read Chinese Global Times inferred some responsibility for the deaths on the British and Europeans, and not squarely on the deceased.

“…Such a serious humanitarian disaster has occurred under the eyes of the British and Europeans… It is clear that Britain and relevant European countries have not fulfilled their responsibility to protect these people from such a death,” it wrote.

Meanwhile, the ruling Communist Party’s official People's Daily said the victims were found to have been smuggled into the country and that their deaths were not their fault.

For years, immigrants have attempted to reach Britain, often from the European mainland. In 2000, 58 Chinese were found dead in a tomato truck at the port of Dover.

“Could the British and European people ask themselves why they have not been able to avoid a similar tragedy ... Did they take all the serious remedial action that they could have?” the People's Daily posited.

The recent tragedy highlights ongoing UK provocations against China, in particular the controversial issues of Hong Kong and contested islands in the South China Sea.

British politicians have been accused of demonstrating a “colonial mindset” over Hong Kong, which has encouraged rioters into provoking China.

 “We hope that Britain and European countries will put into effect their various commitments to human rights and make due efforts for Chinese people to be free from abuse and sudden death,” the People's Daily wrote.

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