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Another Case of Domestic Violence in Public: Man Abuses Pregnant Wife in Chongqing Street

A video that shows how a man beats a pregnant woman on the rainy streets of Chongqing has sparked outrage on Chinese social media. Over recent years, footage showing domestic abuse often surfaces on Weibo – bystanders hardly ever intervene.

Manya Koetse

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A video that shows how a man beats a pregnant woman on the rainy streets of Chongqing has sparked outrage on Chinese social media. Over recent years, footage showing domestic abuse in public often surfaces on Weibo – bystanders hardly ever intervene.

A video that captures a man beating his wife in the middle of a rainy street in a Chongqing neighborhood has triggered controversy on Chinese social media. The woman, who is reportedly pregnant, screams out while her husband drags her by the hair.

The man can also be seen kicking a little dog that is barking and clearly distressed. According to neighbors, the couple is often heard fighting and screaming.

The video was recorded in the district of Bishan, in the Nanhelijing neighborhood, on June 13. According to several sources, the couple already has a 1-year-old child.

Over recent years, public displays of domestic violence have frequently made headlines in China. In 2016, a video of a man slapping his wife and forcing her into the car trunk at a Hebei gas station sparked national outrage – also because bystanders filmed the incident and let the man drive away with the woman in the back of his car.

In April 2016, the assault of a woman in a Beijing hotel lobby also sparked wide discussion. Security cameras captured how bystanders and hotel staff did not help the woman when she was attacked by the man. Many people thought the man and woman were a married couple, which is why they allegedly did not intervene; domestic abuse is often considered a “private matter” that outsiders should not interfere with.

In 2016, another video also surfaced online that showed a man dragging a woman on the street by her hair. A neighborhood guard approached the couple, but just watched the scene and then turned around. Many other bystanders also did not do anything to stop the abuse.

Although there has been increased public attention for domestic violence, especially since China launched its first law against domestic violence in 2016, violence between partners is still a widespread problem in China. In 2008, one study found that approximately 19.7% of women in China had experienced violence perpetrated by their male intimate partners (Tang & Lai 2008, in Cao et al 2014, 684).

In 2013, a survey from the All-China Women’s Federation reported that a quarter of Chinese women have suffered from domestic abuse at some point in their lives, although the actual number might be much higher (The Lancet 2016, 1028).


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“No matter the reason, a man should never hit a woman in the first place,” one female Weibo netizen says: “But it’s even worse when it’s a man hitting a pregnant woman, who is his own wife. And then doing so in the pouring rain just makes it more despicable.”

“I also can’t understand any man so cruel to animals. It’s possible not to love animals, but it’s unthinkable to hurt them,” another commenter writes.

Many netizens wonder why the woman does not divorce the man. “It must be Stockholm Syndrome,” one person suggests (“斯德哥尔摩综合征”).

“Hopefully the baby she carries isn’t his,” some people write.

But some people also criticize the media for publishing this video. One Beijing netizen writes: “I always feel like this kind of news is just released by the media to trigger the public’s anger, without any professional ethical base to it. No matter who watches this, whether they’re strong or weak, they will all be angry about this. News that is just released like this, without any background details, often triggers anger and then turns out to have some other truth to it in the end (..), but then people are already on to the next piece of news that they can be angry about.”

When this incident was reported by Chinese media, the newsreader on television did remind people not just to film incidents such as these, but to always first call the police.

“The person who filmed this is truly ruthless,” one commenter said: “If they’d called the police straight away we wouldn’t even need to have seen this violence. If they were just taping this incident in order to hype it, we should strongly condemn it.”

By Manya Koetse

References

Cao, Y., Yang, S., Wang, G., & Zhang, Y. 2014. “Sociodemographic Characteristics of Domestic Violence in China: A Population Case-Control Study.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 29(4): 683–706.

Tang, C. S., & Lai, B. P. 2008. “A Review of Empirical Literature on the Prevalence and Risk Markers of Male-on-Female Intimate Partner Violence in Contemporary China, 1987-2006.” Aggression and Violent Behavior (13): 10-28.

