The case of a group of men beating and assaulting four women at a BBQ restaurant in Tangshan, Hebei, China, has turned intricate. Tangshan Police said all nine suspects had been apprehended and would be investigated.
However, according to Voice of America, information published on the Chinese internet raises public suspicion that Tangshan city executives and officials from the local police department could have relationships with the gang. Under increased public pressure and international media raising concerns about this brutal incident, the handling efficiency of Tangshan city’s key agencies has substantially improved.
On the afternoon of June 12, Tangshan announced the launch of a special half-month-long campaign to improve social security, dubbed “Thunderstorm Windstorm.” They announced they would “join hands” to combat “criminal actions that cause people to respond violently and negatively damage society.”
According to Backchina, Tangshan will start high-level patrol control, maximize the police force on the streets, and optimize the response speed in the special operation to identify and handle any irregularities.
A picture displayed in the Chinese publication showed that Tangshan security extensively inspected complex areas, such as barbecue restaurants, eateries, small restaurants, pubs, and so on, identifying potential threats for correction.
Pictures from the official report of Hebei show security forces’ automobiles and motorcycles “flashing” on the road, looking majestic, indicating that action campaigns had started. A video that has gone viral on Twitter shows two lines of police allegedly protecting the safety of patrons at a Tangshan eatery. Netizens joked, asking if the customers ‘could eat’ in such an environment.
Netizens on Wechat expressed skepticism and discontent with the initiative, with one man remarking, “We need to propagate the law, not arrest gangsters by likelihood,” “No specific activities are required, nor is it necessary to advocate for law enforcement.”
Readers commented on the article about ‘the launch of the Tangshan police’ in Guancha‘s post: “Surface work, formalism,” and “How many more programs like this do we need? Instead, just apply the true rule of law”…
The brutal beating occurred on June 10 at a barbecue restaurant near the Airport Road in Tangshan, Hebei, China. After dinner, a male customer began harassing a woman in the restaurant at midnight. After being rejected, the man started beating the woman and one of her female friends, and seven or eight of his male friends soon joined in.
According to Chinese media sources, two women were critically hurt, and two others were slightly injured in the alleged attack. According to the Tangshan police, the injuries were not life-threatening, and the victims were in stable condition.
The video quickly went viral on Chinese social media. It became the new social event that attracted the most attention of the Chinese people after the case of a woman who was chained by her neck in Feng County, Jiangsu Province. Following the rapid spread of the video, the community was shocked and outraged.
After witnessing the video, a woman in Chengdu told VOA, “I was both outraged and terrified. I absolutely understand the disaster that the two women in the video experienced. Anyone can be affected by this.”
As the attack became a trend, more and more American media outlets began to cover it. CNN quoted a widely shared post on Chinese social media—which has already been deleted—as saying, “What happened at the Tangshan barbecue restaurant was not an isolated social incident, but part of systemic gender violence. We need to acknowledge that we still live in an environment that supports, encourages, and drives men to engage in gender-based violence against women.”
According to CNN, several terrorist attacks on women have happened in China in recent years, prompting popular indignation. A woman was live broadcasting with a fan last year until her former husband burned her. After that, he was sentenced to death in October last year.
Earlier this year, a lady with eight children was discovered chained and trapped in a rundown house in Feng County, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. After being questioned repeatedly by the public, the local government recognized that this woman was a victim of human trafficking.
The CNN post stated, “Of course, we should take legal measures to punish the perpetrators. However, it does not transform the social climate that tolerates sexism and fosters violence until this systemic sexism is addressed. We can only be outraged anytime something like this occurs”.
The incident was reported in Chinese state media as an isolated incident. So, according to Lu Qin, a human rights activist based in New York, the Chinese government has stayed away from this because they are unwilling to accept responsibility for such violence. Because the government cannot avoid accountability for “systemic issues.”