采访/易如 编辑/李谦 后制/君卓
Kunming’s Bloody Attack: The Communist Party Tightens Control Over Media Reports
On Mar. 1, a bloody assault occurred at the railway station
of Kunming city, Yunnan Province.
Official reports claim there were 29 fatalities
and 143 injuries as of 9 a.m. on Mar. 2.
The incident immediately became the hottest topic
on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter,
and China’s Internet, and was widely reported
by Chinese media.
However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
then tightened control over the media, and required
all reports to tow the same line as party mouthpieces.
As a result, it became very difficult to know the facts,
causing the incident to appear even more mysterious.
At 9:20 p.m. of March 1, a dozen knife-welding men
dressed in black abruptly began an indiscriminate attack
in the crowded square and ticketing lobby of Kunming
The police later fatally shot four attackers
and arrested another.
According to Yunnan’s provincial health department,
as of 9 a.m. of Mar. 2, there were 29 fatalities
and another 143 injuries during the incident,
including 73 seriously wounded.
Ms. Shen, employee at a nearby hotel: “There are hundreds
of police officers, including special police, armed police,
local public security officer and traffic police.
There are also rescue workers and ambulances.
We saw all of that when passing by the entrance last night.”
The incident, which has drawn the world’s attention,
occurred just ahead of the CCP’s Two Meetings,
yearly high-level Communist Party sessions,
which were overshadowed by the mass attack.
The Party Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs
Committee (PLAC), Meng Jianzhu, as well as Minister
of Public Security, Guo Shengkun, are making
an urgent visit to Kunming.
CCP president Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang
have also issued special instructions regarding the incident.
Many delivered messages of condolences to the victims
via the Internet.
Initially, Chinese media also closely tracked the progress
of the incident.
However, all relevant Weibo reports released by Caixin.com
were soon deleted.
A Chinese media worker, management director of Shanghai
Mingdi Culture Inc., Piao Baoyi, later revealed
an announcement from higher-ups on Weibo.
The notice said the stabbing attack at Kunming Railway
Station should only be reported according to information
from Xinhua or local authorities; the report should not
use a large-font headline or any photos.
Hu Jia, Beijing Social Activist: “An incident like this
is certainly negative.
But the party won’t allow a ‘successful commencement’
of the Two Meetings to be watered down.
The Communist party is something with little humanity.
Of course the attack in Kunming should be
in today’s headlines.
The right thing is to publish multiple-page
reports regarding the truth of the incident.”
Party mouthpiece Xinhua Agency officially announced
that the bloody assault in Kunming was plotted
and performed by so-called “separatists” from Xinjiang.
Hua Po, Beijing Political Observer: “Now we have no other
informational source to learn what the truth is.
Four were shot dead and one was arrested.
Who was arrested? Is he a separatist from Xinjiang?
If that is true, I think things will become much easier.
However, if the attackers are others, the problem
would be much more serious and complicated.”
Social activist Hu Jia commented that all attacks against
innocent civilians can be defined as terrorism
However, the real motivation behind the attack
is likely different from what the CCP stated.
Hu Jia mentioned the famous Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti
who was arrested by CCP authorities days ago.
Hu said Tohti was like a bridge connecting the Uyghur and
Han people, and he strongly opposed such violent attacks.
Hu Jia: “Violence only aggrieves your families and friends,
and delights your enemies.
That will only lead to more conflicts.
The party is the one that benefits most from those attacks.
That will give it a chance to hide the truth of its policies
in Xinjiang over years.
The CCP can also glorify itself saying it has suppressed
terrorists and there are legit reasons for
Political observer Hua Po believes that the attack
may be related to the political unrest inside the CCP,
as it took place right before the Two Meetings.
The attackers were dressed uniformly
and armed with weapons.
If the CCP’s security system was running effectively,
the attack should have been averted in advance.
Hua Po: “Did someone inside the PLAC intentionally
allow the tragedy to occur?
I am still waiting for the answer to this.”
Hua said it was also possible that the PLAC staff took
their jobs lightly, resulting in the occurrence of such an event.
He emphasized that this event can be regarded as a signal
that the party is losing control over Chinese society.
Interview/Yiru Edit/LiQian Post-Production/Junzhuo