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“Black Friday” – Chinese Reactions On 26/06 Deadly Attacks

Three gruesome terror attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait left the world shocked on June 26, making international headlines. Chinese netizens follow the news with horror.

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Three gruesome terror attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait sent shock waves through the world on June 26, immediately making international headlines. Chinese netizens following the news take their shock and anger online.

On the morning of June 26, one man was beheaded and two injured near Grenoble, France, in a suspected Islamic attack on a gas facility. The attack immediately became international breaking news.

Reports suggest that two attackers drove into the factory carrying a flag with Arabic writing on it. French President Hollande stated a body had been found, along with a severed head with a message. He said a suspect had been arrested and identified by the anti-terror police, and is said to be known to police since 2006 as a person who could become radicalized and was in contact with Muslim fundamentalists.

The attack comes five months after the terrorist attack on French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. France has seen a string of suspected and confirmed Islamist terrorist attacks in the past three years. Chinese media closely followed the Paris attacks in January, with ‘Je Suis Charlie’ (‘Wo shi Chali’ 我是查理) also becoming trending on Chinese social media.

The France attack was followed by the news of Islamic terror attack in Kuwait, where 25 people were killed. Around the same time, at least 28 37 tourists were killed on the beach of Sousse, a popular tourist destination in Tunisia. A suicide bomber allegedly attacked a resort with a Kalashinikov gun with another gunman, shooting at sunbathing tourists.

Financial Times reports that although the attack in Sousse has not yet been claimed, Isis spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani reportedly urged followers to turn Ramadan into a time of “calamity for the infidels (…) Shia and apostate Muslims”, in an audio broadcast on Tuesday, where he asked Muslims everywhere to “become exposed to martyrdom” (FT).

Within a couple of hours, June 26 has unfolded as an unprecedented day in terrorism.

 

“Only the fear of total extermination will make them step back.”

 

The attacks were immediately covered by Chinese media (although other news on Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang dominated the main headlines). Weibo netizens reacted to the news in various ways, with some calling it “Black Friday” (黑色星期五), and many talking about the fear for Islamist violence, the failure of anti-terror measurements and the state of the world today.

“The world just gets less peaceful all the time,” one user said. “So horrible, a massacre of unarmed people. Terrorism is the enemy of all of mankind!” says Maitian. “Eternally concealing and bending will not stop terrorism,” user Youdaoyuxin (佑道余心) says: “Only the fear of total extermination will make them step back.” “And this during Ramadan[怒]!” one user angrily writes.

 

“The 21st century is the century of the rise of Islamist terrorism.”

 

Many users foresee a grim future in terms of terrorism and preventing it. “France has five million Muslims,” user StellaZhang200 says on the Grenoble attack: “and it is the country with the most severe terrorism. Since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the government has dispatched 1000 police and 10500 military staff to do 24 hour patrol of over 8000 places, including Jewish schools, railstations, media buildings and mosques, but it has not prevented this terrorist attack. It is clear that these anti-terrorism measures are useless.”

There are also those who share their fears, worries or anger on the topic of Islam-related terrorism: “Every time something like this happens, I haven’t seen a single Muslim coming out to denounce these barbarious acts, yet they do expect us to reflect on our wrongdoings,” another user (南汀一水) says. One anonymous user (专心金融) says: “The 21st century is the century of the rise of Islamist terrorism. Attacks, explosions and massacres by Muslims. This is an irreversible trend in history, like Germany’s Nazis’s and Japan’s militarism; when the people, the funds, the ideology and the military force all line up, a violent trend takes shape. This trend is that Islam declares war on all people, and won’t stop until all religions are destroyed. China needs to be prepared.” Another netizen (火山白杨) says: “I predict that this was all premeditated, and that it is only a rehearsal of a large-scale transnational attack. [衰]

 

“ISIS is also destroying Xinjiang.”

 

Other Weibo users blame the US for today’s events: “ISIS has come into existence due to America’s support, and ISIS is also destroying Xinjiang. The real terrorist organization in this world is the United States of America.” Xinijang is the region in the northwest of China, home to the majority of China’s muslims. Xinjiang has seen a series of violent attacks in the recent years, that have been linked to ISIS.

“How did ISIS start?” another user says: “America? Saudi? Who is clear about this!?[怒骂]

Some netizens do not show their views – they simple light a cyber candle for the victims of this bloody black Friday [蜡烛].

By Manya Koetse

Quotes:

“世界越来越不太平.”

