The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that a Chinese hostage has been executed by ISIS, according to CCTV News.
The militant group said Wednesday it had executed Fan Jinghui, a 50-year-old freelance consultant from Beijing, along with a Norwegian hostage, 48-year-old Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad. The above images of the hostages were released in Islamic State’s online magazine in September.
In a statement released this morning, China's Foreign Ministry called the killing "inhuman" and vowed to "bring the criminals to justice.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, it is not known when the men were taken hostage, but ISIS had demanded ransoms for both. “The Norwegian government had declined to pay. [...] The Chinese government said in September that it was taking emergency steps in response to reports one of its citizens had been kidnapped, but it didn’t elaborate.”
The Journal continues:
“The apparent killing of a Chinese citizen by Islamic State highlights China’s vulnerability to threats from extremist groups, as its citizens spread across the globe.
The Chinese government has faced pressure at home over whether it can protect citizens from unrest abroad. In 2011, China’s navy launched its first operation in the Mediterranean to move citizens out of the path of the then-turmoil in Libya. It launched a similar operation to protect Chinese citizens in conflict-torn Yemen earlier in 2015.”
UPDATE: Here's the full statement from the Foreign Ministry in English:
Fan Jinghui, a Chinese citizen, was kidnapped and cruelly killed by the Islamic State extremist group. We express our condolences to the victim and sympathy to his family.
The Chinese government and people have been very concerned about Fan Jinghui's safety since he was kidnapped. Relevant departments of the Chinese government activated emergency response mechanism upon learning the kidnapping and made all-out efforts to rescue him. However, with no regard for human conscience and moral baseline, the terrorist organization still carried out this cold-blooded and violent action. The Chinese government strongly condemns this inhuman action and will definitely hold the perpetrators accountable.
Terrorism is the common enemy faced by all humanity. The Chinese government opposes all forms of terrorism and firmly cracks down on any violent and terrorist crime that challenges the baseline of human civilization. The Chinese side will continue to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation with the international community and safeguard world peace and tranquility.