Sunday, March 22, 2009

Deadly Violence in Chongqing

Two shocking news alerts arrived in my inbox this morning:

  1. Chinese soldier guarding army camp shot dead in Chongqing, reported in LAT

3/25 - So far the Chinese newspapers have kept quiet on this incident. A search on Chongqing's official news site www.online.cq.cn, as well as the popular web portal qbar.qq.com/chongqing returned few links. However one can find more reports in the foriegn media. Singapore's Zaobao.com, for example, quotes Chongqing's mayor Wang Hongju today saying that the government has found clues to solve the case.

I've received email responses from relatives in Chongqing -- their attitude is "it's no big deal," just an individual, isolated crime that could happen anywhere.

3/24 - More updates here.

3/22 - Updates: according to Chinese reports, the army unit in question is an automobile regiment, responsible for transporting supplies to Chinese military stationed in Tibet. Muzi.com quotes a witness that, on the evening of the attack, a car arrived at the regiment's gate. When a sentry went to check the car, he was shot twice at the temple and killed right away. Another sentry was also shot and hurt. There were two dark-skinned people in the car; they took the soldier's submachine gun and drove away. Attacks on soldiers are extremely rare in China.

2. Qinghai rioters arrested for attacking police station, reported on CNN

I will contact people in Chongqing and search the Chinese internet to find out more.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the CNN story does not say anything about 19 people dead in Qinghai. It does mention 95 arrests, though.

The story does mention the official Chinese number of 19 dead from March last year in Tibet. In doing so, the story manages to completely misquote the official Chinese position, and the reader is left with the impression that all the dead died in the subsequent crackdown and none died during the riots. Strange way of doing journalism.

Xujun Eberlein said...

You are right, the 19 deaths were last year's. Thanks for pointing it out - I'm correcting it now. And your criticism about CNN's journalism is legitimate; I share your view.

Alfonso said...

Be careful with those mistakes Xunjun! You may appear in the anti-cnn web page!!!

;-)

Xujun Eberlein said...

Okay Alfonso. :-)

Uln said...

Yes, I also found that CNN article confusing.

Xujun, did you speak to the people back in Chongqing? Yesterday I went to the la-mian place down the street and I asked them about the Qinghai riots. I was surprised to see that they had not heard a word of it, even though they are all from Qinghai and they have close links to their families there.

There is probably a bit of official press censoring here, but it might also be that in the West we are magnifying events that don't event make the province news.

Xujun Eberlein said...

Uln, I sent emails to Chongqing but haven't heard back. Might call tonight.

By the way, when you read comments on this blog, a button appears on the lower right of the "post a comment" box that says "Subscribe by email." Clicking it you'll be able to receive all future comments for the particular post. There is also a general-purpose button in the right column that allows you to subscribe to all comments appearing on this blog.

Xujun Eberlein said...

Called my family in Chongqing tonight (their morning) but no one was at home. Talked to their housekeeper. She didn't know a soldier was being shot, instead she heard that "terrorists have come to Chongqing." Where did the terrorists come from? She had no idea.

other lisa said...

Xujun, maybe the fellow we met at dinner might have an idea. I'm spacing on his name.

Xujun Eberlein said...

Hi Lisa! Thanks for reminding me about him - I think I have his card somewhere. Would be interesting to hear his perception as a journalist.