A man wielding a kitchen cleaver killed seven children and two teachers at a kindergarten in northwest China on Wednesday, in the latest of a series of attacks on schools that has sparked widespread public alarm.
Some have pointed blame at the desperate frustration building up over social injustices. Many commentators have blamed the nature of Chinese society under repressive, one-party rule.
“The fundamental problem is that our society is sick,” Zhou Xiaozheng, a retired sociology professor in Beijing, told the Monitor earlier this month. “We suffer from corrupt officials, unfair distribution of resources, and an unjust legal system. These are the sorts of things that attack a society’s immune system.”
The killer in Wednesday’s attack, Wu Huanmin, later committed suicide at home, according to a local official quoted by the official Xinhua news agency, which said that “his motive was not immediately known.”
The rampage brought the death toll from six similar assaults since March to 18; more than 80 people have been injured.
For some Americans, the attacks in China are reminiscent of the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, when a series of copycat attacks occurred. It also prompted tighter security measures in schools nationwide.