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Stabbing Attacks in China Spur Fears of Social Tension – FT

A drama in Suzhou has put the spotlight on violent incidents, with analysts suggesting social hardship from China’s economic slump is fuelling rising discontent


A policeman talks to witnesses at the scene of the June 24 stabbing in Suzhou. A bus conductor who sought to stop the attack on a Japanese woman and her child was later hailed for her heroic intervention that saved them from serious injury (screen grab of NHK video).

 

A deadly knife attack on a school bus carrying Japanese children near Shanghai last month has prompted debate on whether a surge in such attacks may have been caused by “escalating anti-Japanese rhetoric on state media,” according to a report by the Financial Times, which said it led to internet platforms banning hate speech against Japan, plus a warning by the Japanese consulate in the city for people to be “very mindful of your surroundings when you go out.”

But while China has one of the world’s lowest rates of homicide, the drama was the latest in a series of violent incidents that analysts said hinted at “rising social tensions”, according to the report, and that videos of stabbings “have gone viral on social media despite official censorship, feeding speculation that social hardship [from the country’s economic slump] is fuelling rising discontent.”

Read the full report. The FT.

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.

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