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Posted by Joel Martinsen on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 4:37 PM
New Culture View, June 17, 2010
It's hot in Changchun, announces today's New Culture View. A dog shaved into a lion-like appearance to evade the heat attracts attention from curious onlookers in the paper's front page photo.
A small headline in the sidebar teases a story reprinted from yesterday's Beijing Times about murderers who staged mining accidents to make fraudulent claims against the management:
They Killed Multiple Relatives To Swindle Mine Accident Compensationby Sun Siya / BT
Suspects' methods mirrored plot points in Blind Shaft.
In 2003, Blind Shaft, a movie that painted a true picture of bottom-rung workers in the mines of contemporary China, won the Silver Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. Two slackers entice workers to the mining areas and then kill them underground, and by making the incident look like an accident, they then pretend to be the victim's family members and seek compensation from the mine owner. Now the movie has a tragic real-life version. Huang Yucai and three others are accused of killing their relatives in fake mining accidents in order to swindle compensation money from the mine. Beijing's First Intermediate Court recently accepted the case.
51-year-old Huang, Huang Xianzhong (41), Shi Xuesong (30), and Zhang Xihua (37) are all from Chengde, Hebei Province. According to prosecutors, on July 21, 2009, they tricked Zhang's husband Han into going into a small coal mine on the pretense of helping him find work. Huang Xianzhong took a hammer to Han's head, injuring his forehead and causing him to die from loss of blood. Then Huang Yucai and Huang Xianzhong faked the scene of a mining accident. Because they couldn't find the mine boss, they were unable to proceed with their plan to seek compensation.
The prosecutors say that this was not the first time that Huang and the others had committed assault. In June and August of 2007, Huang Yucai, Huang Xianzhong, and Shi Xuesong used the same techniques to kill Dong, the older brother of Huang Yucai's wife, as well as his cousin Zhang inside small coal mines, after which they faked accident scenes and extorted payments of 330,000 RMB and 190,000 RMB respectively.
Prosecutors also say that in September 2006, Huang Yucai attempted to kill his wife's younger brother Dong to fraudulently obtain accident insurance money. Before taking Dong to work at a construction site in Sanhe, Hebei Province, he first took out a 150,000-RMB accident insurance policy. That November, while Dong was working upstairs, Huang struck him with a wooden beam in an attempt to fake an accidental fall off of the building. But because Dong was wearing a safety harness, Huang's attempt was unsuccessful.
The prosecutors believe that Huang Caiyu, Huang Xianzhong, Shi Xuesong, and Zhang Xihua are guilty of intentional killing, Huang Yucai four counts, Huang Xianzhong and Shi Xuesong three counts each, and Zhang Xihua one count.
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.