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Brutal Murder of Two Chinese Sisters in Japan Sets Social Media Abuzz

Manya Koetse

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The bodies of two Chinese sisters, aged 22 and 25, were discovered in Japan this week. Autopsy reports have established that the women died of strangulation. Police have arrested the main suspect: a 30-year-old married man from Japan who allegedly had an affair with one of the sisters. The brutal murder has stirred heated discussions on Chinese social media, with many calling the sisters ‘unpatriotic.’

On July 15, Japanese police confirmed the cause of death of two Chinese sisters who were found to be murdered. The two women had been missing in Japan for a week. According to the autopsy report that was released by the Kanagawa Prefectural Police, they died from strangulation.

The bodies of the two women were discovered in bags in the woods on the night of July 13 in the town of Hadano (秦野市) in Kanagawa. According to Japanese TV network TBS, the women were almost entirely naked when they were found.

The sisters Chen Baolan (陈宝兰, 25) and Chen Baozhen (陈宝珍, 22) both lived in Yokohama, about 34 miles away from the place where their bodies were found.

The Chinese embassy in Japan received an urgent rescue request after the father of the two women could not reach them since July 7. Afterwards, China’s foreign ministry urged Japanese police to solve the case.

Different Chinese news sources report that persons familiar with the sisters said that they suspected one of the frequent Japanese customers at the cafe where Chen Baolan worked – he allegedly was seen entering and exiting the women’s apartment on July 6 in the early morning.

Xinjing News reports on Weibo that a 30-year-old Japanese man has now been arrested by the Japanese police. He allegedly is a married man who had an affair with Chen Baolan. The case is currently under investigation.

The murder case has drawn a lot of attention on Chinese social media, where the topic ‘# Chinese sisters killed in Japan #’ (#中国籍姐妹在日本遇害#) became one of the top trending topics on July 15.

 

“When Chinese citizens travel to other countries, they must be vigilant.”

 

Murder cases of Chinese nationals abroad often receive much attention on social media sites such as Weibo. Earlier this year, the disappearance of Yingying Zhang, a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois, became a much-discussed topic. In 2016, the murder of Michelle Leng in Sydney also drew a lot of attention on social media.

The case of the two women in Kanagawa is especially noteworthy; not only because it involves the murder of two sisters, but also because it happened in Japan – a country that only has 0,3 cases of homicide in per 100,000 people.

Many people on Weibo are worried that Chinese people are just not safe when they go abroad, and that they are targeted for their nationality. “Why does it seem that when Chinese people go to other countries, they either go missing or die, while when foreigners come to China, such things rarely happen?”, some people say.

A commenter from Anhui writes: “First of all, I think that when Chinese citizens are killed in foreign countries, for whatever reason, China must get involved in the investigation to keep up our honor in the world. Second, when Chinese citizens travel to other countries, they must be vigilant. After all, we are not familiar enough with the political environment and social atmosphere of other countries. We must learn to protect ourselves. Lastly, I hope these sisters can rest in peace.”

 

“People saying these women deserved to be killed for going to Japan – don’t you know the Qing dynasty is over?”

 

But that is not the only reason why this case has attracted so much attention on Chinese social media. Netizens also blame the sisters for having an alleged love affair with a married Japanese man and for going to live in Japan, something that is considered ‘unpatriotic’ by many commenters. “I sympathize with the parents, but these sisters were up to no good,” some say.

One person on Weibo comments: “A lot of Chinese girls go abroad to show off their wealth to their friends in China and give themselves some kind of status by finding a foreign boyfriend. There are really many of these women, what kind of example are they setting?”

“Why on earth did they go to Japan? That’s where they were wrong to begin with,” another commenter said.

But there are also many people who condemn the tone of the online discussions of the case. “I am stunned by these people saying these women deserved to be killed for going to Japan – don’t you know the Qing dynasty is over?”

“All these stupid people who say ‘don’t go to Japan’ are actually not patriotic at all (..) A true patriot would never say such a thing,” one netizen writes.

“It really pains me to see so many fools in these comment sections,” one person writes: “People have died, people have been murdered, and then they are bullied on by their own fellow Chinese countrymen. This comes from brainless people – have some integrity!”

By Manya Koetse

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

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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

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    john lee

    July 29, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    once again we thank the Communist Party of China for pointing out how evil Japan is. We also thank the Chinese Communist Party for pointing out that it is in the vanguard of stamping out prostitution in its country and for eliminating human trafficking. The great helms man Mao never indulged in prostitutes!

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China Local News

Online Anger over “Special Treatment” for Quarantined Foreigners in China

Are foreigners in quarantine being treated better than Chinese nationals? This Nanjing Daily article has triggered controversy.

