According to a police statement released on Saturday afternoon, September 1st, the bike rider who fatally stabbed the BMW driver who attacked him has handled out of self-defense. (We reported about this case earlier this week here).
The statement was published on the official Weibo account of the Kunshan police (@昆山公安), and received over 77,000 shares within an hour.
On Weibo, netizens are happy about the news; the majority of people sided with the cyclist, a 41-year-old hotel worker by the name of Yu Haiming (于海明). Some people even organized crowd-funding campaigns to help pay for his legal costs, and the past week has seen a flood of memes about the incident in support of the cyclist.
Bizarre Road-Rage Incident
The incident occurred on the night of August 27, when a BMW vehicle in Kunshan, Jiangsu, turned into a bike line, colliding with the cyclist who refused to give way. Two men then stepped out of their BMW vehicle to confront the cyclist, with one man going back to his vehicle, suddenly pulling out a long knife.
Surveillance videos [YouTube link] capture the moment, which show how the muscular and tattooed BMW driver attacks Yu with the big knife – but then suddenly loses grip and drops the knife on the ground.
That is the pivotal moment when Yu quickly grabs the knife and starts attacking the BMW driver. Various videos show how the bike driver runs after the man, hitting and stabbing him with the knife at least five or six times – eventually killing him.
The BMW driver turned out to be the somewhat notorious Liu Hailong (刘海龙) aka ‘Brother Long’ (龙哥) a 36-year-old ex-convict who previously spent years in prison for robbery, theft, and another knifing incident.
He had been drinking the night of the incident.
“Brother Long Terminator”
Some lawyers quoted in various news articles (read our report here) alleged that Yu might be held responsible for intentional injury and death, since the video footage showed that Liu tried to get away once Yu came after him with the knife – making the stabbing incident one of attack instead of defense.
The fact that Yu stabbed his attacker many times (the video shows at least six instances) was also considered to go beyond self-defense, making it possible for him to face up to ten years in prison.
But as more information about the case emerged, most netizens concluded that ex-con ‘Brother Long’ had deserved his own death.
The 41-year-old Yu, who is known as a hard-working man with no criminal records, was even called the “Brother Long Terminator” by some, who compared the incident to a video game in which the main character defeats his enemy with his own knives.
Detailed Report Rules Legitimate Self-Defense
According to the police statement that was issued today, in the first moments of the violent stabbing, cyclist Yu was stabbed in the neck, waist, and leg by Liu. Once Yu succeeded in grabbing the machete, he stabbed Liu Hailong in the abdomen, buttocks, right chest, left shoulder, and left elbow.
The BMW driver then flees the scene and falls into a grass field some 30 meters away from the car. (This image on YouTube shows Liu in the grass with severe injuries- viewer discretion is advised). Meanwhile, Yu has stopped his pursuit and turns to the BMW vehicle to take out Liu’s mobile phone, out of fear that Liu or others might call other people for reinforcement in the attack.
When police arrived at the scene, Yu immediately handed them over the mobile phone and the weapon, which has since been identified as a sharp-edged double-sided blade with a total length of 59 cm.
Liu Hailong was soon taken to the hospital but died that same night. Yu did not sustain any life-threatening injuries.
Forensic researchers have now found that in the first seven seconds in which Yu stabbed Liu with the knife he grabbed from the ground, he stabbed him a total of five times, of which the first stab might have been the most lethal one; stabbing him in the left abdomen, causing the large abdominal vein to rupture. The fact that the first strike allegedly was the lethal one might have also helped in the self-defense ruling.
“The behavior of Yu Haiming is [ruled as] legitimate defense and he does not bear criminal responsibility,” the police notifiation states, in accordance with Article 20 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China that defines self-defense.
The statement also says that Yu’s personal safety was “seriously endangered” when Liu Hailong first attacked him with his bare hands, and then continued to hit him with a knife. It suggests that throughout the incident, Yu was constantly in danger – even when he had the knife – thereby denying any claims that Yu’s actions were excessive and illegal.
The police report further reveals that BMW driver Liu was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 87mg/100ml (0.087).
The night of the incident, there were three other passengers in the BMW car. One of them, the male passenger who can be seen first getting out of the car in the video, gets a ten-day prison sentence for his involvement in the incident. The two other passengers, both female, have been acquitted.
Besides being happy about the ruling, many netizens also praise the Kunshan police for their work. “I’ve never seen such a detailed police report, thumbs up for Kunshan police!”, some commenters write.
“It’s a good thing we have surveillance cameras nowadays,” another person says: “Ten years ago, he might have been held responsible.”
Others write: “Wonderful news, justice has prevailed! This restores some faith among the common people.”
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“The End of an Era”? – Beijing Bookworm Closes Its Doors
The Bookworm Beijing, at Nansanlitun Road, is a bookshop, library, bar, restaurant and events space that has become a center of cultural exchange for Beijing’s foreign community since 2005.
The location is a beating heart of Beijing’s literary world; a place where writers, journalists, students, diplomats, academics, and all kinds of people – both foreign and Chinese – come together to exchange knowledge, read, and sit down for a glass of wine.
Today, the Bookworm announced its sudden closure via WeChat, writing:
“It is with heavy hearts that we are forced to announce the impending closure of The Bookworm Beijing after 14 wonderful years in Courtyard No. 4 off SouthSanlitun Road. Despite our best efforts, we appear to have fallen prey to the ongoing cleanup of “illegal structures”, and we have not been able to secure an extension of our lease.”
The announcement further says that the location will be forced to suspend operations “most probably” as of Monday, November 11, and that the Bookworm will attempt to reorganize and find a new location.
News of the Bookworm’s closing has been becoming a topic of conversation on various social media sites from WeChat to Twitter and Weibo.
