The weird case of cop-killer Yang Jia (details here) continues to resonate through the Chinese internet even after his execution on November 26th. Colleague Jessie Jiang has these thoughts about about the reaction to his death. As ever, you can find anything you want on the web and justify anything, but as Jessie notes, this feels different, a real anguished cry reflecting the powerlessness many Chinese feel in the face of the arbitrary power of the state:
As followers of the Chinese blogosphere will already know, our 28-year-old cop-killer-turned-Internet-hero Yang Jia, was put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday morning. The execution, which came right after the highest court upheld his death sentence Tuesday evening, predictably aroused further furor in cyberspace, mostly raising questions about the hasty conviction of Yang and making accusations of cover up and police corruption. Within two hours of its posting on Tianya, a popular Chinese online forum, an official wire story on Yang’s execution attracted around 10,000 hits and 442 replies, most of which offered condolences to the felon with a tint of sarcasm.
“A great life, a glorious death,” wrote one commenter, borrowing the famous remark from Chairman Mao on Liu Hulan, a communist hero during the Chinese Civil War who used to be a national role model. Other typical rants include: “History will be the fair judge!” and “Cheers for a civilian hero!” Blogger and activist Anzhu <http://anzhu.net/> quoted lyrics from “Chinese Democracy,” a new song by the rock band Guns N’ Roses (see our take here), to express confidence that change will come to Chinese society despite the fact that “a young man has just been murdered.”
Meanwhile, anonymous netizens created a homepage <http://twitter.com/ForeverYangjia> for Yang on the micro-blogging siteTwitter, shortly before his demise. The 160-character Bio section says, “I am a young man who lives in an uncertain country and was executed for unclear reasons. I will pray – in heaven or hell – for this country to embrace justice and its people to adopt virtue.”