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Shocking Video Shows Shanghai Policeman Pushing Woman with Baby to the Ground

A disturbing video that shows how a woman and a small child are thrown to the ground local police ignites debate on police use of force in China.

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A disturbing video that shows how a woman and a small child are thrown to the ground by a local Shanghai policeman became a trending topic on Friday, sparking wide debates on police use of force in China.

A video that shows a Shanghai policeman pushing down a woman holding a small child in her arms is going viral on Chinese social media on September 1.

With millions of views on Weibo and WeChat, the incident is sparking a wide discussion on police brutality in China.

In the video, that was recorded in Shanghai’s Songjiang district on Friday morning, a woman can be seen arguing with a policeman while she is holding a crying child in her arms. As the conflict continues, the officer suddenly pushes the woman to the ground, causing the baby to fall from her arms and landing on the sidewalk.

Other footage after the incident shows that the fall has left the woman’s face badly swollen and bruised.

The policemen in the video were allegedly checking for illegal parking. Shanghai Songjiang police confirmed on Weibo that the incident is currently under investigation and that the policeman involved has now been suspended. The woman and the child were sent to the hospital.

The video triggered much discussion on Chinese social media under the hashtag “Woman holding baby pushed down by police” (#抱娃女子被民警绊摔#), which had over four million views by Friday afternoon.

Chinese netizens are divided over the issue, with some condemning the policeman’s violent actions and others blaming the woman for provoking an officer while carrying a child in her arms.

“You don’t even care for your own child, and push the police while using the kid in your arms as your shield. Now you’re playing the victim,” commenters said. Some also said that some footage of the incident circulating online was deliberately edited to leave out the part that shows the woman acting hostile towards the police.

But many also think the police use of force, in this case, cannot be justified: “I only want to say that those two policemen did not even bother to check if the child was ok after it fell to the ground,” a person named Isaha commented.

“It’s alright for the police to use force, but in this incident, they should have considered the baby,” a typical comment read.

Other internet commenters – possibly members of the state-backed 50 Cent Army – used the incident to show some patriotism: “If you love our country and the Communist Party you should not criticize the police. When you forward information like this, you’re telling people that our police is violent, and that this is how our government works, but we should be against spreading that message – where’s your patriotism?!”

This is not the first time discussions on the use of force by Chinese police flare up on Chinese social media. In 2016, the death of the 29-year-old Beijing resident Lei Yang while in police custody sparked online outrage, with netizens connecting the fatality to police brutality.

“Regardless of what sh*t excuse the Shanghai police comes up with about the use of force (..), everyone can see, and it is more visible in the video than in the image, how this bastard uses the technique that he learned in police academy to push the woman to the ground, while her baby is flying mid-air on the floor. He completely ignores the baby; and not just him, also his colleague, who also rushes to clamp the woman down while ignoring the crying baby,” a netizen from Guangdong wrote.

No matter if netizens defend the police’s right to use force or side with the woman, there is one thing commenters all seem to agree with. “The baby is innocent,” they say: “It should have been left out of this conflict from the start.”

State tabloid Global Times responded to the issue on Friday night through their official WeChat account, claiming that the woman who was pushed down by the police “had a mysterious smile on her face upon discovering that bystanders sympathized with her because of the child.”

Global Times notes the woman’s “mysterious smile” on its WeChat account.

On Weibo, some commenters wondered why Global Times would post such a thing: “It’s not her [the woman] that’s grim, it’s the person who wrote this.”

“Their imagination is too big,” some said: “This woman’s face is distorted because of her injuries; who would have a smile on their face after being beaten like this? Global Times must think others are as stupid as they are if they believe they’d follow their way of thinking..”

By Miranda Zhou Barnes & 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.

Miranda Barnes is a Chinese blogger and part-time translator with a strong interest in Chinese media and culture. Born in Shenyang, she used to work and live in Beijing and is now based in London. On www.abearandapig.com she shares news of her travels around Europe and Asia with her husband.

