A 63-year-old Beijing woman who claimed to be Manchurian royalty has been detained for verbally abusing passengers on a bus with “discrimination language”.
The behaviour was captured on video by another passenger and showed the woman, identified by the surname Wen, sitting on a bus shrieking and calling a younger woman a “beggar”. The video, from last month has been viewed 420 million times on Weibo, and caused widespread outrage from the public.
Wen initially became angry with the other woman for not acting quickly enough to give up her seat for her.
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“You filthy people from outside Beijing. You came here to beg for food. What are you arrogant about?” Wen said in the video.
“I look down on those from outside Beijing. You have low civilisation qualities,” she went on to say. “You don’t even take an initiative to offer seats for people who are old, weak, sick or disabled.”
According to a witness, Wen shouted “offer a seat to me” upon getting on the bus. But she did not appear disabled, said the witness, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.
“I am a member of Plain Yellow Banner. Look, I have a tongtian wrinkle here,” said Wen, taking off her hat and pointing to her forehead to show a wrinkle.
The Plain Yellow Banner is one of the eight banner groups that Manchurian families were divided into before the Manchu founded Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) was established. This social and military structure was abolished following the fall of the last emperor of China 1912.
The branch the woman belongs to, the Plain Yellow Banner, was a privileged group because they were directly led by the emperor. It is said that descendants of the Plain Yellow Banner have a vertical tongtian wrinkle on their forehead.
“The capital city of Beijing is my home. Are you entitled to speak here?” said Wen.
Reaction to the video tirade was mixed.
“I am a Beijing native. You brought shame to us Beijingers. The whole nation is watching you and they can’t help thinking ‘are all Beijing natives like this?’” wrote one person.
“I felt relieved when seeing this news that she was detained. I had thought the authorities would only criticise her. Bravo, Beijing public transportation police ,” said a second commenter.
But some other people did not agree with the police’s decision.
“So the reason for her detention is the bad social impact? Her words are too much? Or because it was uploaded to the internet?” a third person said. “In reality, there are many more people who abuse others with more mean words than her. Shall we take the video, put it online to force the police to detain them in the future?”
Beijing public transportation police said on Tuesday that Wen had been put under administrative detention for using discriminatory language multiple times towards other passengers on board the bus.
China’s administrative detention applies to those misdemeanors deemed to have violated the country’s social management rules. It is not clear how long Wen will spend in custody.
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