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Chinese city stripped of ‘civilized’ title after attack on diners | China

The northern Chinese city of Tangshan has been stripped of its national honorary title as the fallout from the attack on four women in a restaurant earlier this month continues.

The Civilization Office of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee announced on Wednesday that it had decided to remove Tangshan from the list of “national civilized cities” – the highest recognition for a Chinese city.

“The honor of a civilized city belongs to all citizens and cannot be smeared or desecrated,” said China City News, an official People’s Daily news outlet. “Faced with so many problems, Tangshan clearly did not show the warmth of a [civilised] town.”

The attack on four diners by a group of men on June 10 shocked the nation and sparked a wider conversation among Chinese people on the internet about violence against women. Nine men have since been arrested for the assault and at least five local police officers have been investigated in the past 24 hours in connection with the incident.

According to Chinese media, Tangshan has been awarded the title of “civilized city” four times in a row, the last in 2020. The title was established in 2005 and is awarded once every three years. Nearly half of the country’s 600 cities, districts and towns had been awarded the title by the end of last year.

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Cities are judged on their overall level of development, their environment and their attractiveness to outsiders. Grading is done through inspections by the central government and the title is reviewed once every three years.

The assault thrust Tangshan into the national spotlight. In recent days, Chinese media reported that one of the defendants – whose last name is Chen – had already been involved in other court cases, including for money laundering.

The revelation prompted the city’s local party committee to call for the incident to be “thoroughly investigated to find out which government officials had interests and connections with Chen and others.” [suspects]”.

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Post expires at 12:31am on Monday July 4th, 2022