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  1. Avatar

    AC

    October 6, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Why is that even news? This looks like child play compare to what you see with US cops.

    Is this site focus on just reporting any negative news on China? If it is that, I can just get that from the fake news/MSM.

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China and Covid19

Announced Changes in Nucleic Acid Testing and Further Easing of Covid Measures Across China

Bus and subway operators in Beijing will no longer refuse entry to passengers without a 48-hour negative nucleic acid certificate.

Manya Koetse

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On Monday, directly after that noteworthy unrest-filled weekend, the hashtag “Multiple Locations Announce Nucleic Acid Testing Changes” (#多地核酸检测通知发生变化#) went trending on Chinese social media, receiving over 660 million clicks by Monday evening.

Immediately following demonstrations in Beijing and a second night of protests in Shanghai and elsewhere, various Chinese media reported how different areas across the country are introducing changes to their current Covid19 testing measures.

On Wednesday, November 30, China’s vice-premier Sun Chunlan made remarks at a meeting on epidemic prevention, underlining the importance of “constantly optimizing” China’s Covid-19 response and talking about a “new stage and mission” – without ever mentioning “zero Covid.”

This is what we know about easing Covid measures thus far:

▶ Strict lockdowns have been lifted in Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, and Chongqing.

▶ On November 28, Guangzhou announced that people who do not actively participate in social life will no longer need to participate in continuous nucleic acid screening. This includes elderly people who stay indoors for long periods of time, students who take online classes, and those who work from home. The change will apply to residents in seven districts, including Haizhu, Panyu, Tianhe, and Baiyun (#广州7区无社会面活动者可不参加全员核酸#).

▶ Guangzhou, according to Reuters, also scrapped a rule that only people with a negative COVID test can buy fever medication over the counter.

Harbin will follow the example of Guangzhou, and will also allow people who are mostly based at home to skip nucleic acid test screenings.

▶ Same goes for Shenyang, and Taiyuan.

▶ In Chongqing, various districts have done widespread Covid testing campaigns, but the local authorities announced that those communities that have not had a positive Covid case over the past five days do not need to participate in nucleic acid screening anymore. This means an end to district-wide testing.

▶ On November 30, Beijing also announced that it will start exempting some people from frequent Covid testing, including those elderly residents who are bound to home and other people who do not go out and have social interactions. This also includes younger students who are following classes online.

▶ Starting from December 5, bus and subway operators in Beijing will no longer refuse entry to passengers without a 48-hour negative nucleic acid certificate (announced on December 2nd).

▶ Although not officially announced, there have been various social media posts and reports about Covid-positive people in Beijing being allowed to quarantine at home if they meet conditions.

Chengdu Metro announced on December 2nd that it will no longer check passengers’ nucleic acid test reports. Passengers still need to scan their travel code and those with a green code can enter. Other public places will reportedly also start to accept the ‘green code’ only without a time limit on nucleic acid testing.

Tianjin metro announced that the 72-hour nucleic acid certificate check will be also be canceled for passengers on the Tianjin metro lines. As in other places, people will still need to wear proper face masks and undergo temperature checks.

▶ In Hangzhou, except for at special places such as nursing homes, orphanages, primary and secondary schools, people’s nucleic acid tests will no longer be checked in public transportation and other public places. They will also stop checking people’s Venue Codes (场所码).

By Manya Koetse , with contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

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China History

Mourning Jiang Zemin, Weibo Turns Black and White

Since the rise of Chinese social media, Jiang Zemin became a recurring part of Chinese memes.

Manya Koetse

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Following the announcement that Jiang Zemin (江泽民), the former president of the PRC, has passed away, various Chinese online platforms have turned into ‘grey’ mode as a sign of mourning. Jiang Zemin died due to leukemia and organ failure. He was 96 years old.

Besides Weibo, the home page of major Chinese websites such as Baidu, Sogou, Taobao, Alipay, Xinhua, People’s Daily, The Paper, and many others all turned into black-and-white mourning mode on Wednesday.

