Chinese media outlets are reporting that the man behind a brutal beating during last month’s anti-Japanese protests which left a Japanese car owner paralysed has been caught.
The incident stems from an assault caught on film in Xi’an province on September 15th, at the height of rioting in China over Japanese claims to disputed islands. We’ve embedded a copy of the assault below, but be warned it is graphic.
In the video, 51-year-old Li Jianli is attacked by a younger man with a bike lock after he tries to stop protesters destroying his Toyota Corolla. According to Beijing Cream, his wife pleads with the angry mob “It was wrong of us to buy a Japanese car. We won’t buy one ever again, OK?”, while others express concern over the man’s safety.
State-run newspaper Beijing Youth Daily later reported that Li was beaten so badly that he was left partially paralysed and had trouble speaking.
The video and news of the injuries led to angry and philosophical responses on Weibo. “This is so-called patriotism? It’s pure hooliganism,” one micro-blogger wrote, according to the WSJ’s China Real Time Report. Soon users were sending around photos of the attacker, beginning to form a “human flesh search” to find the man’s identity and bring him to justice (story continues below):
Photo: Weibo via Beijing Cream
Police, responding to the online criticism, began to investigate a few days later, Global Times reports.
Today, Shanghaiist points to reports that the attacker has been apprehended by police. Typically for 21st century China, the police used an official Weibo account to announce the arrest:
Photo: Weibo via 163.com
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