Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Sunday, May 24, 2009

China's newest internet hero: waitress who fatally stabbed lecherous official

There are studies out there purporting to show that Chinese citizens score their government higher on various measures of satisfaction and legitimacy than do citizens of many Western democracies. It has always seemed to me naive to take these at face value and to assume that they really measure something comparable; for example, Americans asked if they are satisfied with their government can easily conceive of an alternative - having the other party in power - whereas Chinese might well consider the alternative to CCP rule to be chaos and civil war. One's perception of the alternatives is going to shape one's answer. But even more telling is the unquantifiable but constant drumbeat of news stories indicating that dissatisfaction with officialdom goes way beyond what we see in the countries that score lower than China in these polls. It is hard to imagine something like the Yang Jia case in the US, for example - when popular opinion is overwhelmingly sympathetic to someone who goes into a police station and brutally murders several officers who had not personally done anything to him.

In any case, the lastest example of this is the story of Deng Yujiao, a waitress in an entertainment club - probably a dodgy karaoke of some kind - who fatally stabbed a local official who wanted sexual services from her. Below is the introduction to her story from China Elections and Governance; full text here.

In the seemingly never-ending struggle of the common people vs. the corrupt officials, every once in awhile, there is a case that attracts nationwide attention.  In 2003, there was the Sun  Zhigang case, while last year protests in Weng'an, Guizhou surrounding the suspicious death of a high school girl attracted widespread attention online, and Yang Jia became famous for killing six police officers in Shanghai.
This year's unlikely heroine is Deng Yujiao, a 21 year old waitress at an entertainment club in Badong County, Hubei.  On Sunday May 10, she became the perpetrator in the stabbing murder of Deng Guida, a township level official, and she also injured his companion and colleague Huang Dezhi.

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