05/28/2011, 00.00
CHINA

Qian Mingqi blew himself up to demand justice and call attention to his plight

He set off three blasts in front of government buildings in Fuzhou. He was desperate because of the many injustices he had to endure. Even though he lost two homes to expropriation for public use, the land remained vacant and he was never fully compensated. In a microblog, he told his story of ordinary injustice.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Qian Mingqi, 52, led a quiet life. He was a farmer, had a good family and was proud of his beautiful house. Then one day, the government took it away; then it took away the second house he built, without proper compensation; then his wife died. When he demanded justice, none was forthcoming. Therefore, last Thursday morning, he set off three explosive devices outside three government buildings in Fuzhou (Jiangxi). He and two other people were killed and eight were wounded. On his microblog, he left his story of ordinary injustice, just another example of the many cases of social and personal injustice that characterise China’s economic boom.

Those who knew Qian describe him as an ordinary man, without an ounce of violence in him. His life began unravelling in 1995 when the authorities expropriated his home to build a highway. Luckily, he had enough money to build a second one. But this one too was seized and torn down.

Neighbours remember the second house as “one of the most luxuriously decorated in the village” where “he wanted to live a comfortable life with his wife, two sons and one daughter.” That was not to be because it was expropriated in 2002. Qian had paid 500,000 yuan for it, but the authorities only offered him half that in compensation. This time he opposed the authorities.

During his fight for redress, his wife was hung upside down by the demolition team sent to tear down his house. She died a few days later. Eventually, Qian also found out that the land seized from him to make way for an expressway between Beijing and Fujian was never built on and left vacant instead.

In 2002 Qian began petitioning government offices in Fuzhou and Beijing, two of which he later bombed, but got nowhere In November, he set up ha a microblog in which he accused Linchuan district's party officials of embezzling 10 million yuan in compensation funds after demolishing his house and the houses of seven other families.

In it, he wrote, “my newly built home was demolished illegally so that I incurred a great loss. After ten years of futile petitioning, I am forced to take a path I don't want to take”. In fact, “I want to seek justice but there's no justice; jackals and wolves are everywhere in Linchuan district in Fuzhou."

As his last statement, he wrote, “I want to learn from Dong Cunrui [a People's Liberation Army soldier who carried an explosive package and blew up a bunker in 1948] and I hope I can receive the public's support and attention."

After the explosions, the number of people reading his microblog jumped from about 2,000 to 32,000, before it was shut down yesterday.

In China, widespread corruption in all levels of government (administration, justice system and politicians) and the widening gap between rich and poor are causing more strikes. Clashes with police and unrest are also increasing. Overall, official “mass incidents” have doubled between 2006 and 2010, to reach 180,000 a year, according to some Chinese scholars.

Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Couple charged with torturing ten-year-old maid are convicted, then released
21/04/2018 08:59
Anti-land grab village chief dies in suspicious Christmas road accident
29/12/2010
Authorities ban talk on suspicious incident that killed Qian Yunhui
03/01/2011
Beijing blogger sentenced to 3 years for "spreading rumors" online
17/04/2014
Anyone asking for justice in China can end up in prison, forced labour or tortured
27/03/2009