Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Cold case reveals need for responsive, open gov't

By  Xinhua writer Fu Shuangqi (Xinhua)

18:46, May 09, 2013

Related Reading:Unsolved poisoning case returns to public eye

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- An Internet campaign to reopen a poisoning case that went cold nearly 20 years ago has pushed authorities to talk after years of silence.

Chinese authorities have become somewhat more responsive to public pressure in recent years, particularly when it comes to environmental issues. However, it often takes lengthy and painful efforts to draw a response and force the government to act.

On Wednesday, Beijing law enforcement finally responded to public concerns regarding the investigation of the case of Zhu Lingling (more commonly known as Zhu Ling), a chemistry major at Tsinghua University who was allegedly poisoned in 1994. Although Zhu survived, the poisoning resulted in severe brain damage.

There was speculation that one of Zhu's roommates was responsible, but charges were never pressed and the case remains unsolved.

The victim's parents told China National Radio on Tuesday that police were quiet about the case for years afterward. Although they asked police to disclose the details and conclusion of their investigation in 2008, the police refused to do so.

Last month, a similar poisoning case at Shanghai's Fudan University stoked memories of Zhu's case, spawning fierce discussion on social networking websites.

Although they were late to respond to Zhu's parents, their long-awaited response is hoped to be a sign of increasing openness.

The government does have a tough task on its hands in terms of managing society and balancing the interests of different groups. However, there have been multiple situations in which the government has refused to respond to public concerns and has cut off communication channels, resulting in discontent.

The development of Internet and social media has sped up the spread of information and the formation of public opinion. It has forced the government to be more prepared and willing to adjust its agenda to accommodate public concerns.

At a late April meeting of senior officials from the publicity departments of several judicial agencies, Meng Jianzhu, the country's top security official, urged them to use the Internet and new media, such as social networking sites, to communicate with the public.

"We should improve communication skills in the age of new media and be more confident and open in responding to people's concerns and expectations," he said.

In March, a press conference held by the Supreme People's Court was, for the first time, broadcast live not only on TV, but also on websites and microblogs.

However, there is much to be done in regards to improving the government's responsiveness and openness. Doubts about Zhu's case will not be assuaged by the short and generalized statement issued by the Beijing police. Direct interaction with the public is the best way to solve the issue.

In order to avoid the suffering of being kept in dark, as Zhu's parents went were, citizens have tried multiple methods to make their voices heard. It is the time for the government to listen, respond and act.

We Recommend:

Photo story: Flight attendant's daily work

Touching love stories in earthquake

China’s weekly story (2013.4.19-4.26)

Female pilot rescues quake-wounded

Cool shades
Summer is coming

Images of Hong Kong
in 15 years

China’s weekly story (2013.4.13-4.19)

Nothing left but heartbreaking memories

Photo story: Meeting a telephone operator girl


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Large numbers of PLA tanks in drills

  2. Guided missile battalions in drill

  3. Italian container ship accident

  4. Milu deers seen in Dafeng nature reserve

  5. Ministry replies to public concerns on pollution

  6. Flight attendent recruitment in Wuhan

  7. Exotic landscapes in Xinjiang

  8. Warner Brothers turns 90

  9. Quake-hit ebony struggling to recover

  10. Ferrari planning sales push in China

Most Popular


  1. The Rise of the South
  2. Chance for dual face-to-face talks slim
  3. China's regional disparity offers growth potential
  4. US war on terror bent by strategy
  5. China's rating not jeopardized by slower growth
  6. Innovation: The engine for development
  7. Rising wages reach a milestone
  8. Japanese PM Abe unable to read situation
  9. North Korea testing limits of tolerance
  10. China's multifaceted financial diplomacy benefits all

What’s happening in China

S China city looks like Venice after heavy downpour

  1. Park back with animal act despite uproar
  2. Monorail to ease Shanghai's congestion
  3. Govt environmental transparency in doubt
  4. New rules clear up any doubts about toll road fees
  5. Police admit to failure in Zhu poisoning