采访/陈汉 编辑/张天宇 后制/萧宇
Low Rank Officials Punished Over Shanghai Stampede;
But What About The Top Officials?
The Shanghai Stampede incident caused
a great deal of media attention.
More than 20 days after the incident, Shanghai authorities
finally announced the results of their investigation.
They blamed the stampede tragedy on
Shanghai Huangpu District government.
Many Huangpu District officials were dismissed, but no one
in the Shanghai municipal government was held to account.
Chinese media and netizens questioned how authorities
could use low-level officials as the scapegoats.
Unless it was used to shift responsibility
away from senior leadership.
According to China’s official media reports, Shanghai
Municipal Government held a press conference on Jan. 21.
They released the investigation report of the stampede
incident on Dec. 31 in the Bund tourist area.
The report characterized the tragedy that caused 36 deaths
as a “public safety responsibility incident".
They said it was caused by Huangpu District government
and relevant departments through “lack of preparation and
poor site management of mass activities and improper
response to the incident."
Eleven Huangpu District officials were punished.
Four of them were dismissed, including Shanghai Huangpu
District party secretary Zhou Wei;
District leader Peng Song; District Public Security Bureau
leader Zhou Zheng and Deputy leader Chen Qi.
Others were demoted or got administrative sanctions.
The investigation report triggered public condemnation.
Even official media questioned why no senior
officials were held accountable.
Shanghai residents Wang Jianhua, “The district leadership
However it is definitely a problem that those at the municipal
level are not held accountable in any way.
Municipal Public Security Bureau leaders and the city
committee all bear considerable responsibility.
They are at least negligent! They did not manage the
cadres below them well!"
Shanghai authorities also stressed in the report that those
Huangpu District officials who were punished were “having
a banquet using public funds" during the stampede, causing
a very bad social impact.
One week before the investigation report was released,
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official media deliberately
exposed the news that Huangpu District officials were
having dinner at “an upmarket restaurant near the Bund".
It triggered great public anger.
People think the media report publication was clearly
intended to associate causes of the stampede with the
luxury dining of district level officials, so that these
officials would “naturally" be the scapegoats.
It could then shift the responsibility of senior leadership.
Chinese netizen Mr. Zhang: “The premise to handle this
incident is to publish the real cause of the tragedy.
However the CCP has been blocking the news. It did not
allow any coverage.
The CCP Propaganda Department issued a notice
to forbid reporting on this using any headlines.
They also stopped social sources to report on this.
The media can only use the CCP official sources.
Without the truth, regardless of punishing district level
cadres or city level officials, these officials are all scapegoats."
Some netizens stated ironically, “Thanks to Huangpu District
officials dining with public funds, we have got scapegoats."
Some Netizens even asked to have Shanghai Party Secretary
Hang Zheng and Mayor Yang Xiong immediately step down.
Lawyer in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province and Professor at
Southeast University Law School Zhang Zanning said:
“The Shanghai party secretary and mayor should come out
in public and apologize. They should consider resignation.
It cannot just end like this after punishing
lower level officials."
Some media pointed out that according to relevant rules, an
incident with more than 30 deaths is an “extremely serious
accident," and usually the relevant departments of the State
Council authorize an investigation.
But for the Shanghai Bund stampede, the national level did
not sent investigation team
The investigation and subsequent processing
were all conducted by Shanghai officials.
People questioned why Shanghai authorities characterized
the stampede as an “event" rather than an “accident".
They believe it was to be evasive and to
find excuses to justify themselves.
Mr. Zhang, “Shanghai City level officials have undiluted
responsibility over such a big accident.
But they were told to carry out the investigation and
punishment. How could they punish themselves?"
Some commentators think the handling of the stampede is
related to the CCP senior leadership power struggle.
Commentator Gu Chunqiu pointed out that Shanghai is the
home base of former CCP leader Jiang Zemin.
The stampede happened crucially when Xi Jinping is
carrying out a complete cleansing of the Jiang Group.
In this investigation, Han Zheng and his team might blame
low-level officials to temporarily escape responsibility.
But with strong will from the people, they will
not be able to escape eventually.
Interview/ChenHan Edit/Zhang Tianyu Post-Production/XiaoYu