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Chinese Consulate-General in Edinburgh Deals with the Death of a Overseas Chinese Student
2007/11/28

At midnight of October 6, 2007, Chinese Consulate-General in Edinburgh received a phone call from the Student Union of University of St. Andrews saying that an overseas Chinese student surnamed Chen was hospitalized because of sudden cerebral haemorrhage. Chen was in ICU and the hospital planned to check him next Morning. If the brain death was confirmed, the hospital would remove breath machine and formally declared death of Chen. The International Department of University of St. Andrews had no objection, but Chen's parents were still in China and disagreed to remove breath machine because there were still possibilities for Chen to survive. Besides, if breath machine was removed, the appearance of Chen would change a lot before his parents arrived in the UK. Neither party would concede.

Upon receiving the information, the Consulate-General attached great importance, Consul-General Tan Xiutian presided over a meeting discussing the countermeasure and contacted the parents of Chen immediately. Since the parents of Chen don't have passports and visas, Consul Shi Yufeng contacted Chongqing Foreign Affairs Office and the British Consulate-General in Chongqing in the early morning of October 7 and asked them to help Chen's parents to apply for passport and visa and buy air tickets to come to the UK as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Li Libei, Chief Staff of the Consulate-General, urged the rescue team of the hospital and University of St. Andrews to consider cultural and legal difference between China and the UK and managed to persuade them from removing breath machine.

Thanks to the efforts of all sides, Consul Wu Zhihong met the sorrowful parents at the airport of Edinburgh on October 10. After meeting their child for the last time, Chen's parents agreed to remove breath machine. University of St. Andrews was also cooperative and refunded part of the tuition and arranged cremation and funeral. On October 16, Consul Shi Yufeng attended the funeral held in Dundee. More than 150 persons were present. Chen's parents thanked the Consulate-General for its support in rescuing their daughter. The principal of the Student Union denoted that this incident arose wide reverberation among overseas Chinese students, the students appreciated efforts of the Consulate-General and had a deeper understanding of the principle of China's diplomacy, i.e. "People First, Diplomacy for People".

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