The Lancet. “Domestic Violence in China.” The Lancet (387), March: 1028.

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China and Covid19

Announced Changes in Nucleic Acid Testing and Further Easing of Covid Measures Across China

Bus and subway operators in Beijing will no longer refuse entry to passengers without a 48-hour negative nucleic acid certificate.

Manya Koetse

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On Monday, directly after that noteworthy unrest-filled weekend, the hashtag “Multiple Locations Announce Nucleic Acid Testing Changes” (#多地核酸检测通知发生变化#) went trending on Chinese social media, receiving over 660 million clicks by Monday evening.

Immediately following demonstrations in Beijing and a second night of protests in Shanghai and elsewhere, various Chinese media reported how different areas across the country are introducing changes to their current Covid19 testing measures.

On Wednesday, November 30, China’s vice-premier Sun Chunlan made remarks at a meeting on epidemic prevention, underlining the importance of “constantly optimizing” China’s Covid-19 response and talking about a “new stage and mission” – without ever mentioning “zero Covid.”

This is what we know about easing Covid measures thus far:

▶ Strict lockdowns have been lifted in Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, and Chongqing.

▶ On November 28, Guangzhou announced that people who do not actively participate in social life will no longer need to participate in continuous nucleic acid screening. This includes elderly people who stay indoors for long periods of time, students who take online classes, and those who work from home. The change will apply to residents in seven districts, including Haizhu, Panyu, Tianhe, and Baiyun (#广州7区无社会面活动者可不参加全员核酸#).

▶ Guangzhou, according to Reuters, also scrapped a rule that only people with a negative COVID test can buy fever medication over the counter.

Harbin will follow the example of Guangzhou, and will also allow people who are mostly based at home to skip nucleic acid test screenings.

▶ Same goes for Shenyang, and Taiyuan.

▶ In Chongqing, various districts have done widespread Covid testing campaigns, but the local authorities announced that those communities that have not had a positive Covid case over the past five days do not need to participate in nucleic acid screening anymore. This means an end to district-wide testing.

▶ On November 30, Beijing also announced that it will start exempting some people from frequent Covid testing, including those elderly residents who are bound to home and other people who do not go out and have social interactions. This also includes younger students who are following classes online.

▶ Starting from December 5, bus and subway operators in Beijing will no longer refuse entry to passengers without a 48-hour negative nucleic acid certificate (announced on December 2nd).

▶ Although not officially announced, there have been various social media posts and reports about Covid-positive people in Beijing being allowed to quarantine at home if they meet conditions.

Chengdu Metro announced on December 2nd that it will no longer check passengers’ nucleic acid test reports. Passengers still need to scan their travel code and those with a green code can enter. Other public places will reportedly also start to accept the ‘green code’ only without a time limit on nucleic acid testing.

Tianjin metro announced that the 72-hour nucleic acid certificate check will be also be canceled for passengers on the Tianjin metro lines. As in other places, people will still need to wear proper face masks and undergo temperature checks.

▶ In Hangzhou, except for at special places such as nursing homes, orphanages, primary and secondary schools, people’s nucleic acid tests will no longer be checked in public transportation and other public places. They will also stop checking people’s Venue Codes (场所码).

By Manya Koetse , with contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

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China and Covid19

The ‘Blank White Paper Protest’ in Beijing and Online Discussions on “Outside Forces”

As people in Beijing, Shanghai, and other places take to the streets holding up white papers, some have dubbed this the “A4 Revolution.”

Manya Koetse

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A majority of social media commenters support those who have recently taken to the streets, using blank sheets as a sign of protest against censorship and stringent Covid measures. But there are also online voices warning Chinese young people not to be influenced by ‘external forces.’

Over the past few days, there have been scenes of unrest and protest movements in various places across China.