Bobby Fung

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On March 27, an article titled “For the Good Health of 684 Foreigners” (“为了684个“老外”的安康”) sparked controversy online over the alleged special treatment of foreign nationals during their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

According to the article published by Nanjing Daily, Nanjing’s Xianlin Subdistrict set up a special WeChat group for foreign nationals and their families returning to the city after the Spring Festival holiday, which coincided with the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

In special WeChat groups, subdistrict officers, doctors, translators, and property managers provide assistance and daily services to these China-based foreigners. Examples of such “daily services” include delivering fresh bread or contacting pet boarding facilities.

“One young man loved online shopping on Taobao, and once we delivered twenty packages for him within one day,” one member of the service group told Nanjing Daily.

Although foreign residents in China and foreigners with previously issued visas are currently no longer allowed to enter China, they needed to undergo a two-week quarantine period upon entry until the travel ban of a few days ago.

Jiangsu Province, of which Nanjing is the capital, tightened quarantine rules on March 23, making every traveler from abroad subject to a centralized quarantine (e.g. in a hotel) for fourteen days.

The special services for returning foreigners reported by Nanjing Daily triggered controversy on Chinese social media this week. Many netizens criticized it as a “supra-nationals treatment” (超国民待遇).

Under one Weibo post by media outlet The Cover (@封面新闻), which received over one million views, many people are criticizing local officers’ favorable treatment of foreigners. One commenter writes: “Will they provide the same comprehensive services to their compatriots?”

Another person writes: “Why don’t they also adhere to the slogan of ‘Serve the People’ (..) when dealing with Chinese citizens?”

In discussing the supposed inequality between the treatment of foreigners and Chinese nationals in quarantine, many netizens raise a recent example of a quarantined Chinese student who asked the civil police staff for mineral water. In a video that circulated online in mid-March, the girl quarrels with the police for not being offered mineral water. The student, demanding mineral water over the available boiled tap water, was ridiculed for suggesting that having mineral spring water is a “human right.”

Ironically, the Nanjing Daily article explicitly mentions how the Xianlin Subdistrict deals with foreigners drinking purified water: “[This] Laowai [foreigner] wants to drink bottled purified water, [so] we bought four barrels for him (..) and carried them from the community gate to his apartment.”

The contrast in treatment of quarantined foreigners versus Chinese nationals prompted some Weibo users to reflect on their previous remarks on the female student: “I apologize for previously mocking the Chinese student at the quarantine center in Pudong, Shanghai, for demanding to drink mineral water,” one commenter writes.

In response to the online controversy, the office of the Xianlin Subdistrict clarified that Chinese nationals would receive “similar services” during their quarantine period. Some netizens question what these alleged “similar services” exactly entail.

In another media report, the official reply was that “the Subdistrict treats Chinese and foreign citizens the same.”

Over recent years, there have been many online controversies on the issue of privilege in China. Earlier this year, there was public outrage over two women driving a Benz SUV into the Palace Museum, where cars are usually not allowed.

The issue of the perceived privileges of foreigners in China has particularly triggered anger among netizens. The “preferential treatment” of overseas students and the “dorm disparities” between Chinese and foreign students in China, for example, previously became major topics of online discussion.

A popular WeChat article that comments on the Nanjing controversy of this week also lists examples of special treatment for foreigners, including cases where foreigners were not fined when breaking rules in China or being “treated better” in other ways. By now, the article has received over 100,000 views.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Bobby Fung (@bobbyfungmr)

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China Local News

Children of Hubei Medical Workers to Receive 10 Extra Points on High School Enrolment Examination

Hubei officials announced a controversial measure to reward frontline medical workers.

Manya Koetse

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Image via xjdkctz.com.

First published

Hubei authorities announced new measures on Tuesday to encourage and support the work of Hubei’s front-line medical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

One of these measures, rewarding the children of medical staff an extra ten points in their zhongkao examination, became a somewhat controversial top trending topic on Chinese social media today.

The zhongkao is an important academic examination in China taken during the last year of junior high school, right before entering education institutions at the senior high school level. These enrollment examinations are held annually in June or July, depending on the region.

A good mark on the exam is of crucial importance for many students, as it will give them admission to their preferred senior high school, which then could have more profound effects on their education after high school and their further career.

According to the new policy, children of Hubei’s medical workers would be rewarded with ten extra points on top of their overall score for the exams if they take it. Since the exams are highly competitive, every extra point could mean a world of difference since it will mean leaving hundreds of other students behind you.

On Weibo, one announcement of the new measure published by Chinese news source The Paper received over 938.000 likes and more than 11.000 comments. Many Weibo users do not agree with the policy.

“It should be the medical workers themselves who are rewarded through promotion or a salary increase,” a top comment says: “It shouldn’t be their children who are rewarded.”

Although a majority of commenters say that medical workers should be given special rewards in these times of hardships, most also agree that rewarding their children in their exam results is not the way to go. “This only makes the exam system more unfair,” a recurring comment says.

With 610 million views at the time of writing, the hashtag “The kids of Hubei frontline medical staff will get extra 10 points on zhongkao score” (#湖北一线医务人员子女中考加10分#) is one of the most-dicussed topics on Weibo of the day.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
Follow @whatsonweibo

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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