- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 297 Hour
- Reading permission
Around this time last year, Jiang Ge 江歌, a 24-year-old Chinese graduate student in Japan, was allegedly stabbed by her roommate’s ex-boyfriend. The case was widely reported in China and caused wild speculation among the public about facts of the murder. The accused murderer Chen Shifeng 陈世峰 is scheduled to stand trial on December 11 in Tokyo. The case has again ignited an intense debate on the Chinese internet that largely centers on neither Jiang nor Chen, but on Liu Xin 刘鑫, Jiang’s flatmate, her role in the murder, and a long drama-loaded spat she had with the victim’s mother.|
Liu had broke up with her abusive boyfriend, Chen, some time before the murder, which occurred on the night of October 3, 2016, in a Tokyo apartment where Jiang and Liu lived together. That evening, Jiang had called the police about a suspicious man, who appeared to be Chen, outside her apartment. Chen was apparently there in search of his ex-girlfriend, Liu, but somehow Jiang became embroiled in a quarrel with Chen and was killed by Chen before police arrived. What triggered the stabbing remains unknown, and Liu was at home during the crime but apparently did nothing to stop it.
Using the internet and media interviews, Jiang’s mother has been relentlessly seeking the truth about her only daughter’s death. Liu, however, vanished from public view, ignored requests from Jiang’s mother for more details about the murder, and was later found to be living an apparently carefree life based on the posts (in Chinese) on her social media account. To avoid a confrontation with Jiang’s mother, Liu’s whole family blocked the grieving mother on WeChat. A screenshot of an online conversation between Jiang’s and Liu’s mothers before they lost contact has circulated. It purports to show the latter said the victim “was destined to die at a young age.”
Liu and her family’s indifference toward Jiang’s death have attracted wide condemnation online, with many speculating that Liu was afraid of facing Jiang’s mother because she intentionally kept the apartment door closed and ignored Jiang’s cry for help in order to protect herself from being attacked.
Under immense pressure from the public, Liu, 294 days after Jiang’s death, finally agreed to meet Jiang’s mother in August. The meeting was filmed by the Beijing News. Liu sobbed and apologised but refused to take any responsibility for Jiang’s death. She said she tried to save Jiang when she heard sudden screaming outside the apartment, but she was not able to open the door. She also said she was a victim of online vigilantism.
But the video (in Chinese) triggered another wave of criticism of Liu, with many accusing her of showing no genuine care for her murdered roommate. Mimeng 咪蒙, a popular blogger with more than 2.5 million followers on Weibo, wrote a viral article (in Chinese) which says, “This is the first time in my life I have supported cyber violence.” In an online poll (in Chinese) conducted by Sina as to whether internet bullying is a righteous means to achieve justice in this particular case, more than 80 percent of the respondents said yes.