After the tragic stampede accident in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea, on October 29, the Chinese government’s “Beijing Evening News” media outlet published an article on Weibo, proposing who was responsible for the incident. Unexpectedly, this caused a great reaction from Chinese netizens. There was a “reverse” phenomenon in the comment area, and many messages asked the media why it was silent about the accident and similar sensitive events in China.

The “Beijing Evening News” thousand-word article on October 30 questioned why the crowd “lost control” in the stampede, accusing the security officers of acting irresponsibly, as if standing on high moral ground, and demanding that the Koreans carry out prosecutions.

However, NTDTV said that the Chinese government media, including the Beijing Evening News, always turn a blind eye and jointly keep silent about similar major accidents in China or sensitive events that have damaged the “great, clear, right” false image of the Chinese government. Still, now they are publishing articles claiming to represent justice to condemn South Korea’s security, saying it did not fulfill its responsibility, causing intense anger among Chinese netizens. Many netizens mocked and questioned the Beijing Evening News in the comment area under the long post on Weibo. 

NTDTV cited some of the comments as follows:

“The past few days on Weibo’s hot search are all the stampede events in Itaewon. I mean, what’s the point of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs at this time? Is it relevant to you?”.

Another netizen directly questioned the official media: Why only care about the security responsibilities of Koreans but “don’t say anything” about the defection of Foxconn factory employees? Is it related to the difficulties of the people of this country or not?

More Chinese netizens mentioned the overturning of a bus carrying people in Guiyang to quarantine on September 18 this year and questioned 27 people dead, but the media did not report it. Other netizens mentioned the stampede at Chenyi Square on the Shanghai Bund on New Year’s Eve 2014, which left at least 36 people dead and 49 injured, including 13 seriously injured.

One netizen commented: “Hey ‘Beijing Evening News, for these sensitive events in the country, can you turn around and ask a little why this is so? You don’t dare ask what should be asked, and what are you pretending to be?”. Another one said, “The article writes about the world but dares not to look down at the hundreds of Chinese people.”

Many Chinese netizens commented in the comment area under related reports of overseas Chinese media.

Netizens with the nickname “Maui2021” left a comment praising Chinese netizens for bravely questioning the government media, saying, “The people inside the wall are doing well.”

The account “Sunychen” wrote: “Does any newspaper dare to demand accountability for the investigation of the Boeing plane that crashed in Guizhou? There are more dead than the stampede in Korea.”

The account “fancyorange” commented: “The government media should report how many people died in the floods in Zhengzhou, what caused the deaths of more than 100 people in the past year. China Eastern Airlines, and many, many more. Koreans will of course be held accountable after this sad incident happened.”

A Chinese netizen named “Wanqu fan er” also commented: “If Beijing Evening News has the same spirit of holding accountable for the government’s measures to shut down the city of China’s authority, then that is courage and knowledge. Now they are only holding responsibility for accidents abroad, obviously meddling in other people’s affairs and double standards.”

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