The Chinese government has reportedly removed the city of Tangshan, located in Hebei Province, from its list of “National Civilized Cities” after a video showing a group of men viciously attacking four women went viral.
The decision, announced on Wednesday by the civilization office of the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee, came nearly two weeks after the men were filmed by a security camera brutally attacking the women outside a barbecue restaurant in Tangshan on June 10.
“The honor of a civilized city belongs to all citizens and cannot be smeared or desecrated,” state-run China City News, a publication under People’s Daily, said. “When facing so many problems, Tangshan clearly did not show the warmth of a [civilized] city.”
First established by the ruling Communist Party in 2005, a national civilized city title is widely regarded as the highest honorary title a Chinese city could receive from the central government. Cities are reportedly judged on several factors, including their government effectiveness, intellectual capital, image and integrity, to name a few.
Only 290 out of all the 600 cities, districts and towns in China have reportedly received the title as of October 2021. Given only once every three years, Tangshan has been granted the recognition four consecutive times, with its most recent occurring in 2020.
Nine people were arrested the day after the attack, including the assailants’ two female companions who did not participate in the violence. Chen Jizhi, one of the arrested men, was reportedly discovered to be a fugitive wanted by the Chinese police for an assault in 2015. He was also found to be a blacklisted debtor, as shown by government records.
Hebei’s provincial public security department claimed that it had conducted “in-depth investigations into untimely police dispatch, irregular law enforcement and serious violations of discipline and law” following the vicious attack.
A deputy police chief, only identified by his surname Li, was fired on Tuesday for how he handled the incident. Lubei district police chief Ma Aijun and four other officers have been placed under investigation.