The Tragedy of Zhao Wei

China Media Project examines at length the story of Zhao Wei and his supposed suicide in January:

While the arguable non-story of China’s “Jasmine protests” enjoys excited and widespread coverage internationally, boiling over into a tug-of-war over the very real harassment of foreign journalists in China, there is one potentially great big story missing from everyone’s agenda — the mysterious death of Chinese college student Zhao Wei (赵伟).

And yet, the chilling story of Zhao Wei, who was very possibly murdered by railway authorities on his way home to Inner Mongolia during the Spring Festival rush more than a month ago, goes to the very heart of the issues and anxieties that are of most immediate relevance to all Chinese, and could contribute to demands for change.

How can the government ensure safety of life and property for ordinary Chinese? How can Chinese find justice in a society where special interests can get away — possibly quite literally in this case — with murder?

For those of you fishing around for another news hook, let us remember that China’s powerful Railways Ministry, subject right now to one of the biggest corruption probes in memory, is involved in Zhao’s case too. They are, Xinhua reports, now charged with the official investigation, despite the possibility that their own local authorities in Daqing are culpable.

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