Famous Chinese journalist and author Luo Changping (罗昌平) writes on Weibo: “The Bookworm is forced to close! It used to be next door to my former office, and it was once like my living room. Sigh.”
Shanghai comedian Storm Xu called the closure of the Beijing Bookworm “the end of an era,” saying he looks back on many good memories there.
“They had many events, good food, special books; I used to go there a few times per year,” one person writes. “This really is so sad,” other Weibo users respond.
There are also various Weibo commenters who also mention that news of Bookworm’s closing comes just a day after the news that publisher of magazine-books and online bookseller Duku Books (读库) is forced to close its Beijing warehouse for the sixth time.
Over the past decade, many popular venues in Beijing have been forced to close their doors or relocate. Beijing hangouts such as Bed Bar, Salud, Vineyard Cafe, 2 Kolegas, Jiangjinjiuba, Mao Livehouse, Hercules, Aperativo, The Bridge Cafe, Great Leap Brewery Sanlitun, Jing-A Taproom 1949, and many others have all been closed over the past years.
Nightlife hotspot Sanlitun bar street was demolished and bricked up in 2017 as part of the mission of the city management to gentrify the area.
The demolishment of “illegal structures” in the city has been an ongoing effort of the local government for years. These efforts became especially visible in late 2017 when people in Beijing’s Daxing area faced a large-scale evacuation campaign after a big fire broke out there on November 18, killing 19 people.
The large-scale evacuation campaign was also expanded to other areas of Beijing in a campaign by the municipal authorities aimed at unlicensed developments to target “illegal structures” and “buildings with potential fire hazards.”
But many people on Weibo and WeChat questioned if the campaign was actually more about politics than about safety concerns – something that was strongly refuted by state media outlets at the time.
These questions will remain unanswered, also for the Bookworm. Is its closure really about closing down an “illegal structure,” or are there more politically-motivated considerations playing a role here? On Weibo, some commenters say the location is closed down for being a home of free discussions and “free thinking,” while others say that no matter what the place is, the building’s safety and legal status is what matters here.
Perhaps the future will tell. We surely hope the Bookworm will soon pop up and open its doors in another location very soon.
Those who are interested can support the Bookworm by coming by and buying books, which will be heavily discounted, until November 11.
By Manya Koetse
Images: Bookworm images by The Bookworm, edited by What’s on Weibo.
Sanlitun Image: Might have been taken by Manya in Beijing 2017, but we’re not 100% sure so let us know if we’re mistaken.
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Online Anger over Inappropriate Toast by Dutch Watch Brand Executive at Chinese Dinner Party
This is how NOT to do a toast in Dutch!
UPDATE: FYI – the videos relating to this incident have been taken offline after the publication of this article. There are no active video links in this article.
The Amsterdam-based watch & jewelry brand Rosefield has recently come under fire within the Chinese community in the Netherlands after a video went viral showing Rosefield’s CEO and its Head of Sourcing proposing an unusual toast at a Chinese dinner party.
The video, that was viewed over 173,000 times on Dutch site Dumpert.nl, shows a woman in a white blouse bringing out a toast, saying:
“In Dutch, we say ‘ganbei’ or ‘cheers’ in this way, and it would be nice if you all can say the same, we say: ‘dikke lul.‘”
The people at the table then proceed to toast saying “Dikke lul” – which, in fact, is not the Dutch word for ‘cheers’ but for ‘big dick,’ something that the Chinese people at the table are seemingly not aware of.
On WeChat, Chinese-language newspaper Asian News (华侨新天地) reported about the video and identified the Dutch woman and man at the table as the CPO and CEO of Rosefield Watches, a fast-growing luxury brand that is active in various countries.
Asian News describes the incident as a way of “ridiculing Chinese friends,” and writes it has triggered anger online.
Asian News (华侨新天地) is a Chinese language newspaper founded in 1992. It is mainly distributed in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Its WeChat account has some 120,200 followers, and the post on the ‘cheers’ video was among its most-well read on WeChat this week.
The blog post noted that ever since the ‘dikke lul’ video has gone viral in the Netherlands, it has become one of the first results showing up when searching for the vulgar expression ‘dikke lul’ on Google.
Although it is not clear where the video was filmed and how it ended up on short video site Dumpert, it is rumored in WeChat groups that it was recorded during the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair earlier this month, and that the Chinese guests are business relations of the Dutch brand (unconfirmed).
The comment section on the Dumpert site shows that although some Dutch commenters think the video is funny, there are many who find it “vulgar,” “rude,” and “distasteful.”
Although many (overseas) Chinese expressed anger in various WeChat groups – some expressing regret over a Rosefield watch they recently purchased – the Asia News blog does remind readers that we do not know the context of the video, and whether or not there was a certain pretext or common understanding to the joke.
Nevertheless, the blog states, this kind of behavior is not professional and if a company such as Rosefield wants to earn money in China, “it should also respect Chinese culture and people.”
Although there have been ample discussions about the controversial video on Wechat, there are no online discussions about this issue on Weibo at the time of writing.
Over the past year, many foreign brands became a focus for controversy in China.
In November of 2018, Italian fashion house D&G faced consumer outrage and backlash on Chinese social media for a video that was deemed ‘racist’ to China and for insulting remarks about Chinese people allegedly made by designer Stefano Gabbana.
Swiss investment bank UBS sparked controversy in June for a column which mentioned “Chinese pigs.”
Over this summer, various foreign companies apologized to China for listing ‘Hong Kong’ as a separate country or region on its websites and/or t-shirts.
Still curious about how to actually say ‘cheers’ in Dutch? It’s ‘proost’ and this is how you pronounce it correctly.
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