A 71-year-old vagrant who sought to spend his remaining years in prison has aroused widespread concern over the well-being of China’s 120 million elderly people, particularly the 90 million in rural areas who often fall through the welfare safety net.
With no home and no money, Li Zhaokun decided prison was the best place for him. On November 9, he deliberately started a fire in a mountain forest in Zhongshan, a manufacturing center in the southern province of Guangdong.
Investigators found Li had finished a five-year term on charges of arson only a week before, but he said he wanted to return to prison, which promised food, shelter and an end to his lifelong vagrancy. [Full Text]