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Tragedy of kidnapped visiting Chinese scholar reveals security problem in US

(People's Daily Online)    16:54, July 03, 2017

Zhang Yingying

Brendt Christensen, who kidnapped the 27-year-old visiting Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), will appear in federal court on Monday. Analysts say that the tragedy of the kidnapped visiting Chinese scholars reveals that China is much safer than the U.S.

Christensen was a graduate student in physics, but it is not clear if he was still studying at the university when he was arrested. Investigators believe Zhang Yingying, the visiting Chinese scholar, is dead, although her body has not been found.

The information has saddened many Chinese who are following the case from half a world away in China.

The tragedy can be partly attributed to the difference between the two countries’ police systems: Chinese police put more emphasis on criminal cases while their American counterparts make civil cases a priority.

According to China’s People’s Police Law, the police are required to protect citizens’ personal safety. As a result, Chinese police officers spare no effort to save victims before anything bad can happen.

The US police system stresses cracking down on cases, and the safety of the concerned people in the cases is not the top priority.

China runs a system of people’s democratic dictatorship with strong top-down control, whereas the US is a federal system featuring high autonomy.

The Chinese government balances different regions’ public services by making fiscal adjustments, whereas functions of the US government rely on local taxation.

Therefore, China’s police force is generally distributed equally, in accordance with population, whereas America’s police force is based on local wealth. The wealthy suburbs of the US are usually equipped with a strong police force due to high-fiscal revenue, but the same is not true for some of America’s poorest areas.

With more citizens attracted to the wealthy suburbs, local governments can raise more revenue and provide better public security, thus attracting more wealthy dwellers. However, poor communities suffer from a vicious cycle: worsening public security caused by decreased tax revenue after the wealthier residents flee.

Under the current system in China, fiscal revenue is distributed more equally. As a result, the typical wealthy suburbs found in the US rarely exist in China. In other words, the Chinese police system offers more equality.

Chinese police attach great importance to cases involving foreigners, some of whom even take this as the name card of the city. However, Zhang’s case is not prioritized, because she’s neither a US citizen nor a tax payer.

According to the United Nations, China enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the world, even though it is still a developing country.

In addition, the problem of terrorism is more severe in China than in other countries because of China’s geographical location. Even so, terrorist attacks are never a major issue for the country because of its advanced police system and respectable police force.

Analysts believe this is an example of the superiority of the socialist system. "After all, the Chinese are protected by the people's police, as opposed to US police."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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