Chinese Media Digest – Feb. 4 Published: 2013-2-4 18:59:40

Keywords: Court slaps 'Crazy English' Li in divorce ruling, surfacing China's deep domestic violence issues; weeping official photo met with media cry for 'actions, not tears' 

Court slaps 'Crazy English' Li in divorce ruling, surfacing China's deep domestic violence issues

The landmark divorce case of American Kim Lee from "Crazy English" creator Li Yang catapulted discussion in media over the lack of explicit laws in China that define and criminalize domestic violence.

The Beijing Chaoyang District Court slapped Li with a 12 million yuan ($1.9 million) property division judgment in favor of Lee on February 3 after finding her a victim of domestic abuse, adding another 50,000 yuan compensation for mental distress.

Lee was also awarded full custody of their three daughters, for which Li must pay 100,000 yuan annually each in child support.

Lee filed divorce in October 2011 after posting photos of bruises she suffered at the hand of Li, according to the Xinhua News Agency, and has since been an outspoken advocate for the criminalization of domestic abuse.

"The verdict shows the court's determination to fight domestic violence," commented the Beijing News, adding that "the restraining order against Li sets an example and is also a step toward future measures."

"Granting Lee full custody reflects the court's intention to give the children a safe environment," read the article.

Nearly 25 percent of all women in China have suffered from domestic abuse, according to survey conducted by the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2011.

"Domestic abuse should be seen as an act of violence rather than private family matters," said the Henan-based Luoyang Evening News.

"Li's case should be taken as a warning sign by society to push the government for legislation," read the article.

Although legislation such as China's Marriage Law and Criminal Law include articles addressing domestic violence, there is still no explicit law in place; a point raised during China's legislation agenda at the beginning of 2012. 

"Legislation is necessary but a lengthy process," said the Changjiang Daily.

"Laws cannot help all victims, so all of society must work together to educate the public and reinforce a widespread intolerance for domestic violence," it added.

The Shaanxi-based Yulin Evening News takes it one step further, suggesting that gender rights are at the core of domestic violence.

"Society should have 'zero tolerance' toward domestic violence and improve the social services available to victims," read the article.

@闾丘露薇: I'm glad to see the court's verdict, but what is more important is to push for legislation on domestic violence.

@刘恋liulian: Many women remain silent in cases of domestic abuse, thinking they're making a sacrifice for their family. But once it starts, it never stops - there is no reason in enduring it.

@犯二不许老: Li Yang has suffered from violence since childhood. I question his mental health because he teaches people to be brave in their language learning but lacks that same bravery to get psychological help.

Weeping official photo met with media cry for 'actions, not tears' 

A photo showing an official wiping away tears at the site of fatal bridge collapse on February 2 inspired scathing satire and mockery online. Netizens berated officials for staging photo ops followed by no action after the photo was highly publicized in media.

The photo in question showed Wang Dexue, deputy director of the State Administration of Work Safety, weeping upon inspection of a bridge that collapsed in Sanmenxia, Henan Province and killed 10 people, according to the People's Daily on February 4.

The photo hit a sore spot among netizens, especially since it follows an incident in August 2012 when Yang Dacai, director of Shannxi Administration of Work Safety, came under fire for being photographed laughing at the scene of a traffic accident that claimed 36 lives. 

An opinion article on held a neutral opinion on Wang's tears, saying that it's at least a display of emotion, regardless of whether it is a show or not.

"Wang has every right to cry at the site of a disaster, and netizens are free to suspect he's making a show of it," commented the Zhejiang-based Qianjiang Evening News.

"This suspicion reflects how the government is facing a credibility crisis and needs to be aware of that," read the article.

An article on Hubei news portal said after weeping in public, Wang needs to follow it up with actual progress.

"Accidents can't be prevented with tears. Only stronger regulations and supervision will help reduce man-made calamities," read the article.

Posted in: Chinese Media Digest

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