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Holiday Chaos: China’s Scenic Areas Overcrowded and Dangerous

As millions of people are flocking to China’s most scenic areas during the national holiday, some spots are so chaotic and packed that they form a potential safety hazard to visitors.

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Millions of Chinese use the National Holiday period to go out and visit some of China’s most scenic spots. But some areas are so crowded and unorganized that the situation is perilous. On Weibo, people complain about the security hazards of China’s overcrowded tourist attractions.

As people across China are celebrating the Golden Week holiday, the country’s scenic spots are packed with tourists.

Huge crowds formed a potential safety hazard at the Seven Small Arches (Xiaoqikong) scenic area in Libo County, Guizhou (image via Weibo).

This year, many people on Weibo are especially complaining about the situation at the Seven Small Arches (Xiaoqikong) scenic area in Libo County, Guizhou.

On Sunday, Pear Video reported on Weibo that the roads leading to the sightseeing spot were so jammed that some foreign tourists decided to get out their car to play a game of frisbee on the expressway.

On Monday, the situation seemed even worse, as some Weibo netizens posted that the extreme crowds in the area led to people being stuck for over three hours in the heat, with no available food or water, and no people to manage the situation.

Not just the roads to the area were jammed, people were also stuck within the area waiting for buses – sometimes for two to three hours, according to visitors’ reports.

“Such a chaos!” some visitors wrote online: “And no staff members to maintain order, no mechanisms to respond to emergency situations.”

One netizen (@小蜗牛牛儿) posted a that a SWAT team eventually came to the scene to check on the situation.

“First I drive 3 hours to Libo, then it still takes me 3 hours to actually reach the scenic spot, then I catch a glimpse of the Seven Small Arches and the day was gone like this. You really don’t control this well, you shouldn’t let in so many people,” one person complained on Weibo.

“Of all the scenic attractions I’ve ever visited, the Seven Small Arches left the worst impression on me,” netizen (@飞骑引雕弓2016) said: “We waited for two hours on the rocks in the heat before we could get on the bus, people are getting heatstroke this way!”

“This is the first time I experienced a traffic jam within a scenic spot!” another commenter, who also visited the area on Monday, wrote on Weibo.

“The Seven Small Arches area is receiving too many visitors, creating huge congestion. People are currently fighting to get on the bus,” another visitor wrote, warning local authorities about the potentially hazardous situation.

China’s scenic spots yearly attract attention for becoming too crowded during the national holiday. During these days, places such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and many other tourist attractions are so crowded that people can hardly move.

The Seven Small Arches Xiaoqikong scenic spot covers an area of 10 square kilometers, and is known for its karst forest, beautiful scenery, and numerous waterfalls.

A young woman from Sichuan posted on social media: “I understand that there are a lot of people here. But it’s past six o’clock and we’ve been waiting for over an hour for the tour bus to pick us up and it hasn’t come. So many people here and it’s soon getting dark, we’re over ten kilometers away from the exit and cannot walk so far. We don’t have food and it’s hot. Nobody is answering on the complaint line, and still, the entrance ticket to the park is so expensive!”

On Monday night, other visitors posted that they had been waiting for over four hours in the dark for a bus to pick them up from the scene.

“I will never come back here,” they wrote.

By Manya Koetse


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

©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.

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1 Comment

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  1. Richard Smith

    November 19, 2017 at 12:24 am

    I’ve just returned from researching tourism in some of China’s best known tourist sites — Hua Shan, Jiangjiashie, Guilin, the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Suzhou, Hangzhou and others. China has many beautiful natural features that have not yet been destroyed by overdevelopment, many beautiful parks and gardens, and a still a few old villages and cities. But they’re all being overwhelmed by way too many people and incessant overdevelopment. A couple of weeks ago a Chinese friend and I visited Yu Garden in Shanghai. He grew up in Shanghai and used to go there on Saturday mornings as a child in the 1950s and 60s with his grandfather. They would spend a couple of hours in near solitude, contemplating the beauty of the rocks, lakes and nature. The garden was ideal for meditation and in those days one could do that. But today even on a regular week day, not a holiday, the place is mobbed with masses of Chinese tourists posing for selfies every ten steps. Meditation or even just enjoying nature is the last thing one can do there. The same can be said with nearly every other tourist site i visited. A visit to tourist sites really brings home the fact that China is massively overpopulated. Moreover, what with “market reform” every site charges admission. Not cheap either. Even to visit a dirty public beach in Guilin you have to buy a ticket. So everywhere you go there are “cattle pens” to regulate long queues of people buying tickets, getting on buses or cable cars up the mountains and so on. Then there is all the trashy commercialism, the KFC junk food, etc. etc. Of course these problems are not limited to China. I live in the middle of New York City. This place is nothing if not massively overpopulated. Go the the Eiffel Tower or Venice or any tourist site in Europe and many in the U.S. The world doesn’t need a one-child policy. It needs a NO-child policy for a few generations to get the human population back down so some reasonable sustainable level so that we don’t completely destroy the last of the natural world. I certainly don’t support compulsory population reduction but I see no reason why, with adequate social security arrangements, we can’t provide economic and other incentives to people to have just one or even forego having children so future generations can live in a sustainable, harmonious, beautiful world instead of an overpopulated, market-driven world verging on ecological collapse.

