Chen Shifeng 陈世峰, who fatally stabbed Jiang Ge 江歌, a 24-year-old Chinese student from Qingdao, Shandong Province, on November 3, 2016, at her apartment in Tokyo, was charged with murder and intentional intimidation. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail by a local court in Tokyo on Wednesday.
The case generated heated nationwide debate, as it also involved the victim’s roommate, Liu Xin 刘鑫, who was blamed partially for the death of Jiang.
Liu broke up with Chen before the murder happened. In the afternoon on November 3, 2016, Chen arrived at the apartment, looking for Liu. Liu, Chen, and Jiang had a quarrel and the three then left the house. However, Chen returned to the house that night when Liu claimed that she was changing her clothes. Liu said she was in her room when she heard Jiang screaming outside. She tried to open the door but was unable to and then called the police.
Since then, Jiang Ge’s mother has been seeking the truth relentlessly, including by begging Liu, who had disappeared after the murder, to speak up about what happened that day. Many internet users also blamed Liu and her family for their indifferent attitude toward Jiang’s mother. Liu was also under fire for intentionally keeping the apartment door closed and ignoring Jiang’s cry for help. Under pressure, Liu agreed to meet Jiang Ge’s mother in August, 294 days after Jiang’s death. During the meeting, she denied intentionally keeping the door closed and said she didn’t hear Jiang asking for help when the incident happened.
On Weibo, many internet users expressed their dissent and disappointment about the sentencing results. One commenter said: “I have been following the case for two months. It was a long and impossible process to wait for a death penalty for Chen Shifeng. A murderer should pay the price of his own behavior by being killed…. Chen is a dirty criminal who doesn’t know redemption. Ghosts won’t let him go!” Another commenter cited the poem “The Answer” from Chinese poet Bei Dao 北岛 in his response: “Baseness is the passport for the base. Honor an epitaph for the honorable. Who is the law protecting?”
‘Original aspiration’ chosen as Chinese word of the year / Xinhua
The word of the year winner, original aspiration (初心 chūxīn), is featured in an oft-repeated official catchphrase, “Remain true to our original aspiration and continue marching forward.”
In a nod to the rise of the so-called “sharing economy,” share (享 xiǎng) was named the Chinese character of the year. For more on the shortlisted contenders, see SupChina’s report from last week.
Major education award in China goes to an American professor (who wins nearly $4 million) / Washington Post
Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck and Vicky Colbert, founder of Fundación Escuela Nueva in Colombia, are the two winners of the inaugural Yidan Prize, established by Tencent co-founder Charles Chen Yidan.
Rural live streaming
Chinese farmer live-streaming from his remote village is an online hit / SCMP
Celebrating Western festivals in China
Holiday humbug / The World of Chinese
“For many Chinese, who have no religious basis for celebrating Christmas, the holiday is simply a night out without any spiritual meaning.” See also this 2006 Sexy Beijing video.
Travel and tourism
Chinese tourists could cause years of misery for Thai airports / Bloomberg
“The number of Chinese visitors to Thailand has tripled in the past five years, to 8.8 million in 2016. They account for more than a quarter of all foreign tourists and 28 percent of revenue.”
Plateau province Qinghai embraces China’s winter sports boom / Xinhua