32 hurt in latest China school knife attack.

Discussion in 'China' started by bhramos, May 1, 2010.

  1. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

    Mar 21, 2009
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    32 hurt in latest China school knife attack

    A jobless knife-wielding man injured 32 people, mostly young children, at a kindergarten in eastern China Thursday in the country's third school stabbing frenzy since last month.

    All of the 29 children injured in the attack in the city of Taixing were in stable condition, a government official told AFP.

    The alleged assailant, 47-year-old Xu Yuyuan, burst into a classroom with a 20-centimetre (eight-inch) knife and started stabbing the children, most of whom were just four years old, Xinhua news agency said.

    Two teachers and a security guard who tried to stop the attack in Jiangsu province were also hurt. A motive for the attack has not yet been reported.

    "A total of 32 people have been injured, 29 children and three adults," the government official who gave only his surname, Zhu, told AFP by phone.

    "Five people who were seriously injured are now in stable condition. No one has died so far."

    Photos on Chinese websites showed dozens of people massed outside the school, many apparently parents frantically searching for their children.

    The attack is the latest in a wave of senseless violence that underscores wrenching social change in China, where crime rates have risen steadily since the country began opening up three decades ago.

    On Wednesday, Chen Kangbing, a 33-year-old teacher reportedly on sick leave due to mental problems, injured 15 students and a teacher in a knife attack at a primary school in the city of Leizhou in southern China's Guangdong province.

    Reports said he was later arrested and all the injured were in stable condition.

    That attack occurred just hours after authorities in Fujian province in the southeast executed former doctor Zheng Minsheng for stabbing to death eight children and injuring five others on March 23.

    Zheng, 41, used a dagger to stab children in the neck, chest, stomach and back in the city of Nanping in a fit of rage and depression after a split with his girlfriend.

    Old ills such as corruption, crime and drug abuse have re-emerged in China in the wake of a loosening of social controls paralleling the transition from a state-planned to a capitalist economy.

    Studies also have cited a rise in mental disorders, some linked to stress as society becomes more fast-paced and old socialist supports had been scrapped.

    A study last year estimated that 173 million adults in China have some type of mental disorder -- 91 percent of whom had never received professional help.

    Ma Ai, a criminal psychologist at China University of Political Science and Law, said violent outbursts may be due to rising stress and the growth of the media, with children chosen as targets by angry attackers for maximum impact.

    "In recent years, we have seen some people take extreme actions. The excessive attention of the media broadcasts their pain to a large audience, so the attackers feel they have achieved their goal," he said.

    Besides the school attacks, a number of other multiple killings have been reported across the country in recent months.

    Last week, state press said gay singer Zhou Youping was arrested in central China after allegedly killing six men in sado-masochistic sex games that involved hanging his victims.

    In February, another man, Chen Ruilong, was sentenced to death in eastern Jiangxi province for murdering 13 people including three police officers over the span of more than a decade, reports said.

    Despite the rising violence, extremely tight laws that bar virtually all private gun ownership prevent death tolls from reaching levels seen in shooting attacks in other countries.

  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    China’s School Killings and Social Despair

    For the past two months, Chinese authorities have been trying to deal with a string of vicious attacks on young children in rural elementary schools. They have clamped down on news coverage, citing fears of copycat crimes and called for heightened school security. But on May 12, a man stormed a village school in Shaanxi Province and hacked to death seven children and two adults. It was the fifth attack since March, all involving middle-aged men using knives, cleavers or tools. Seventeen people have been killed and nearly 100 wounded in the attacks.

    Some commentators say these attacks are symptoms of extreme stress in a rapidly changing society, an undercurrent which the government has failed to recognize. Though the cases may differ, is there a broader context for these attacks?

    The Attacks’ Political Significance

    Xueguang Zhou is a professor of sociology and a senior fellow at Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He is currently in Beijing teaching at the Stanford-in-Beijing program.

    Details about the school attacks remain to be sorted out — whether these school attacks are isolated or copycat acts; whether they are triggered by mental illness or based on some malicious motives. But one thing is clear: these incidents are reflective of widespread and rapidly rising social anxieties, frustrations and tensions in the Chinese society today.

    At one level, such tensions are almost inevitable in a rapidly changing society. China today is experiencing social transformation at a scale and speed that its long history has rarely witnessed.

    Large-scale and, in many cases, forced urbanization is carried out through migration, land seizure and residential relocation in both rural and urban areas. Alarming social inequality has become a naked fact that individuals experience in everyday life. In particular, housing prices have skyrocketed in large cities, increasing three or four times in as many years, creating a profound divide between those haves and those have-nots.

    Strolling on the streets in Beijing or other large cities, you can glimpse those gated residential areas, with security guards, electronic cards and well-maintained walking paths and green areas within the high walls that separate the well-to-dos from the noise and crowds in the rest of city.
    Yet a new college graduate, even with a decent job in a large city, can hardly hope to own a home in his or her lifetime, given soaring housing prices. This is a far cry from the earlier reform era when reform policies, especially that of returning lands to peasant families, led to a great increase in productivity and benefited a large proportion of the population.

    The traditional social fabric of family-based social support and neighborhood mutual assistance cannot cope with the rise in social dislocation, social closure and the marginalization of certain groups.

