“I won’t comply!”
Those were reportedly the last words of Xia Junfeng, a street vendor who ran a kebab stall in Shenyang, Liaoning province, just before his excution on Wednesday. Four years ago, in what he insisted was an act of self-defense, Xia stabbed to death two urban city management enforcement officers -- chengguan -- and wounded another. Most Chinese, including many law professionals, believed Xia should have been charged with "excessive defense," but after four years of appeals, the Supreme Court finally approved his death sentence.
The relationship between China's central and local governments has never been linear or completely top-down. There are times of harmony, but more often, there's tension. In the recent past, thanks to social media, conflicts and disagreements usually kept behind closed doors have begun leaking into the public domain.
Several recent posts on Sina Weibo by legal organs revealed that tensions are as manifest today as they were during historical times. Many netizens have gone as far to call these posts an act of “rebellion.”