Leading Chinese Cinema Figure Fuming after Theft

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China Film Group number two Zhang Qiang becomes second high-profile victim of theft at Cannes

A leading Chinese film magnate announced on his micro-messaging account that he was the victim of theft at the Cannes Film Festival, criticising what he called the “arrogance” and the lack of security that he claimed were rife in France.

Zhang Qiang is the second most important executive of the China Film Group – the largest and most important state conglomerate in charge of cinematic production in China. For the duration of the festival, Qiang was put up in a Pierre et Vacances residence. He says that, on returning from dinner, he found that the door of his apartment had been forced open with all of his luggage gone.

“The management of the hotel acted in a completely indifferent manner and asked me to call the police myself, telling me that all they could do was change the lock. They didn’t even want to look over my apartment!” So denounced Qiang from the pulpit of his online micro-messaging account.

The whole notion of security surrounding the Cannes Film Festival has been thrown into disarray after the the disappearance of a precious Chopard jewellery worth an estimated €1 million on Thursday night from the safe of a hotel.

This latest incident is threatening to go a bit diplomatic: Only two months ago, China had expressed its “concern” after recent thefts and attacks targeting Chinese tourists in France and had asked the French authorities to offer them better protection. French tourism minister Sylvia Pinel, Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius and then President François Hollande (in a state visit to China) have all tried to reassure their Chinese friends of security issues in France – in vain, it seems.

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