Friday, September 28, 2007

Daily telegraph on Xue

OMG Michelle Cazullino is a legend here is her article on Xue.

On what would likely be the last night of her life, the 27-year-old sat in her home in the Auckland suburb of Mount Roskill, writing in Mandarin on her personal blog about her distress at the loss of her married lover.

"In this world, most of us have a lot of hard times; we struggle for living with exceeding loneliness," she wrote.
As the world would come to learn less than a fortnight later, the "good memories" were pitifully few, punctuated by periods of mindless violence and futile attempts to escape the sadistic spectre of her husband, Nai Xin Xue. This week he became an international fugitive after it was revealed he had abducted their three-year-old daughter, Qian Xun, and dumped her at Melbourne's Southern Cross railway station last Saturday.
Xue is now the prime suspect in her murder and there are suggestions their daughter might have witnessed her mother's death.
Even in Annie's most terrifying nightmares, she could never have anticipated it would come to this.

From the outset, she had been dependent on Xue, firstly as a struggling young language student who saw an opportunity when her landlord offered to let her move in, and later as a 23-year-old bride, already three months pregnant.

Their disastrous union was always destined to fail: at 50, Xue was a year older than Annie's mother and a divorced magazine publisher and martial arts practitioner, whose lack of financial acumen led one creditor to label him a "terrible businessman". As Annie would soon come to learn, there was a more sinister side to her new husband.

Intensely possessive of his beautiful family, he soon began exhibiting the same selfish traits that led him to abandon his eldest daughter Grace, then 19, in New Zealand in 1999. Despite later claiming she had run away from him, he eventually devised an explanation that allowed him to simultaneously accept the blame for their parting while exonerating himself of any real wrongdoing. The man who once published a book documenting his birth as a gift to his mother from the gods would never accept that his "mission" - spreading his style of martial arts around the world - was doomed to fail time and again.

In the mid-1990s, he arrived in New Zealand from Fushun, in China's Liaoning province, keen to prove his expertise as a kung fu master, and promptly organised a demonstration designed to showcase his expertise. What happened next would become the stuff of local gossip for years to come.

"He invited people to come and test how skilful he was," restaurant owner and former acquaintance Raymond Tang recalls. "I believe a Pacific Islander came up and because of his mass, (Xue) was beaten easily - just one move and he was off the track. He left New Zealand for some years before coming back again and proclaiming himself a master. I do not know him well, but I do not feel it's the case."

History was destined to repeat itself in Los Angeles, where Xue surfaced again in 1999. Although he was temporarily reunited with former girlfriend Qiu Yan Xu, he was ostracised by the local martial-arts community almost immediately.

According to Anguang Sun, owner of the Tai Chi Academy of Los Angeles, Xue advertised for students in a local Chinese-language newspaper, but was soon found to have inflated his qualifications.

"He is a very arrogant man . . . I don't think anybody liked him here," Sun says. "He told people that he was the best in the world at Wu-style tai chi - he said he was a grand master. He was always boasting and lying, all so he could make money by cheating people."

His fortunes looked to have turned around by the time he met Annie in late 2002. The publisher of Auckland's Chinese Times, he allowed himself to be filmed for a university documentary as he made a tearful plea for the "missing" Grace to get in touch. He resolved to be a better father when Qian arrived in early 2004. About that time, he established the NZ Energy Kungfu Association and was running a number of increasingly popular tai chi classes.

But chillingly, he also began using his young wife as a punching bag.

By the time he became a New Zealand citizen, and she a resident, in 2005, the couple's marital difficulties were well entrenched and they had moved houses several times.

The situation came to a head a year later, when Xue was convicted of bashing his wife. The details of the assault, contained in court papers, revealed that he had held a kitchen knife to her stomach and had threatened to kill her for the crime, in his eyes, of "not returning his love". He had also bashed her, leaving her right eye swollen and bruised and her nose bloody.

Their daughter, the couple's only child, also suffered a cut to the head. In September, Annie spent a month in Shakti Asian Women's Refuge in Auckland, where she was helped to obtain protection and parenting orders.

Another Chinese woman, who met her during her stay, later recalled how Annie had arrived at the shelter battered and bleeding.