While there were protests in Shanghai for the second night in a row, Beijing also saw crowds gathering around the Liangmahe area in the city’s Chaoyang District on Sunday night.

Some videos showed crowds softly singing the song “Farewell” (送别) in commemoration of those who lost their lives during the deadly inferno in Urumqi.

Later, people protested against stringent Covid measures.

“The crowds at Liangmahe are amazing,” some people on Weibo commented.

Photos and videos coming from the area showed how people were holding up blank sheets of white paper.

Earlier this weekend, students in Nanjing and Xi’an also held up blank paper sheets in protest of censorship and as the only ‘safe’ way to say what could otherwise not be said. This form of protest also popped up during the Hong Kong protests, as also described in the recent book by Louisa Lim (Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong).

The recurring use of blank paper sheets led to some dubbing the protests an “A4 Revolution.”

“When can we have freedom of speech? Maybe it can start at Beijng’s Liangmahe,” one person on Weibo wrote on Sunday night.

Another Beijing-based netizen wrote: “Before going to sleep I saw what was happening in Liangmahe on my WeChat Moments and then I looked at Weibo and saw that the Xicheng area had added 279 new Covid cases. I started thinking about my own everyday life and the things I am doing. I can’t help but feel a sense of isolation, because I can’t fight and do not dare to raise my voice.”

“I didn’t dare to believe this is happening in 2022. I didn’t dare to believe this is happening in Beijing. I do not dare to believe that again it will all have been useless tomorrow morning,” one Weibo user commented.

During the night, various people at the scene shouted out things such as “we want to go out and work,” and other hopes they have. One person yelled: “I want to go out and see a movie!”

“I want to go and see a movie.”

The phrase “I wanna go watch a movie” (“我要看电影”) was also picked up on social media, with some people commenting : “I am not interested in political regimes, I just want to be able to freely see a movie.” “I want to see a movie! I want to sit in a cinema and watch a movie! I want to watch a movie that is uncensored!”

Despite social media users showing a lot of support for students and locals standing up and making their voices heard, not everyone was supportive of this gathering in Beijing. Some suggested that since Liangmahe is near Beijing’s foreign embassy district, there must be some evil “foreign forces” meddling and creating unrest.

Others expressed that people were starting to demand too many different things instead of solely focusing on China’s zero Covid policies, losing the momentum of the original intention of the protest.

Political commentator Hu Xijin (胡锡进) also posted about the recent unrest on his Weibo account on Sunday night:

The people have the right to express their opinions, and you may have good and honest aspirations and have the intention to express legitimate demands. But I want to remind you that many things have their own rules, and when everyone participates in the movement, its direction might become very difficult for ordinary participants to continue to control, and it can easily to be used or even hijacked by separate forces, which may eventually turn into a flood that destroys all of our lives.”

Hu also called on people to keep striving to solve existing problems, but to stay clear-headed, suggesting that it is important for the people and the government to maintain unity in this challenging time.

The term “outside forces” or “external forces” (外部势力) increasingly popped up in social media discussions on late Sunday night.

“I worry a lot of meddling by external forces. Let’s be vigilant of a color revolution. I just hope things will get better,” one netizen from Hubei wrote.

“Young people should not be incited by a few phrases and blindly follow. Everyone will approve of people rationally defending their rights, but stay far away from color revolutions.”

The idea that foreign forces meddle in Chinese affairs for their own agenda has come up various times over the past years, during the Hong Kong protests but also during small-scale protests, such as a local student protest in Chengdu in 2021.

The term “color revolution” is recurring in these kind of discussions, with some netizens suggesting that foreign forces, such as the CIA, are trying to get local people to cause unrest through riots or demonstrations to undermine the stability of the government.

“It’s not always external forces, it can also just be opposition,” one person on Weibo replied: “In every country you’ll have different opinions.”

“What outside forces?” another commenter said: “I’m not an external force! I am just completely fed up with the Covid measures!”

Read more about the “11.24” unrest in China here.

By Manya Koetse , with contributions by Miranda Barnes

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