China has been recording historic gains in space in recent months with landing on Mars and building the new space station, but the country’s social networks are in turmoil over the weekend due to an unusual event on Earth, during which a Communist Party official beat two senior scientists and seriously injured them.
According to a report in China News’ weekly magazine, Zhang Tao, the party’s secretary and chairman of the space agency’s investment arm, violently attacked two scientists in early June after refusing a request to recommend him to members of the Stockholm International Astronautical Academy. Spine, while Shwang Jinyan, 55, suffered broken ribs and other injuries to his body.
Surfers in China were outraged that while the two scientists remained hospitalized, Zhang continued to work as usual and did not face disciplinary action. Just last night, the space agency announced that it had decided to suspend Zhang and claimed that he attacked the two “after consuming alcohol”, but did not provide further details. “An investigation team is conducting a comprehensive investigation of the entire incident. We will handle it in all seriousness based on the results,” the agency said in a statement to surfers about “your attention and your supervision.”
One of the surfers on the social network Weibo summed up the affair: “Zhang Tao’s incident reveals the fact how much harder it is to achieve the rule of law than to send a spaceship into the sky.”