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Brutal Beating and Violation of an 8-Year-Old Gansu Girl by Classmates Stirs Discussions on Criminal Responsibility of Minors

Two minors and a teacher were involved in a violent incident, injuring an 8-year-old girl, yet nobody is punished.

Gabi Verberg

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A shocking case in which a 6- and 7-year-old boy attacked and sexually abused a fellow classmate has attracted much attention on Chinese social media. The fact that the boys, nor their teacher, will be punished for the incident is a cause of concern for many Chinese netizens.

The violent attack and sexual assault by two young boys on a female classmate has attracted wide attention on Chinese social media this week – especially because those involved are only eight years old and younger.

On January 13, the Ning County Public Security Bureau in Gansu Province came out with a statement about the incident, that occurred in the afternoon of December 14th. Two boys, 7- and 6-year-old respectively, beat up their 8-year-old classmate, pulled down her pants, and violated her with a broomstick.

According to the statement, the brutal assault followed after the girl had taken the eraser of one boy, and had not given back the one yuan ($0,15) she had borrowed from the other. The director and the vice-director of the school have since been suspended from their position.

The incident came to light after the girl had arrived home from school the day it had occurred. When the girl’s grandmother noticed something was wrong with her, she contacted the school and brought the young girl to the emergency room. She was later transferred to Xi’an Children’s hospital for further examination, where it was found that her genitals were seriously injured. She was released five days later to recover at home.

In a video published by Toutiao News, the grandmother of the little girl claims that, according to the girl, the teacher stood by as her classmates attacked her. That same teacher had accused the girl of stealing her lipstick earlier that day, but later on found the item in the teacher’s desk drawer.

The (former) director of the school has denied any involvement of the teacher in the incident. The Public Security Bureau has neither confirmed nor denied if there is any truth to the girl’s allegations.

On Chinese social media platform Weibo, many netizens question the teacher’s involvement in the matter. Soon after the official statement, the hashtag “Did You Take My Lipstick?” (#你拿我口红了吗#) reached over 50,000 views on Weibo. Meanwhile, the hashtag “Principal Dismissed after Gansu Girl Sustains Injuries” (#甘肃女孩受伤事件校长免职#) received over 260 million views.

In the comment sections, people asked questions about the possible relation between the ‘lipstick incident’ and the young boys attacking the girl in such a violent way.

One Weibo user wrote: “Where do such young children get the idea to get a broomstick and violate a girl? I have many children around me of that age, they do get into fights with each another, but I have never seen that kind of behavior before.” Another user pointed out: “How can it remain unnoticed if two boys pull down a girl’s pants and violate her with a broomstick? And how can it be that no teacher saw the girl using a big pile of tissues cleaning up her own blood!?”

Another aspect of this story that is at the center of online discussions is the fact that the two minors legally cannot be held responsible for their deeds. According to article 8 and 12 of China’s Public Security Administration laws, minors can only bear criminal responsibility from the age of 14 years.

According to Chinese media outlet The Observer, the Public Security Bureau did order the guardians of both boys to strictly discipline their children. According to law, the parents are liable for their children’s misconduct.

However, for many netizens, this doesn’t provide justice for the girl’s suffering. On Weibo, many people express their dissatisfaction with the legislation on minors, and criticize the law for not doing enough in protecting minor victims. In the eyes of many, the two boys should be punished severely.

On Weibo, one user wrote: “I can’t believe it, this law is implemented to protect minors, but who is protecting this minor victim!!?”

Some netizens take it a step further and wish the girl could take justice in her own hands. “I hope the little girl gets to take revenge on the boys, after all, they are all minors, and she can’t be punished according to the law,” a typical comment on Weibo said.

At time of writing, there has been no official statement yet about the girl’s wellbeing at this moment and whether or not she gets to be transferred to a different school.

By Gabi Verberg

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

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

Gabi Verberg is a Business graduate from the University of Amsterdam who has worked and studied in Shanghai and Beijing. She now lives in Amsterdam and works as a part-time translator, with a particular interest in Chinese modern culture and politics.

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China Local News

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse

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First published

In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo

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©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 Health & Science

No Need for Plague Panic? China’s Trending Plague Outbreak

After the Year of the Pig brought swine flue, some fear the Year of the Rat will bring the ‘rat plague.’

Manya Koetse

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For the past nine days, during which three cases of the plague have been reported in China, the deadly bubonic plague has become a hot topic on Chinese social media.

The topic first made headlines on November 12, when Chinese state media announced that two people, a husband and wife from Inner Mongolia, were transported to Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with the pneumonic plague.

The couple reportedly got sick after eating raw marmot kidney.

A 55-year old hunter from the same region, the Inner Mongolian Xilingol League, was later also diagnosed with bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit meat.

The bubonic plague, also called the ‘Black Death,’ is an infectious disease that is known to have caused one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, killing millions of people in 14th century Europe.

News of the three cases of bubonic plague reminded many of the 2003 SARS panic; an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused over 8000 cases that year.

The World Health Organisation criticized China at the time for covering up the scale of the problem, with officials conceding in the Spring of 2003 that China’s SARs problem was “nearly 10 times worse than had been admitted.”

Current online reports on the bubonic plague in China stress that there is no reason for panic, with a hospital spokesperson confirming that the situation is “under control.”

42 people who are known to have come into contact with the Chinese patients have all been quarantined and were not found to have any symptoms of catching the disease.

Chinese (state) media channels are spreading social media posts this week that mainly emphasize that the plague “can be prevented, controlled, and managed,” and that it can be effectively treated.

“Don’t panic over plague outbreak,” Sina News headlines, with People’s Daily posting on Weibo that, according to the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “there is no need to worry.”

The bubonic plague primarily affects rodents and other animals, with animals – and incidentally humans – usually contracting the infection through insects such as (rat) fleas. This form of plague is highly contagious – can spread through coughing – and could be fatal within days if left untreated (Benedict 1996, 4).

Mammals such as rabbits or marmots, as eaten by the recent Chinese patients, but also rats, squirrels, gerbils, mice, etc., can all harbor the disease.

Although the disease is increasingly rare, and for many is something from the history books, there were still 3248 cases worldwide between 2010 and 2015, leading to 584 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Although Chinese media stress that there is no need to panic over the recent outbreak of the bubonic plague, many netizens still fear an epidemic, making comments such as: “The Year of the Pig brought the [African] swine fever, now the plague is starting just before the Year of the Rat!” (The word for ‘plague’ in Chinese is 鼠疫 shǔyì, literally meaning ‘rat plague’ or ‘mouse plague’).

Others are asking questions such as: “Do we risk the plague more if we have mice in the house?” and “How can we prevent getting it?”

Meanwhile, according to Jiemian News reports, the area in Inner Mongolia where the patients originally contracted the illness is currently under strict control by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture; some roads are closed off, and there’s temperature screening for those taking public transport.

The area has seen four cases of plague over the past decades, the most recent one before this month being in 2004.

Last news on the current three patients was from last Saturday, when it was reported that at least one of the patients is now in stable condition.

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo

References

Benedict, Carol Ann. 1996. Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth Plague in Nineteenth Century China. Stanford University Press.

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

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