The man suspected of killing one congregant and wounding four others in a shooting Sunday at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Orange County, California, was a naturalized Chinese immigrant who allegedly acted out of hatred for Taiwan, officials said. Taiwan, an island officially known as the Republic of China, is a capitalist country to which nationalist Chinese fled from the mainland after Mao Zedong’s communists won a civil war in 1949. The People’s Republic of China claims Taiwan as its own. The issue is a flashpoint in the western Pacific, and a sore spot for China, which resents Taiwan’s economic integration into the western world, its relative freedom, and its tentative military alliances with the U.S. and other geopolitical rivals.
The Orange County Register reported Monday:
The man accused of killing one and injuring four others with gunfire inside a Laguna Woods church on Sunday while a Taiwanese Presbyterian group was meeting was motivated by tensions between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, Orange County’s sheriff said. David Wenwei Chou, a 68-year-old Las Vegas resident, lived in the United States for decades after immigrating here from China. He is a United States citizen, although his wife and a son do not live in the U.S.
Detectives found evidence that Chou “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan,” Sheriff Don Barnes said, including notes in Chou’s vehicle showing “his hatred of the Taiwanese people.”