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25-Year-Old Woman from Chengdu Murdered in Australia [Updated]

The recent mysterious murder of the 25-year-old Chinese Michelle Leng, who studied in Sydney, has become a much-talked about case on social media, both in China and in Australia.

Manya Koetse

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The recent mysterious murder of the 25-year-old Chinese Michelle Leng, who studied in Sydney, has become a much-talked about case on social media, both in China and in Australia. Local police are still puzzled about what happened to her. [Updated: according to Sydney Morning Herald, a man who is believed to be Leng’s uncle was charged with her murder on Friday, April 29].

The 25-year-old international student Michelle Leng (Mengmei Leng, 冷梦梅) from Chengdu was reported missing by a Weibo user on Tuesday, April 26. According to the Weibo message, the woman was last seen by her friends on Thursday, April 21st around 3.00 pm in central Syndey, where she said goodbye to them at a bus stop.

Disappearance of Michelle Leng

Leng had been living in Australia as an international student for five years. Although her sudden disappearance was deemed “very unusual” by her friends and family, they did not formally report her missing until Monday, four days since she was last seen.

According to China’s WMG News, the message that Leng was missing attracted much attention from netizens who helped spread the news of Leng’s disappearance on Chinese social media.

At the same time, a New South Wales police station issued a public notice on Wednesday, April 27, that they were looking for people to help confirm the identity of a deceased woman whose naked body was found on Sunday near a tourist area on the New South Wales Central Coast near Snapper Point. On Friday, April 29, the body was confirmed to be that of Leng.

ABC News reports that Leng was found floating face-down in the water at a blowhole with several stab wounds in the neck, indicating a violent attack.

593793e5gw1f3dja355mij20hm0d8acgThe location where Leng’s body was found (Daily Mail).

Leng lived with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Campsie, a suburb in southwestern Sydney. Her mother and brother are living in China. According to VOIS magazine, Michelle Leng studied at the University of Technology in Sydney.

vois

As police is still investigating what happened to Leng, they released CCTV footage of her shopping in central Sydney’s Pitt Street on April 21st. Australian police asked people who have any information about Leng’s whereabouts between April 21st and April 24th to come forward.

cctv

The place where Leng was found on Sunday is some 277 kilometers (172 miles) away from the central part of Sydney where she was last captured on CCTV camera.

Timeline of Michelle Leng Case [updated]

• Thursday, April 21 – Michelle Leng says goodbye to her friends at a bus stop in central Sydney and goes shopping at Pitt Street Mall, takes train ride home to Campsie.
• Sunday, April 24 – Woman’s naked body found at Snapper Point on the Central Coast, some 277 km from central Sydney.
• Monday, April 25 – Michelle Leng is reported missing by her relatives.
• Tuesday, April 26 – News of the disappearance of Michelle Leng gets attention on Chinese social media, as an acquaintance of the family posts about it.
• Wednesday, April 27 – Australian police issues public notice about the body found at the coast.
• Friday, April 29 – The body of the woman found at Snapper Point is confirmed to be that of Michelle Leng.
• Friday, April 29 – Police arrest the 27-year-old uncle of Leng and charge him with her murder.
• Saturday, April 30 – The suspect is scheduled to appear at Parramatta Bail Court.

 

Discussions on Facebook and Weibo

On Facebook, Michelle Leng became the focus of speculation on Friday, with some media saying she had arrangements to meet someone she knew from social media on Thursday night – although this has not been confirmed. Other Facebookers take Leng’s case as a warning for all international students to look out for each other and call the police when they think they are being followed.

 

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Many Weibo netizens are currently also discussing Leng’s case under the hashtag ’25-year-old Chengdu Woman Murdered in Syndey’ (#成都女孩悉尼遇害#). While most sympathize with Leng and her family, there are also those who say the girl only went to study abroad to get a “fake diploma”. One netizen comments: “What scares me more than this murder is how people comment on it. A Chinese girl has met great misfortune while studying abroad. And suddenly ignorant masses are compelled to say she was ‘buying fake credentials’ and other things that have nothing to do with it.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 17.41.18

“This is so tragic, I hope they solve the case soon,” another netizen said.

