Recently, a female customer at a restaurant in Tangshan, Hebei, was harassed and seriously injured, causing great public outrage and attracting the international community’s attention. In recent years, there have been many incidents of Chinese women brutally attacked without reason after refusing to initiate a conversation with men. Foreign media also asked for the cause of this violence.

According to NBC News, on June 10, at a barbecue restaurant on Airport Road, Tangshan, Hebei, a man harassed a woman who was eating.

At 2:40 a.m. that day, according to the timeline in the video, a man approached a table where a group of four women was sitting. He placed his hand on one woman’s back.

She rejected him several times before he got angry and slapped her, causing her to fight back. An altercation followed, with a group of men entering the restaurant and brutally assaulting the woman and her table friends. They brutally shoved them to the ground, kicked them, and even threw chairs at the ladies. 

The video from outside the restaurant shows the assailants dragging out and beating the woman who had rejected the stalker. At the same time, bystanders and customers just stood and watched.

The video of the incident has gone viral on social media, causing outrage. By June 12, 4 of the top 10 keywords on Weibo’s hot search list start with “Tangshan.” Changan police also intervened and issued a notice of arrest.

The level of violence seen in the attack sent shockwaves across social media on Friday, June 10, and Saturday, June 11. On Weibo, several hashtags about the Tangshan incident became trending, some of which attracted more than a billion views.

The beating of the Tangshan woman is just the tip of the iceberg, which concerns the international community.

The case attracted international attention. On Saturday, June 11, foreign media such as Reuters, Voice of America (VOA), Radio France Internationale (RFI), Deutsche Welle (DW), The Central News Agency of Taiwan (CNA), and other foreign media have cited Mainland media about the mistreatment of Chinese women as a common practice.

As reported by RFI, a group of young men bullied and harassed four women in a pub, in front of other people. Authorities said two women were hospitalized and the other two suffered minor injuries. Nine suspects were arrested. But this is not a rare occurrence.

Other cases of reported violence against women

RFI quoted The Paper saying that, after searching the internet for court sentences with the related keywords: “women,” “judgment,” “harassment,” and “battering,” they discovered that, a few years ago, there were several cases where women were beaten and injured for refusing to initiate a conversation.

According to the Epoch Times, in April 2019, similar violence occurred at a soy milk shop in Fuyang, Anhui province. A man started a conversation with a woman and then caused an argument. The man hit her. He was detained for 13 days and had to pay over 1,000 dollars.

In 2020, there was also an incident where a woman in a bar was beaten in Baoqing County, Heilongjiang. A man hit a woman after she rejected him, and the woman was injured and hospitalized for 18 days. The court ordered the man and his friend to pay about 2,500 dollars in compensation.

That same year, in the city of Panzhou, Guizhou province, a woman was seriously injured when a drunken man approached her. The result was, that she was hospitalized for a month. The court decision accused the woman of “committing a serious mistake” because although she knew the man was drunk, she “still argued with him.” The man was reduced his sentence and only fined 3,260 dollars.

Tangshan case irregularities

Whatsonweibo.com, an independent news website based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which monitors news reports on Chinese social media, published a lengthy article on the reactions of all parties involved in the incident at Tangshan restaurant. The article points out two problems: the first is the slow action of the police, and the second is the state media’s one-sided view.

The article mentioned that China’s electronic supervision system is very developed. Wherever a virus infection case is detected, the authorities can immediately locate and control it. But this time, the police acted slowly, and the act of arresting the nine suspects was also surprisingly slow.

According to an article on Weibo, the Communist Youth League of China used smiling emojis when posting about the incident, which also sparked outrage online. Although the emoji was later edited and the comments censored, netizens retweeted the emoji and asked why the Communist Youth League wanted to satirize or feel funny about such violence.

Why is the suspect so aggressive? Tangshan Police suspected

As mainland China’s NetEase reported, according to CCTV, on (the afternoon of) June 10, the Tangshan city police issued a notice saying, “The police have locked the suspect (on their tracking device-GPS) and are now doing everything to arrest him.”

According to a video released by the Chinese news site Sina, a police report was posted online. The screenshot shows that the police received a call at 2:41 a.m. and sent 43 police officers. But at 6:10 a.m., they arrived at the scene and brought people to the station. Why didn’t the police arrest people immediately, but after 3 hours?

According to a police report on June 10, 2022, Tangshan police arrested one man at the barbecue restaurant at the time of the incident but released him later.

After the police report, some local netizens immediately found the identities of the men allegedly involved in the case. Some netizens revealed that the perpetrators seem to be locals and possible thugs. Even one of them wore a shirt with the word “police” embroidered on his sleeve, but it is not clear if it was a Chinese police uniform or not.

According to NetEase, the source of the above photo comes from a Tiktok user named “Xiaochao.” The image is a screenshot of a video posted by this account on June 8. In the video, “Xiaochao” and a man with “POLICE” embroidered on his sleeve and other men are having dinner together.

At 10:19 p.m. on June 10, “Xiaochao” released a video to prove that he did not have anything to do with the Tangshan incident, hoping that netizens would stop calling and commenting on him because it had affected him and his friends.

On June 11 and 12, “Xiaochao” repeatedly released several videos, explaining that he had nothing to do with the fight or explaining his whereabouts.

On June 13, “Xiaochao” stated that he had nothing to do with the Tangshan’s beating and did not know the people involved in the incident. The clothes embroidered with the English word “POLICE” are security guard uniforms. “Xiaochao” hopes netizens won’t misunderstand him anymore.

However, according to the Epoch Times, some netizens posted a dialogue in which Xiaochao said he was at the scene “to dissuade.” A netizen asked: “Are you the one who fell off the chair?” he answered, “what can he do if it’s me?” Some netizens also suspect that Xiaochao has criminal records. Currently, officials have not released the names of the nine suspects.

Under the pressure of public opinion, on June 11, the local police announced: “Shen Moujun, the last person involved in the case, has been arrested.” So far, nine people on suspicion of “violent disturbance and assault” have “all been arrested,” and the injured woman “is stable.”

But the main culprit was revealed to have “multiple criminal records.” The mainland’s NetEase cited police sources, saying that the first perpetrator, Shen Moujun, had been involved in seven previous cases, was on the list of “dishonest people” from 2018 to 2020, and was restricted from high-level consumption.

NetEase also added that, according to data from the China Judgment Document Network, Shen Moujun had been detained in connection with an illegal arrest in December 2015. He was also marked as a fugitive.

The international press asked: What is the cause of bullying women?

RFI asked: What is the cause of this phenomenon? These are often cases of “strong violence” that happen quickly. To what extent does it show ignorance, women’s hatred, and social violence?

RFI mentioned that BeiJing Youth Daily first reported on this “social news.” BeiJing Youth Daily wrote “Some men rushed in from outside the store and joined the battle” and “resisted some women .” RFI asked, Is this a “resistance”? 

RFI said that there is a lot of false information in the daily news of the official media; everything is to please public demand. This reflects not only the corrupt lifestyle of society but is also a factor that makes it difficult to distinguish between good and bad. And the social cause of this brutal treatment of women needs deep analysis. 

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