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China Local News

Online Outrage after Pet Dog Gets Killed by Anti-Epidemic Workers in Shangrao

An official response to the Shangrao incident that called the killing of the dog “harmless disposal” only added fuel to the fire.

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A pet dog was killed by anti-epidemic workers in Shangrao this week while its owner was undergoing quarantine at a nearby hotel. Chinese netizens are outraged, not only about the dog being killed during extreme efforts to contain Covid19, but also about the seemingly cold response of local authorities after it happened.

This weekend, a case in which a pet dog was killed by epidemic prevention workers in the city of Shangrao has sparked outrage on Chinese social media.

The incident occurred in the Golden Phoenix Garden community (金凤花园小区) in the Xinzhou district of Shangrao, a medium-sized prefecture-level city located in the northeast of Jiangxi province. Due to a new confirmed case of Covid19, the community is undergoing a lockdown and its residents are being quarantined while apartments are being disinfected.

On November 12, one of the community residents named Mrs. Fu (傅) shared on Weibo how her pet dog was presumably killed by anti-epidemic workers while she was undergoing quarantine at a local hotel that did not allow pets. She shared security footage recorded inside her residence from Friday around 16:45, showing how two epidemic workers enter her apartment and then begin to beat her pet dog on the head with iron bars.

The story and video sparked anger online, and the official response to the incident only added fuel to the fire.

On Saturday, November 13, Shangrao’s Xinzou district released a statement via its official Weibo channel (@信州发布). The statement, posted as late as 23:37, explained that residents of the community were supposed to leave their doors open while being quarantined, but that the door of this particular resident was closed. Anti-epidemic staff then received police assistance in entering the house to disinfect it, which is when they discovered the dog was at the home. The notice writes that the workers then proceeded to deal with the dog through “harmless disposal” (the literal words “无害化处理” could also be translated as ‘handling [something] to be made harmless’).

The statement also says that the worker has since been removed from his post and has apologized.

Very similar wording can be found in an article addressing the controversy in the English-language version of Chinese state media outlet Global Times, where the incident is described as a staffer who “culled a pet dog during anti-epidemic mission,” and that the staffer “gave harmless disposal on a pet dog without having fully communicated with the pet owner.”

Other reports in Chinese media about the incidents received criticism from netizens for emphasizing anti-epidemic policies and the otherwise “humane” treatment of animals.

“Don’t you think you’re laughable? You have some nerve to report on this like this,” one top comment said.

By now, the incident has attracted the attention of thousands of netizens using various hashtags, with one of them gaining over 170 million on views on Weibo, becoming one of the top trending topics on Sunday (#居民在外隔离期间家中小狗被扑杀#, #上饶正调查隔离人员宠物狗被扑杀#, #上饶回应隔离宠物狗疑似被扑杀#).

“The government of Shangrao leaves me speechless,” one Weibo user (@爱吃火锅的邓邓) writes: “This dog was not even confirmed of having Covid19. Nevertheless, they just beat him to death. How can you be so cruel?!”

In September of this year, three pet cats that tested positive for Covid19 were put down in the Chinese city of Harbin. That incident also led to a social media backlash at what some viewed as overkill in local efforts to contain the virus. This case, however, is still different because the dog involved was allegedly killed before even getting tested for Covid19.

“You just ‘dispose’ of the dog and that’s it? The dog’s life is over! We don’t even know how many dogs were killed like this,” others responded.

“Prying open people’s doors, killing people’s pets, and then pressuring people to delete their posts on the matter, forcing them to settle (..), – Shangrao government is really putting itself on display here,” one commenter said, referring to online rumors that Mrs. Fu was pressured by authorities into deleting her social media post – she posted about being threatened herself.

The dog owner claims she is being threatened and pressured into deleting her social media post.

The dog owner also claims that at least one other cat and dog by residents living in the same community have also been “disposed of.” At the time of writing, this claim has not been confirmed by official sources.

Meanwhile, a poster showing a cat saying “I can’t transmit covid19, please don’t abandon or hurt me” is circulating on social media. The Shanghai Center for Disease Prevention and Control reportedly stated it is unlikely for small pets to get Covid19, and that they therefore should not need to be screened.

I can’t transmit covid19, please don’t abandon or hurt me.”

The terms “harmless disposal” (无害化处置) and “culling” (扑杀) that have been used by some Chinese state media and local authorities in describing the Shangrao incident are also circulating online, with many people expressing disbelief in the seemingly cold and careless way in which the unnecessary killing of pets is being portrayed.

Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin also posted about the issue, writing: “In my opinion, even from the perspective of crisis communication, this was certainly not a successful notice. It is not surprising to see it trigger controversies online.”

At the same time, Hu also called on people not to condemn China’s zero-covid19 approach over this controversy, writing: “We cannot deny the overall hard work of the grassroots pandemic prevention workers because of a specific case.”

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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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

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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