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Welcome to China’s Warmest Library

Hangzhou Library is not only China’s ‘warmest’ library, it is also the most open library of Mainland China. The library is not only frequented by students and bookworms; to many vagrants, it is their second home.

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Trending on Sina Weibo this week is the library of Hangzhou and its homeless visitors (流浪汉泡图书馆). The New Library of Hangzhou is China’s first free-of-charge and “zero barrier” library, meaning that all visitors, including vagrants and beggars, are welcome. The library only upholds one rule: visitors have to wash their hands to keep the books clean.

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Earlier this week, Chinese newspaper The Mirror (法制晚报) published an article and picture series of Hangzhou’s homeless people frequenting the library of Hangzhou. The topic became popular amongst netizens who sympathize with the open environment of Hangzhou Library. Vice director Chang Liangliang says that a lot of homeless visitors are already waiting by the library gates when it opens at eight o’clock in the morning. They often stay in the library until closing time. Their homeless status is visible through their ragged clothing and large bags. Another special rule in the library: luggage is allowed in. For most of these people, the library is both their home and their window to the world. In the library they cannot only read books, they can also watch movies, listen to music, and browse the Internet.

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The 76-year-old homeless Zhang Jie goes to the Hangzhou Library 2-3 times a week. Although his clothes are unclean, he makes sure he washes his hands before touching the books so that he does not stain them. He has an injured hip. To save medical costs, he looks up ways to cure himself.

The New Hangzhou Library is one of the largest public libraries in China, attracting over three million visitors per year. The library is praised online as the “warmest library in China’s history”. The library is 43,680 square meters, offers 2,200 seats and 2 million volumes of book storage. Over 6000 people visit the library on a daily basis.
About 40,000 square meters of the new library, which is 90% of the total area, is open to the public, making it the most ‘open’ library in the country.

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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.

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China Local News

One Dead, 17 Injured in Guangxi Kindergarten Knife Attack

News of a brutal kindergarten attack in Guangxi has shocked Chinese netizens.

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A brutal attack on a kindergarten in the city of Beiliu, Guangxi Province, has left at least one dead and 17 people injured. (Update April 29: Two victims have now passed away due to the attack.)

The incident occurred on the afternoon of April 28, when a man stormed into the school with a knife and started stabbing the pupils and teaching staff. The man attacked at least 16 children and 2 teachers. Blurred videos of the scene showed injured children in the playground area, some sitting up and some lying on the floor.

The 25-year-old man from Guangxi’s Guannan village was arrested shortly after the attack and his motives remain unknown at this time. One video on Weibo shows the man being taken away by police. Some online rumors (unconfirmed) suggested the man was going through a divorce and that his wife works at the kindergarten.

Local authorities in Beiliu and Yulin are calling on people to donate blood while the hospital is treating those who were injured in the attack. Images shared on Weibo showed people lining up to donate blood.

In June of 2020, a similar kindergarten attack left 39 children and staff injured.

On Weibo, the incident has become a trending topic, with many people expressing anger and sorrow over the attack.

“Is this another ‘mental disorder’ [case]?” (“又是精神病?”) many commenters write.

“This news really breaks my heart. Those poor children have done nothing wrong, they are innocent,” one person writes. Many others write that they hope the man will be severely punished. “He should be executed on the spot,” some say, with others writing: “Having a mental disorder is not an excuse.”

By Manya Koetse

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

Delivery Man in Anhui Run Over by Ambulance Sent to Rescue Him

From bad to worse: this Eleme delivery man was run over by an ambulance after being hit by an SUV.

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On April 12, a delivery man in the city of Bozhou, Anhui province, was run over by an ambulance arriving at the scene of an accident where he had just been injured.

Shocking footage circulating on Chinese social media shows the delivery man lying in the middle of the road when the ambulance arrives and runs over his leg. The incident happened around 12:00 in the afternoon (link to video, viewer discretion advised).

While the delivery man already suffered injuries because he was hit by an SUV shortly before, things quickly went from bad to worse when the ambulance that was supposed to come to his rescue crushed his leg. The man is currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital in Mengcheng county.

Statement on Weibo by the official Mengcheng county account (@蒙城发布).

According to recent news reports, the ambulance driver has currently been suspended and is under investigation.

The incident received a lot of attention on Weibo today, where the hashtag page discussing the double accident received over 150 million views (#外卖员被救护车二次碾压#).

Many comments relating to this incident are focused on the role of the traffic police at the scene of the accident, with people wondering why there was no guard standing next to the victim.

Thousands of commenters also address how sorry they feel for the victim, especially because the lives of many food delivery drivers – facing long working hours and low wages – is already tough enough.

According to Toutiao News (头条新闻), the delivery man works for Chinese food delivery giant Eleme. Wang Gang (王刚, alias) is approximately 30 years old and has a wife and a child. He had only been working for Eleme for a few months and reportedly did not have any prior accidents.

In Monday’s double accident, Wang suffered a mild skull fracture, seven broken ribs, and a fractured lower leg. He is in stable condition.

By Manya Koetse

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.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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