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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 Health & Science

Chinese Student Forced to Undergo “Fake Surgery” and Borrow Money While Lying on the Operating Table

The 17-year-old girl from Shaanxi underwent surgery for no reason at all, without her parents’ consent.

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The story of a 17-year-old girl who was forced to undergo a “fake surgery” at Shaanxi’s Ankang Xing’an Hospital has gone viral on Chinese social media.

One of the netizens to break the story on social media is the Weibo user @QinguanSihai (@秦观四海, 90,000+ followers), who posted about the incident on October 6.

According to the post, the incident occurred on October 4 when a young woman named Lu went online to seek medical attention because she was not feeling well. Since there was an available spot for a medical consultation at the private Ankang Xing’an Hospital, Lu went to see a doctor there.

While she was at the hospital in the city of Ankang, the woman allegedly was directly taken to the operating room and placed on the operating table after a short consultation; not for a medical examination, but for surgery.

The girl initially thought she was undergoing a routine medical check. As the surgery was already underway, the doctor stopped to let Lu sign some papers and then asked her if she could gather the money to pay for her medical procedure. When Lu protested and demanded to get off the surgery table, the doctor warned her that she was losing blood and that interrupting the procedure would be life-threatening.

Lying on the operating table, Lu called some of her friends to gather the money, all the while being pressured by the doctor that the money she had (1200 yuan/$185) was not enough to cover for the costs of surgery – which was still ongoing. The doctor allegedly even told Lu to get more money via the Alipay ‘Huabei’ loaning app.

Lu’s parents, who were contacted by concerned friends, soon showed up at the hospital as the doctor hastily ended the surgery. The parents, who were furious to discover their underage daughter had undergone a medical procedure without their consent, became even more upset when they later found out that Lu had undergone surgery to remove cervical polyps, while Lu’s medical reports showed that she actually had no cervical polyps at all. No reason could be found for their healthy daughter to have been operated on her cervix.

After Lu’s story went viral on social media, local authorities quickly started an investigation into the matter and soon confirmed that the story was real. An initial statement said that Angkang Xing’an Hospital is at fault for performing surgery on a minor without the consent of a guardian or parent. It was also recognized that the hospital has committed serious ethical violations. The hospital, located on 78 Bashan Middle Road (巴山中路), is now temporarily closed, and the doctor in question has since been fired.

Many Chinese netizens are angered about the incident, calling private hospitals such as Ankang Xing’an a “disgrace” to China’s healthcare industry.

This is by no means the first time that malpractices at Chinese local hospitals or clinics trigger online controversy. Various incidents that previously went viral show how some clinics put commercial interests above the health of their patients, and how some doctors think they can get away with abusing and scamming their patients.

In 2016, the death of the 21-year-old cancer patient Wei Zexi (魏则西) sparked online outrage. Wei Zexi, who shared his medical experiences on social media, spent 200,000 RMB to receive contested form of immunotherapy at the Beijing Armed Police Corps No. 2 Hospital (武警二院). The treatment, that was promoted on China’s leading search engine Baidu, was actually completely ineffective and the advertising for it was false.

By now, one hashtag relating to the Ankang incident has received over 270 million views on Weibo (#官方通报无病女生被推上手术台#), with other relating hashtags also circulating on social media (#家属回应无病女学生被迫手术#, #无病女学生被推上手术台涉事医院停业整顿#).

“This can’t be a real hospital, right?!” some worried netizens write, with others expressing the hopes that the medical institution will be severely punished for their wrongdoings.

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

Humans Fight at Beijing Wildlife Park, “Setting the Wrong Example” for the Animals

When the humans started fighting at this Beijing zoo, the animals followed suit.

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A fight between visitors of the Beijing Wildlife Park has gone viral on Chinese social media. The altercation happened on the afternoon of August 7 at the Wildlife Park in the Daxing District.

According to the WeChat account of the Beijing Wildlife Park, the fight erupted after two visitors had a dispute over something trivial. Their clash initially was only a verbal one, but soon turned physical.

A video of the incident published on Weibo by Beijing Life (@北京生活) shows that at least six people were involved in the fight, which included hair pulling, kicking, tearing clothes, and slapping. Even the people who were already lying on the ground still continued wrestling and kicking.

Not just children stood by during the altercation, many animals also witnessed the dramatic fight. Some netizens said the incident took place near the gorilla area.

Although local security guards were able to calm the fighting parties down and settle the matter, the violent altercation allegedly had some unexpected consequences.

According to the park statement (#园方回应动物效仿游客打架#), this was the first time for the park animals to witness such a fight between humans. For some animals, the event apparently left such an impression that they also started fighting together that same night.

The Beijing Wildlife conveyed how the humans had set a bad example for the animals, writing that the animals imitated them and that their fighting was “out of control.”

The park also writes that zookeepers stepped in, letting the animals know that “fighting is bad”, “really bad.”

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan) and Miranda Barnes

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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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