China executes couple who threw two children to deaths from 15th-floor apartment

Zhang Bo, who was the father of the two children, with Ye Chengchen
Zhang Bo, who was the father of the two children, had begun an affair with Ye Chengchen - AsiaWire

China has executed a couple for throwing two young children out of the window of an apartment building, in a case that caused nationwide outrage.

Zhang Bo and Ye Chengchen were previously found responsible for the fatal falls of the two-year-old girl and one-year-old boy from the 15th floor of a residential tower in Chongqing, south-west China.

Zhang, who was the father of the two children, had begun an affair with Ye, who was initially unaware he was married and had children.

She then urged Zhang to kill his two children, who she “regarded as obstacles” to them marrying and a “burden on their future life together”, the Chongqing No. 5 Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement.

In November 2020, Zhang threw his children out of the window of the apartment in the absence of their mother, with whom he had agreed to divorce.

Both were found guilty of conspiring “to kill his daughter and younger son by staging an accidental fall from the 15th floor of his apartment building”, the state-backed newspaper China Daily reported last year.

The couple were sentenced to death in December 2021 and executed on Wednesday, the court said.

‘Today is truly a good day’

The news came the same day as another high-profile execution. Wu Xieyu was found guilty of killing his mother by repeatedly striking her with a dumbbell in 2015, a statement by a court in eastern Fujian province said.

China keeps data on its use of the death penalty secret, although Amnesty International estimates that the country is the top executioner globally, with thousands executed and sentenced to death each year.

Sentences are frequently handed down for crimes ranging from drug trafficking to corruption and murder, with lethal injection the most common method of execution.

Zhang and Ye’s crime sent shock waves across China for its cold-blooded premeditation, as well as the age of the victims.

Their executions quickly rose to the top of a list of trending topics on the Chinese social media site Weibo on Wednesday, receiving nearly 200 million views.

“Today is truly a good day,” read one widely liked comment under a related post by the state news agency Xinhua.

“The punishment fits the crime,” wrote another.