“太坏了。这完全是屠杀“手无寸铁”的人啊。恐怖主义是全人类的公敌.”

“遮掩与奴颜婢膝永远不能阻挡恐怖袭击的发生,只有毁教灭族的恐惧能让他们却步”

“大斋月里的[怒]

“每次发生恐怖事件,就没见着个吧穆斯林站出来义正辞严地谴责那些畜生,他们却还要我们反思我们做错什么了.”

“21世纪是伊斯兰教恐怖狂潮的世纪,穆斯林将会疯狂地屠杀、爆炸、袭击。这是不可逆转的历史趋势,就像德国纳粹和日本军国主义,当人员、资金、思想、武力 都齐备的时候,就是暴力趋势形成的时候。这个趋势最终的结果是伊斯兰教向全人类宣战,直至宗教毁灭才会停止。中国要全国排查穆斯林,做最坏准备。”

“估计是预谋好的,算是为日后更大规模跨国同发袭击做 Rehearsal [衰]

“ISIS是美国政府扶持起来的,祸害新疆的也是ISIS,美国真是世界上最大的恐怖组织.”

“IS这个组织是怎么来的,美国、沙特比谁都清楚![怒骂]

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Restrained Anger

    July 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    This is why so many people will forever refuse to mingle with Pakistanis and African Muslims in Europe.

    In Europe they also have the double whammy of being lower class, and lacking the education or middle class image Hindus, Arabs and East Asians have.

    Blackness indeed. Thank god I’m gay and I don’t have to deal with blacks.

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China and Covid19

Fangcang Forever: China’s Temporary Covid19 Makeshift Hospitals To Become Permanent

China’s temporary ‘Fangcang’ shelter hospitals are here to stay.

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A new term has been added to China’s pandemic lexicon today: Permanent Fangcang Hospital. Although China’s ‘Fangcang’ shelter hospitals are, by definition, temporary, these healthcare facilities to isolate and treat Covid patients are now becoming a permanent feature of China’s Zero-Covid approach.

Over the past few days, Chinese authorities have emphasized the need for China’s bigger cities to build or renovate existing makeshift Covid hospitals, and turn them into permanent sites.

So-called ‘Fangcang hospitals’ (方舱医院, square cabin hospitals) are large, temporary makeshift shelter hospitals to isolate and treat Covid-19 patients. Fangcang shelter hospitals were first established in China during the Wuhan outbreak as a countermeasure to stop the spread of the virus.

January 5 2022, a Fangcang or Isolation Point with over 1000 separate isolations rooms is constructed in Baqiao District of Xi’an (Image via Renmin Shijue).

They have since become an important part of China’s management of the pandemic and the country’s Zero-Covid policy as a place to isolate and treat people who have tested positive for Covid-19, both asymptomatic and mild-to-moderate symptomatic cases. In this way, the Fangcang hospitals alleviate the pressure on (designated) hospitals, so that they have more beds for patients with serious or severe symptoms.

On May 5th, Chinese state media reported about an important top leadership meeting regarding China’s Covid-19 situation. In this meeting, the Politburo Standing Committee stressed that China would “unswervingly adhere to the general Zero-Covid policy” and that victory over the virus would come with persistence. At the meeting, chaired by Xi Jinping, the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee also declared that China would fight against any words or acts that “distort, doubt, or deny” the country’s dynamic Zero-Covid policy.

Life inside one of Shanghai’s Fangcang, photo via UDN.com.

Following the meeting, there have been multiple official reports and statements that provide a peek into China’s ‘zero Covid’ future.

On May 13, China’s National Health Commission called on all provinces to build or renovate city-level Fangcang hospitals, and to make sure they are equipped with electricity, ventilation systems, medical appliances, toilets, and washing facilities (Weibo hashtag ##以地级市为单位建设或者改造方舱医院#).

On May 16, the term ‘Permanent Fangcang Hospital’ (Weibo hashtag #永久性方舱医院) became a trending topic on Weibo after Ma Xiaowei (马晓伟), Minister of China’s National Health Commission, introduced the term in Qiushi (求是), the leading official theoretical journal of the Chinese Communist Party.

The term is new and is somewhat contradictory as a concept, since ‘Fangcang hospitals’ are actually defined by their temporary nature.

Ma Xiaowei stressed the need for Chinese bigger cities to be ready for the next stage of China’s Covid control. This also includes the need for some central ‘Fangcang’ makeshift hospitals to become permanent ones.

