TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A British man was savagely beaten by nearly a dozen Chinese men in a small city in Cambodia when they discovered he had "Taiwan" tattooed on his forehead and he refused to recognize their claim that the country is part of China.
While on vacation in Cambodia, a British ex-pat who has lived in Taiwan for 14 years and goes by the name "Paul," at around 11 p.m. on Saturday evening (May 27) took a seat at a bar in Sihanoukville Square in the coastal Cambodian city of Sihanoukville. When he ordered a drink and took off his hat, a large group of Chinese men sitting nearby, who he believed to be overseas workers, noticed that the traditional Chinese characters for "Taiwan" (臺灣) were tattooed on his forehead.
One of the Chinese men then shouted in Mandarin "Taiwan, China! In response, Paul retorted "Taiwan, Taiwan!" Paul says that they then "went insane, grabbed poles and started attacking me."
He says that at least 10 Chinese men savagely beat him, demanding that he say that Taiwan is part of China, as hundreds of bystanders watched. Refusing to refer to Taiwan as part of China, but fearing for his life, Paul said in Mandarin, "OK, you think Taiwan is China I'll say Taiwan is China, I just want to leave."
After the bludgeoning was over, Paul says that he suffered a gash to his head, many bruises to his body, a fat lip, two lost teeth, and two badly dented teeth. He says that due to the damage to his teeth, he can longer close his mouth properly.
Paul's appearance immediately after the brutal assault.
In a post on Facebook Paul uploaded today, he described the harrowing encounter and admitted his regret about getting Taiwan tattooed on his forehead and warned other travelers to be careful when traveling in Cambodia:
"In future not going to take my hat off, getting tattoo removed btw, as was a stupid drunken mistake getting it tattooed on my face, any other part of my body would have been fine but not the face, had four laser removals already so flag on chin gone almost already still need a few more for forehead.
Taiwanese be careful abroad stay safe ! Actually I’ve met many really nice Chinese here in Cambodia but obviously only takes one group that are not so friendly and have trouble."
Paul holding a tooth that fell out after the assault.
Paul rocketed to fame last October when photos of a Taiwan tattoo on his forehead and a Taiwan independence flag on his chin first surfaced on social media. Seven years ago, after marrying a Taiwanese woman, Paul claims he became a naturalized Taiwanese citizen, adopted the Chinese name "Lohan" (羅翰), and started running a bar called "The Kayak Club" in Kaohsiung.
Paul showing damage to his lip and a front tooth which is badly dented inwards.
Video of Paul's account of his harrowing encounter with angry Chinese workers.