For more, see our Daily Special: Explosion hits Beijing Capital Int'l Airport
A blast happened outside the arrivals hall of Terminal 3 at Beijing International Airport on Saturday, in which Ji Zhongxing, a disabled man from Shangdong Province, set off a homemade bomb, injuring himself but no one else. Witnesses said Ji warned passers-by to run away from him before setting off the device. The case has aroused mixed feelings from the public.
Ji, who was in a wheelchair, may have his own tale worthy of sympathy. The public has greater sympathy toward Ji because the explosion resulted in no other injuries. Relevant authorities in Dongguan, Guangdong, where he once worked, have begun to investigate the details of Ji's repeated petitions. This is a due measure in response to the public's sympathy.
It's important to remember that Ji should be condemned and dealt with by law. His grievances can't provide moral support for his extreme actions, nor can they shield him from legal punishment. Airports are hubs for flights, and places which deserve special attention in regard to security. The blast caused by Ji is obviously a crime.
Behind extreme crimes at the cost of self-harm, there are often unfortunate stories of suffering and tears. We support and call for the authorities to investigate those sad stories and consider investigation to be an important element that cannot be neglected when tackling extreme cases.
Public attention toward radical cases should be balanced and avoid populism. After the Terminal 3 blast accident, some on the Internet applauded Ji's actions. Given China's gigantic size, it's impossible to totally eliminate radical voices. However, we shouldn't indulge sympathy for radical actions or applaud them.
Compassion for the suffering of Ji and sympathy for his explosion are two absolutely different things. We support unremitting efforts to pursue fairness and justice, and call on the government to accelerate reforms in this aspect. However, we also strongly oppose using violence to take revenge. In a conflict-prone transition period, we need to reach a moral consensus on how to treat radical crimes committed by vulnerable groups.
Even if we further speed up the reforms, we cannot rule out problems that will lead to radical emotions. If we have pity on and encourage vulnerable groups to conduct "violent resistance," the construction of the rule of law in China will falter, leading to chaos.
China is one of the countries which are undergoing rapid progress in the area of livelihoods, but experiences many complaints online. This contradiction should be taken seriously by the public. With society becoming more open and integrated, the threats one person may pose to public security are increasing. Society should decisively oppose these threats to form a balance. If the attitude remains divided, a catastrophe may happen. The public should keep sober. In maintaining public security, we don't have the luxury of understanding and tolerating violent crimes.