Bilibili turns into grey mode on November 30.

Search engine Sogou also in black and white mode.

On Weibo, one post about Jiang Zemin’s passing received a staggering one million reposts and over two million ‘likes.’ The hashtag “Comrade Jiang Zemin Passed Away at the Age of 96 in Shanghai” (#江泽民同志在上海逝世享年96岁#) had received over 2,5 billion clicks by Wednesday night.

Jiang Zemin was appointed as President of the People’s Republic of China in 1993. In the years before, the former Shanghai Party chief already held official positions as the chairman of the Central Military Affairs Commission and general secretary of the Party. In 2003, Jiang Zemin retired and was replaced by Hu Jintao (Sullivan 2012).

Since the rise of Chinese social media, Jiang became a recurring part of Chinese memes. Jiang had created a wide group of online fans, who are commonly referred to as ‘toad worshippers’ as the online phenomenon of ‘worshipping’ Jiang Zemin is called mo ha (膜蛤), ‘toad worship’ (Fang 2020, 38). The entire phenomenon has become its own subculture that is called ‘mo ha culture’ (móhá wénhuà, 膜蛤文化).

What started as a joke – nicknaming Jiang a ‘toad’ due to his big glasses, signature pants, and wide smile, – became an actual online movement of people who were appreciative of Jiang Zemin.

They loved him, not only because the former leader spoke many languages and other talents, and because of his unique appearance, but mainly because he was not scared to show his emotions, was very expressive, and good at telling stories.

One famous example of this, is when Jiang Zemin got upset with a Hong Kong journalist in 2000 and told them off using three languages (link to video, also here). The much-repeated quote “too young, too simple, sometimes naive” comes from this noteworthy moment as Jiang told journalists that they still had a lot to learn, whereas he had gone through “hundred of battles,” saying “I’ve seen it all.” This also led to Jiang later being called ‘the Elder’ (长者) by netizens.

Another popular Jiang Zemin video is when he met with American journalist Mike Wallace in August of 2000 in Beidaihe. During the interview, the two discussed sensitive topics including the Falun Gong and Tiananmen protests. The interview reportedly was one of the longest ever between an American journalist and a Chinese head of state (watch here).

A study by Kecheng Fang (2020) about ‘China’s toad worship culture’ suggests that for many online fans of Jiang, the cult around him is apolitical, playful, and part of a shared digital cultural tradition.

For some, however, it does hold some political meaning to ‘worship’ Jiang, who only became a popular online meme around 2014, after Xi Jinping took power as a conservative strongman who is not as emotionally expressive. Fang describes how one meme creator said: “We couldn’t express our criticism through normal channels, so we turned to other indrect ways, including lauding Jiang’s personality and characteristics in various ways” (2020, 45).

Although Jiang became popular among younger Chinese on online platforms over the past decade, he was not necessarily that popular at the time of his leadership, and opinions vary on the legacy he leaves behind. Jiang continuously pushed for reform and opening-up after Deng Xiaoping’s rule.

As summarized by Foreign Policy, Jiang oversaw two crucial transitions that shaped and improved the lives of the people of China: “First, he peacefully guided his country out of the shadow of China’s founding revolutionaries, who had spent decades purging one another and at times caused great pain and sorrow for everyone else. Second, although hesitant at first, Jiang came to embrace the market economy.”

As various places across China have seen unrest and protests over the past few days, the announcement of Jiang’s death comes at a sensitive time.

Many on Chinese social media are burning virtual candles in memory of Jiang Zemin today. “I will fondly recall your style and manners,” some say.

By Manya Koetse , with contributions by Miranda Barnes

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References:

Fang, Kecheng. 2020. “Turning a communist party leader into an internet meme: the political and apolitical aspects of China’s toad worship culture.” Information, Communication & Society, 23 (1): 38-58.

Sullivan, Lawrence R. 2012. Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Communist Party. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press. See page: 3-43, 208.

 

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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.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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