Although Australian SBS news initially reported that Michelle Leng’s killing was still a ‘puzzle’ to local police, the Sydney Morning Herald later reported that a man who is believed to be Leng’s uncle was arrested for her murder on Friday.

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Insight

Exchange Student to Be Deported from China for Harassing Young Woman at University

An exchange student studying at the Hebei University of Engineering has been expelled and will soon be deported after harassing a female student.

Manya Koetse

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An exchange student from Pakistan who was studying at the Hebei University of Engineering (河北工程大学) has been expelled and detained after harassing a female student at the same university.

The incident, that is attracting much attention on Chinese social media this week, adds to the wave of recent controversies over the behavior and status of overseas students in mainland China.

On July 31, a female student at the Hebei university filed a police report against a Pakistani student who allegedly harassed her and attempted to forcefully kiss her and touch her breasts.

Screenshots of a supposed WeChat conversation between the exchange student and the female student, in which the man apologizes and claims the interaction is a “requirement for friendship,” are being shared on social media.

According to various reports, the police initially tried to mediate between the two students, which the female student refused.

Together with the school principal, the police then further investigated the case and found ample evidence of harassment after examining the university’s surveillance system.

On August 1st, the Hebei University of Engineering announced that they had expelled the student and that he will be deported from China. The announcement received more than 14,000 reactions and 150,000 ‘likes’ on Weibo.

The student is now detained at the local Public Security Bureau and is awaiting his deportation.

A photo of two officers together with a man in front of the detention center in Handan is circulating on social media in relation to this incident.

At time of writing, the hashtag page “Exchange Student to Be Deported after Molesting Female Student” (#留学生猥亵女学生将被遣送出境#) has been viewed over 310 million times on Weibo.

Among thousands of reactions, there are many who praise the Hebei university for supporting the female student after she reported the exchange student to the police.

“This may not be the best university, but at least they stand behind their students!”, some say, with others calling the university “awesome.”

Many say that the Hebei university should serve as an example for other Chinese universities to follow, with Shandong University being specifically mentioned by Weibo users.

Shandong University was widely criticized earlier this summer for its “buddy exchange program,” which was accused of being a way to arrange Chinese “girlfriends” for male foreign students.

Another incident that is mentioned in relation to this trending story is that of an exchange student who displayed aggressive behavior towards a Chinese police officer in July of this year. The student was not punished for his actions, which sparked anger on Chinese social media.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Local News

Holiday Homework: Take a Picture with Five Foreigners

Is “take a photo with a foreigner” an appropriate homework assignment? This Zhuhai school teacher thinks it is.

Manya Koetse

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Photo via yidianzixun.com

An elementary school in Guangdong’s Zhuhai city has become a target of online banter this week for a special holiday homework assignment given to its pupils.

The school’s English teacher told students to take a picture with five foreigners this holiday. The pupils’ parents were not too happy with this ‘homework’ and questioned its purpose and validity.

In the eyes of many netizens, the assignment is inappropriate as it supposedly teaches pupils to look up to (or ‘worship’) foreigners.

Others think the assignment is simply not practical, saying that Zhuhai does not have that many foreigners walking around and that not all foreigners speak English.

With over 110 million views on the hashtag “Holiday Homework to Take Photo with Five Foreigners” (#暑假作业与五个外国人合影#), the topic has blown up on Weibo.

“Just take a photo with the neighbor and tell them they’re from Singapore,” some people suggested: “Take some photos with Chinese people and say they were from South Korea!”

In an online poll about the issue, initiated by China Daily, nearly 65% of respondents said they did not agree with the assignment.

The school principal responded to the controversy, saying that the assignment was an “optional” one.

The class head also stated that the assignment was not obligatory, but that it was merely meant as an “encouragement” so that students could practice their conversational English by having a short conversation with a foreigner.

Many commenters side with school and condemn all the criticism and banter: “Of course an English teacher would want to tell its pupils to interact with foreigners in English!”

Another person mentions that many Chinese students have high grades in their English exams without actually being able to hold a conversation in English: “Our English education is not focused enough on speaking English.”

“This teaches students to take the initiative to start a conversation in English, what’s not good about it? You’re all too sensitive!”

By Manya Koetse , with contributions from Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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