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To Jing, this case is a response to his pent-up feelings of unfairness. Though he was actually born in East China's Shandong Province, Jing moved to Zhengzhou 24 years ago and identifies himself as a Henan person.
"Living in Henan for so many years, what has impressed me most is the kindness and simplicity of people here. The discrimination is so unfair," Jing told the Global Times, adding that his identity as a migrant to Henan might add to the objectivity of his stance.
Experts say the image of Henan people was not as bad as it is today in the 1960s. At that time, according to a survey conducted by Wolfram Eberhard, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, the majority of Chinese saw people from Henan as honest, frank and rule-abiding.
But in the 1990s, their image began to sour after several high-profile cases involving fake pharmaceuticals and other scams emerged from the region. Then every time another case of forgery or cheating involving Henan was reported, particularly in the early stage of the province's economic development in the 2000s, this prejudice was further enhanced.
Tracing the reasons further, Jing said it may be partly explained by the fact that Henan has long been one of the biggest sources of internal migrants.
"As a big agricultural province, the number of migrant workers from Henan is very large. Sometimes the low quality of the basic-level farmers might be exaggerated," Jing said.
Many articles that try to explain why Henan has been such a source of migrants in history cite natural hazards, particularly droughts, plagues of locusts, and the often-flooding Yellow River, in addition to its relative backwardness as an inland agricultural province.
As statistics cited by a 163.com report show, from 1938 to 1946, more than 20 counties in Henan were flooded by the Yellow River and tens of thousands of people fled to other provinces. Since the reform and opening-up began in 1979, there have been huge amounts of economic migration from Henan.
"Henan attracts attention, on the one hand because it is not so underdeveloped or obscure, on the other, it is too populous not to attract attention from the outside," Zhang Xinbin, a historian at the Henan Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times, adding that it is also related to the province's backward industrial development.
"Poverty drove so many people out of the province. Particularly in modern times, Henan suffered from severe disasters and swallowed the bitterest misery," said Zhang.
From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of registered Henan residents living in other provinces rose from 5.4 percent to 7.5 percent, second only to Anhui Province. But unlike Anhui, whose migrant workers mainly flooded to Beijing and the Pearl River Delta, Henan people have migrated to every corner of the country.