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Death of Policeman Draws Big Controversy: The Zhang Jiyong Case

The mysterious death of police officer Zhang Jiyong (张际勇) has caused a clamor of rumors growing on Chinese social media, with thousands of people questioning his cause of death. This is the second time this month that lack of transparency in the police force and failures in criminal investigation become the focus of public attention.

Manya Koetse

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The mysterious death of police officer Zhang Jiyong (张际勇) has caused a clamor of rumors growing on Chinese social media, with thousands of people questioning his cause of death. This is the second time this month that lack of transparency in the police force and failures in criminal investigation become the focus of public attention.

Zhang Jiyong (张际勇), a 34-year-old traffic police officer from Jiangsu province, suddenly disappeared while on duty on May 17. After being missing for 64 hours, his dead body was found in a nearby river on May 20.

His wife turned to social media to bring her husband’s case to the public’s attention, posting her story and pictures of her deceased husband’s face. Since his face showed traces of blood, severe bruisings and swellings, she alleges her husband was beaten to death [picture link, warning: death, shocking image].

But according to police and medical experts, Zhang died from drowning and there were no signs of homicide – pointing to suicide.

According to iFeng news, Zhang’s wife denies her husband was suffering from any kind of depression or other mental disorder that could have been related to his death.

Under the hashtag of ‘The Wife of Murdered Civil Policeman Zhang Jiyong’ (#遇害民警张际勇妻子#), netizens called on Weibo users to make this topic trending to help Zhang’s wife in her struggle to “find justice”. It hit the number one spot in Weibo’s trending topics list on May 24.

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The case has caused a clamor of rumors growing on Chinese social media, with some linking his death to his involvement in exposing a drugs crime; according to several Chinese media, Zhang’s wife stated that her husband spoke of ‘being followed’ and fearing for his life two days prior to his missing in relation to this drugs investigation.

There are also netizens alleging that Zhang’s hands were tied together when his body was recovered from the water (picture), and that suicide would thus be impossible.

Mostly, the case unleashed a storm of criticism from Chinese netizens about a lack of transparency in the police force and failures in criminal investigation.

Earlier this month, the curious death of Lei Yang also became big news. Lei Yang was a young man from Beijing who died after he was arrested for allegedly visiting a brothel. His wife also demanded that police further investigated this case, as she alleged her husband was beaten to death during his arrest. This case resonates with that of Zhang Jiyong, where netizens and relatives also ask for further investigation into the case.

 

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Zhang’s wife writes on her Weibo account (May 24):

zhangjiyong

“You all say Zhang Jiyong had mental problems, but you were with him at work on the night of the crime, and you’ve confirmed that he acted normal, and that there were no abnormalities up to his death. Yet you give a mental illness as the final conlusion. How can you, as law enforcement, make such logic errors? I ask a public apology from you. And if you won’t apologize, I ask that you come up with evidence for the claim that Zhang was suffering from mental problems. As a family member of the deceased, I have the right to defend Zhang Jiyong’s integrity and honor!”

Within 5 hours of posting, her Weibo post received over 9500 likes, 7500 comments and was shared more than 2400 times.

Except for anger about information lacking, as in the Lei Yang case, netizens are also angry about their comments being deleted by censors. As one popular comment says:

“I think I speak for everyone when I ask: why are our comments being removed? (..) A good policeman was killed, his hands were tied when his body was found, yet the officials still say it is suicide, do you think people are stupid? ? If you have a soul, then why delete our comments? We love our country, let our country love us back!”

For now, since officials have ruled out homicide and have concluded Zhang’s death to be due to ‘death by drowning’, there are no indications that the police will seek for any possible suspects in this case. According to local police, the blood and swellings in Zhang’s face were a “natural reaction” of the body after being in the water for a long time.

But on Weibo, the clamor is not gone yet, with many netizens refusing to believe official reports. As one netizen comments: “We know they are lying, and they know they are lying, and they know we know they are lying, and we know they know we know they are lying – but they are still lying.”

– By Manya Koetse

©2016 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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China Local News

Oil Tanker Truck Explosion Sends Shock Waves through Wenling, Zhejiang

A major oil tanker explosion has left over a hundred people injured and at least ten dead in Wenling, Zhejiang.

Manya Koetse

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On June 13, the explosion of an oil tanker truck has caused chaos in the city of Wenling in China’s Zhejiang province, leaving at least 112 127 people injured and nine 10 people dead.

The explosion took place in the afternoon at approximately 16:40 near the exit of the G15 Shenhai highway, causing a loud bang and wrecking some homes in the vicinity.

The hashtag “Zhejiang Wenling Tanker Wagon Explosion” (#浙江温岭槽罐车爆炸#) and other related hashtags (#浙江温岭一油罐车爆炸#) are attracting millions of views on social media site Weibo on Saturday evening (local time), with Chinese media and netizens sharing the footage of the damage caused by the explosion.

“My god, this is so scary,” a typical comment on Weibo says, with many people expressing their shock over the major incident.

Emergency and rescue workers are currently still at the scene to assist victims and clear away the wreckage caused by the explosion.

On Saturday night around 21:15 local time, Chiense state media outlet CCTV was still broadcasting a live stream through Weibo showing the latest images and footage of the situation and interviewing injured people in the hospital.

Local authorities and Chinese media are warning people not to go near Wenling’s Daxi to keep the roads clear for rescue workers.

Meanwhile, people on Chinese social media are spreading praying emoji’s and candles, expressing their sympathies for the victims of today’s explosion.

By Manya Koetse

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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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China Local News

China’s Shulan City in “Wartime Mode” after Recording 13 COVID-19 Infections

Local authorities announced a “wartime mode” lockdown due to 13 new local coronavirus cases in Shulan.

Manya Koetse

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The city of Shulan in China’s Jilin Province is top trending on Chinese social media today after local authorities announced a “wartime mode” lockdown due to 13 new local coronavirus cases.

These are the first local infections in the entire province after a period of 73 days, China News reports, with other previous cases all being infections from abroad.

Last week, on May 7th, a female resident was the first to be tested positive for COVID-19. The city in northeast China is now the only place in the PRC to be marked as “high risk.”

One page on social media platform Weibo dedicated to the topic of Shulan going into “wartime mode” (“战时状态”) had received over 190 million views by Monday evening local time.

What does this “wartime mode” entail?
– All residents stay home, lockdown of residential compounds
– All public places closed
– Schools closed
– All public transportation suspended
– No more selling of fever-reducing medicine in clinics or stores

According to CGTN, a total of 290 people who have been in close contact with the infected patients have been traced and placed under medical observation.

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

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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