    Desperation and resentment now run deep. Sociologists use “anomie” to describe the breakdown of social norms and values, and the school attacks are likely to be eruptions from these growing tensions.

    At another level, what is really troubling is the way the Chinese government handles such conflicts. It has been trying hard to “contain” symptoms of social disruption, instead of cultivating mechanisms to diffuse them. The bureaucratic machine — often efficient, remote, impersonal and ruthless — has often engendered as much social resentment as it has resolved.

    China’s transformation will depend on how these tensions and conflicts are sorted out. Incidents like the school attacks have far-reaching political implications in a politicized society like China. These acts, though isolated and incidental, tend to acquire political significance, putting intense pressure on central and local governments and on the fragile trust between the government and various social quarters.

    A Chinese adage, which refers to the people as “water” and the ruler as a “boat,” puts it: “while water can carry a boat, it can also overturn it.” The Chinese leadership, mindful of this dynamic, is in a process of rolling out a series of social welfare programs — minimum living standard safety net, old-age support and health care — which aim to cover a larger and disadvantaged population.

    But in the absence of new mechanisms to encourage local problem-solving capacities, how effective these public programs will be in diffusing social tensions remains to be seen.
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    A Polarizing Society

    C. Cindy Fan is associate dean of social sciences and professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of “China on the Move” and numerous articles.

    On March 23, 42-year-old Zheng Minsheng used a 12-inch knife to stab eight schoolchildren to death and injure five others, in front of an elementary school just 10 minutes before its gate opened in the morning. According to an eyewitness, before he was stopped, Zheng said “People are turning me into a mad man. If I am not allowed to live, then I won’t let others live.”
    In the eight weeks since, there have been four other similar attacks across China. Some of these could be copycat crimes, while observers underscore mental illness, pressure, and anger toward a rapidly polarizing society as causes for such violence -– all the more disturbing because the victims were harmless, vulnerable children.

    The details offer some clues. Zheng was a surgeon for 18 years before resigning from his hospital job in June 2009. In the U.S., an average doctor can own a house and live a comfortable life. Zheng, on the other hand, slept in the living room in an apartment he shared with his 80 year-old mother and his brother’s family of three. Zheng’s monthly income was less than 2,000 yuan (US$294), less than the tuition for elite kindergartens in China and hardly sufficient to buy an apartment.


    Physicians in China as a group are not well paid. During the decades of planned economy since the 1950s, medicine was government run and as a legacy of that system most medical practices even today are non-private.

    Although Zheng could support himself, his modest income made him a weak contender in the marriage market. According to neighbors, Zheng had dated many women, but none was willing to marry him because he was not rich and could not afford an apartment for himself. In China, still, the ability to own or at least rent a place of one’s own is often a precondition for getting married.

    We may never know exactly what pushed Zheng -– who was sentenced to death and executed in late April -– over the edge. And, the situations of the other four assaults could be very different, except that all were committed by middle-aged men acting alone.

    Do these incidents tell us something about Chinese society that we do not already know? I doubt it. We know that in China the gap between the rich and poor is wide, cities are densely populated, living outside the societal norm (e.g., staying single, divorced) is stressful, the pressure for men to be successful is especially high, and mental illness (and many other physical illnesses) is very much a stigma.

    But we also know that the average Chinese is leading a much better life, has greater autonomy, is more educated and confident, is more exposed to the world, and lives longer than his or her parents and grandparents. In that light, helping the below-average, the marginalized, and the vulnerable, must now become a priority of not only the government but also the society at large.
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Guobin Yang is an associate professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College and author of “The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online.”

    The close sequence of these attacks (five in less than two months!) seems to lend support to the theory that these are copycat crimes. Others suspect that the killers suffered from mental illness. Still others point to the lack of safety valves in a controlled society.
    Individual motivations may vary, but there are common underlying causes. These attacks are only the most explosive and brutal symptoms of an increasingly sullen and contentious society. Here are some other symptoms:

    — A growing number of mass protests (8,700 in 1993, 87,000 by 2005) mostly targeting government authorities.

    — Increasing number of violent attacks against government authorities, like burning police vehicles and government buildings.

    — Desperate individuals resorting to self-immolation as a means of protesting forced relocation and the lack of legal channels for seeking justice.

    — Rampant corruption of government officials being exposed daily in online forums and blogs.


    The list could go on. The common thread is the crisis of authority, law and governance. Government authorities, far from being the administrators of law and justice, have become the sources and targets of grievances and despair. When citizens have no legitimate channels of seeking justice, violence is then seen as an option.

    These acts of violence have another deeply disturbing element. The assailants attacked the most innocent and treasured members of their own communities. Community often serves as a buffer in times of crisis (as in times of war). By turning against their own community, these attackers reveal a deep crisis in that community, which has long been a source of stability in Chinese society.
  6. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

    Dec 21, 2009
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    a farmer whose land was grabbed by the CCP utterly pissed off and angry.Wants to vent his frustration.He found the school kids to be an easy target gets a knife and kills the kids bastard why the kids....what did they do

    The bastard set of a template for others to follow.. horrible extremely horrible that in a society where only one kid is allowed

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