China concerned about death of Syracuse student from Beijing

BEIJING - The Chinese government expressed concern Tuesday about the death of a Syracuse University student from Beijing whose body was found behind an apartment complex near the campus.

Yuan Xiaopeng, 23, was found dead after residents nearby reported hearing gunshots Friday.

The local sheriff's office said Saturday that no suspects had been identified. Syracuse University, in New York state, said in a statement that Yuan was a junior studying mathematics, and that his death appeared to be an "isolated incident."

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Chinese consulate in New York said it had received assurances that local authorities "attached great importance" to Yuan's case. Officials "also requested that the police ensure that the personal safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students not be infringed," the statement said.

The consulate also called on Syracuse University to assist relatives of Yuan who were coming to the United States.

According to Syracuse.com, authorities found Yuan's car in the parking lot of the complex in DeWitt, a Syracuse suburb. The vehicle, a black Chevrolet Camaro sports car with the license plate "SWAG PIP," was seen being hauled away Friday.

Yuan posted a photo of himself sitting atop the car on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

Yuan also posted an August 2015 letter from Syracuse University that indicated he had been removed from the university but allowed to return under disciplinary probation. The letter did not say why Yuan was on probation, and university officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

More than 300,000 Chinese are estimated to be enrolled in American universities.

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This story has been corrected to delete references to Yuan living at the apartment complex near where his body was found.


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