A nation sees its public morals dwindling:
ZHAOYUAN – Six people, four of them related, have been arrested for assaulting and killing a 37-years old woman at a McDonald's in China, Shandong Province, on May 29th.
As of May 30th, little details are known,* and there are conflicting reports (some say the woman was in her 20s; and that she “spurned his advances”) about the perpetrators (allegedly members of a Christian cult). A quarrel insured. The victim is said to have refused to give her phone number. What is undisputed, however, is the crime itself which was video-recorded. In addition, images from what looks like a security camera footage were broadcast on the province's TV.
Net citizens (China has over 600 million internet users) were outraged at what presents itself as yet another instance of complete moral failure of this pseudo-harmonious nation: The McDonald's was apparently jammed with customers and staff workers who either quickly left the scene, stood by and watched, or (helpful for police and investigators -it needs to be said), even filmed the gory incident: YOU WILL BE ASKED TO VERIFY YOUR AGE FOR THIS VIDEO FOOTAGE:
Some commentators searched China's soul to blame -they quickly compared it to the case of Yue Yue, a two-years old Chinese girl that a few years ago was run over by two cars in daylight and in a busy place and left to die by at least 18 passers-by.
“Why is nobody helping this poor woman?!” Someone posted, angrily. In addition to the exceptional barbarity of the murder, the case is likely to stir up the debate about widespread violence against women.
Finally, the incident happened at a time when a spell of killing rampages and mass stabbings at train stations and public spaces (often in open daylight) has gripped the nation's psyche, leaving ordinary citizens indeed fearful of meeting with random meaningless death.
To show some leniency for the frightened observers (and staff members) in the video: The action escalated rather quick, and savagely, and after just 2 minutes or so, and after a bullish thug bashed the victim’s skull with what looks like an iron bar, the woman died on the spot. Having said that, in the end it all feels like some form of collective failure to render any assistance to that poor lady.
Chinese society may be harmonious and peaceful and all; but have them watch a stranger suffer pain and injustice… Holy Laozi, you can hear the callousness crackling.
*On May 31, CCTV published this interview with Zhang Lidong in which he said the killed the woman because she was an evil spirit.
Image credits: hz1188.com