Six individuals, including three children, were stabbed to death in a kindergarten in the Guangdong province of southeastern China.
In Lianjiang, police have reportedly apprehended a 25-year-old man with the surname Wu. The other victims include a teacher and two parents, according to a local official quoted by sources. Also, one person is injured. The police have classified this incident as a "intentional assault" but have not specified a possible motive.
The assault occurred at 07:40 local time on Monday (Sunday 23:40 GMT), just as parents were dropping off their children for summer classes. At 08:00, the man was apprehended. According to a store owner who works nearby the kindergarten, the adjacent area has been cordoned off. The population of Lianjiang is approximately 1.87 million.
As videos of the assault spread across social media platforms in China, they sparked outrage and shock. The pattern of stabbings is also unsettlingly familiar. In spite of China's prohibition on firearms, the country has experienced a spate of knife attacks in recent years, with one incident involving the use of a chemical spray to injure 50 children in a classroom.
Since 2010, sources have documented at least seventeen weapon attacks in schools, colleges, and universities. Ten of these occurrences have occurred between 2018 and 2023. In August of last year, a knife-wielding attacker stormed a kindergarten in the province of Jiangxi in the province's southeast, murdering three and injuring six others.
During a mass stabbing in Beiliu City, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, in April 2021, two children perished and 16 others were injured. In October 2018, a knife assault at a kindergarten in Chongqing, southwest China, injured 14 children.
The majority of these perpetrators are male and harbor a grievance against society. Similar patterns have been observed in mass murders in countries ranging from the United States to Japan. However, according to experts, there may be additional causes for the apparent increase in knife attacks in China.
They believe that the Covid-19 outbreak, which caused towns in China to go into lockdown for some of the longest periods of time and under the most stringent conditions found anywhere in the world, could be one of the reasons. Although the aftereffects are not well known at this time, they may include sentiments of wrath and resentment, as well as the loss of employment, investments, and relationships.
The high levels of stress and the high expectations that are placed on young males in Chinese society are some probable variables that have been cited. These issues are made worse by the high rates of youth unemployment and the growing gap between the rich and the poor. According to the statements of one authority cited by sources, a profound feeling of "social deprivation" can motivate some people to resort to acts of violence as a means of expressing their anger with society.
Since 2010, the Chinese government has been increasing the level of security that is present around schools. In that specific year, the Ministry of Public Security had issued an appeal to the local authorities, urging them to "resolutely crack down" on illegal activity in order to protect the safety of educators and children.
Following the incident in April 2021, the education ministry also made it mandatory for schools to conduct emergency evacuation drills. Beijing is also not allowed state media to disclose complete details of the incident that occurred on Monday at the kindergarten out of fear that more attacks will be replicated.