She later admitted to being bashed by Xue, who was demanding sex on a daily basis and had confiscated her passport to prevent her from leaving. The woman wrote on a Chinese language website: "(Xue) threatened if Annie escaped he would kill Annie and her family."

The couple's neighbours were also aware of their marital problems, with many of them describing him as a strange and difficult man.

"I think his temper (was) not very good: easy to anger," Yu Hui said.

In November, Annie fled with their daughter to her parents' home in Changsha, in China's Hunan province, but the pair returned to New Zealand in February this year.

She appeared to have resolved not to return to her husband, and using the pseudonyms Flower on the Other Bank and Bi An, she enrolled in three dating websites.

In one listing, she describes herself as childless; in another, she wrote that she was looking for friendship in a "hard, uncontrollable and lonely life". Eventually, she began an affair with a married man. She wrote extensively about their short-lived liaison on her personal blog, which she opened on July 29. The man in question is thought to be a Wellington artist, the man she calls "my ideal" on the site.

"He is a married man, even has a two-year-old daughter. This dooms he and I to a fleeting affair," she wrote in an entry dated August 29.

"Like a family living happily together for almost two months . . . I found myself deeply in love with this a little bad and very cute guy.

"Fool around, but don't fall in love. This is a truism. The deeper the love, the most painful is the hurt. The week before his wife returned, I drove away and fled our little love nest . . . fled the city that belongs to him.

"The heart, cut like a knife. A wounded heart. Tears, on the face . . . there'll never be anyone who loves you as deeply as I do, this you'll never understand." Xue, however, was not ready to relinquish his control over his wife, and nothing in their relationship would change.

With her lover now out of the picture, he was able to talk her into returning to him.

Yet not even the thought of losing her for good was enough to compel him to alter his ways. "Annie was a very peaceful and friendly lady," neighbour Mao Shi Quan recalls.

"A few months ago (she) came to my house very frightened."

In the final few entries on her blog, Annie detailed the impact of her destructive marriage.

"Life is like a (bad) dream," she wrote. "My life is unstable and I hope I can just have the freedom to come and go any time I want until I can find a place where I can emotionally have a rest.

"But I simply can't find it. I am tired and lonely. Life is meaningless without love. Life is suffering."

Despite that, she had not given up on finding a new partner.

"If I love someone," she wrote, "I will also love his shortcomings. I will be a good wife and a good mum."

By that stage, she had also begun lying to her mother, Liu Xiaoping, who was in constant contact with her daughter over the internet.

On August 20, she told Liu the reason she had returned to Auckland from Wellington was that Qian was not accustomed to the city's wild and windy weather.

She also claimed she had not returned to her husband, although Liu would later learn that was a lie when she rang her daughter's phone and Xue himself answered.

For Liu, the decision was characteristic of her daughter: "She was a very kind, unsophisticated person, she was very trusting and naive and she didn't have much social experience," she said earlier this week. "But she cared very much about her family, her child and her husband."

Others had another explanation. "Annie had no will of her own," family friend Yuegang Wang says.

"That made her totally dependent on her husband (both) financially and emotionally."

By Tuesday, September 11, her time was running out. The last confirmed sighting of her took place at 4.35pm that afternoon. Annie's final hours remain a mystery, although it is believed her husband confronted her about her extramarital affair. At 9.20pm, Xue was caught on CCTV cameras retrieving a ceremonial sword and his passport, both of which had been confiscated by police after an earlier domestic incident.

But when Annie refused to testify against her husband, authorities had no choice to return them.

From there, he allegedly drove himself and little Qian - Pumpkin - to the airport in his wife's car, which was later discovered in the carpark where he left it.

The pair were again caught on security cameras in Melbourne, with Xue abandoning the child at the bottom of an escalator.

Dragging a large suitcase behind him, he never looked back.

Qian has since been placed in the custody of the Victorian Department of Human Services and remains in the care of a foster family.

Few details have been released about how she is faring, but earlier this week, it was revealed that she had reacted with excitement after recognising a photo of her mother on TV. And sadly for the little girl, if she did witness Annie's murder, Qian seems to have no real understanding that she is gone.


Post a Comment

<< Home