In order to ‘normalize’ the control and monitoring that comes with living in Zero-Covid society, Chinese provincial capitals and bigger cities (more than ten million inhabitants) should do more to improve Covid testing capacities and procedures. Ma proposes that there should be nucleic acid sample collection points across the city within a 15-minute walking distance radius, and testing frequency should be increased to maximize efficient control and prevention.

Cities should be prepared to take in patients for isolation and/or treatment at designated hospitals, centralized isolation sites, and the permanent Fangcang hospitals. The recent Covid outbreak in Shanghai showed that local authorities were unprepared to deal with the outbreak, and sites that were used as Fangcang hospitals often lacked proper facilities, leading to chaotic scenes.

A Fangcang Isolation Center in Quanzhou, March 2022, via People’s Daily.

The hashtag “Permanent Fangcang Hospitals” received over 140 million views on Weibo on Monday.

One of the Weibo threads by state media reporting on the Permanent Fangcang hospitals and the publication by Ma Xiaowei received nearly 2000 comments, yet the comment section only displayed three comments praising the newly announced measures, leaving out the other 1987 comments.

Elsewhere on Weibo, people shared their views on the Permanent Fangcang Hospitals, and most were not very positive – most commenters shared their worries about China’s Covid situation about the stringent measures being a never-ending story.

“We’re normalizing nucleic acid test, we’re introducing permanent fangcang hospitals, [but] why isn’t the third Covid vaccination coming through?” one person wondered.

“If there was still a little bit of passion inside me, it was just killed by reading these words ‘Permanent Fangcang Hospital,'” another commenter writes, with one Weibo user adding: “I feel desperate hearing the words ‘Permanent Fangcang Hospital.'”

“Building permanent Fangcang? Why? Why don’t you use the resources you’re now spending on normalizing testing to create more hospital beds, more medical staff and more medications?”

Another commenter wrote: “China itself is one giant permanent Fangcang hospital.”

“The forever Fangcang are being built,” one Weibo user from Guangdong writes: “This will never end. We’ll be locked up like birds in a cage for our entire life.”

For more articles on the Covid-19 topics on Chinese social media, check here.

By Manya Koetse, with contributions by Miranda Barnes

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Featured image via user tongtong [nickname] Weibo.com.

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©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China and Covid19

‘Hard Isolation’ is Shanghai’s New Word of the Day

In line with a new ‘hard isolation’ measure, the entrances of some Shanghai residential buildings were fenced up.

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While some Shanghai households have already endured weeks of isolation, a new word was added to their epidemic vocabulary today: ‘hard isolation’ or ‘strong quarantine’ (yìng gélí 硬隔离)

The word popped up on Chinese social media on April 23rd after some Shanghai netizens posted photos of fences being set up around their community building to keep residents from walking out.

“New word: hard isolation. Shanghai is rotten to the core,” one commenter wrote.

The word soon turned into a hashtag page where people started commenting on the issue of fences being placed around residential buildings, voicing concerns on what a fence around buildings would mean for fire safety, especially after online rumors suggested that there had been a fire at one community in Pudong on Saturday night.

An official document regarding the ‘hard isolation’ measure was also shared online on Saturday. It is dated April 23, 2022, and its source is the Pudong New Area Office for Epidemic Control.

The document states that in line with the guidelines for the city’s epidemic prevention and control, the division between areas or zones that are in certain risk categories should be ‘optimized,’ with those in the high-risk category requiring a ‘hard isolation.’ Security guards should also be on duty 24 hours a day at the entrance of the buildings.

Earlier this month, Shanghai adopted “3-level control measures” after its initial phased lockdown. It means that local areas will be classified as “locked-down,” “controlled” or “precautionary,” based on their Covid19 risk.

“Could we also put fences around the homes of Shanghai leaders?”, one person suggested, while others posted images from the Walking Dead to mock the situation.

In the hope of Shanghai soon tackling the Covid situation, not everybody disagreed with the decision to fence some buildings or communities in the Pudong area: “I don’t disagree with it, as long as there is always someone there to open the fence in case of fire,” one person stated.

Although having a fence around their building is currently not a reality for most in Shanghai, the online photos of some communities seeing their buildings being fenced up is a reason to worry for some: “It’s been 40 days, and now they start hard isolation? This actually scares me. Before we know it, it’s June.”

One Weibo user asked: “Why is it possible to implement this hard isolation now? Was this created by the same persons who also implemented the rule to separate children from parents at isolation sites?”

“I truly can’t imagine why some people thought this is a good idea,” others wrote.

For more articles on the Covid-19 topics on Chinese social media, check here.

By Manya Koetse

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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