Li Chengpeng on the murder of Haobo: "Evil never walks alone, but with its like"
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 9:31PM
Liz Carter


Recently, a car thief discovered a 2-month-old infant was in the car he had stolen, and murdered the child, burying her in the snow. The case has drawn national attention in China, dominating discussion on social media. Below is my translation of an essay by Li Chengpeng, detailing his thoughts on the case. 
Evil never walks alone, but with its like
1. The story is really very simple. A husband and wife opened a small convenience store, one with a chain security gate. They drove to the store with their child. It was cold, and the husband went in first to turn on the heat. The wife saw that the 2-month-old baby girl was sleeping soundly, and entered without turning off the light. After ten minutes, they came back out to find that the car and baby were both gone. This tragedy is really quite simple. It’s just like the time that a mother went upstairs to take down the clothes she had hung out to dry, and her 2-year-old child Xiao Yueyue somehow ran out into the street to play, and was hit by a car. 
2. These tragedies have nothing to do with the system, there are evil people in the world, that’s all. Sooner or later, you’re bound to come into contact with the evil of humanity. My grandfather told me, before he passed, that not all people you see walking along the streets are human: some are demons wearing human clothes.
3. I don’t deny that the mother of little Haobo made a mistake. Even if she was leaving her daughter in the car to help her stay waarm, she should have considered the danger posed by those 10 minutes. However, looking back, many of us have grown up in such rough environments, with the keys to our house hanging around our necks, running wildly through busy streets and industrial areas. We have slid down bannisters in tall buildings, run away to swim in the river without telling anyone…Haobo’s mother is just an example of a small mistake leading to a big mistake, and not an example of criminal neglect. I don’t think the mother should be charged. She has already been subjected to the cruelest punishment on earth.
4. There have been too many children who have died in unusual circumstances lately. What I care about more is whether we can do something for the future of other children. Undoubtedly, the social reform that we are promoting actually means we must change ourselves, including the way we raise and educate children. Chinese parents’ love for their children is a matter of bloodlines, and lacks societal abilities. Parents that can afford a car, but haven’t bought a child seat for their baby, who can’t bear to let their children run from them in a field, but let him run up to the roof to jump off…some Chinese parents don’t understand ways of supervising children in modern society, and they need guidance.
5. However, China’s law protecting minors seems to be a long-form essay full of slogans, not even as specific as the regulations in a high-class neighborhood’s property bylaws. There are no guidelines for implementation or quantitative standards. Every state of the US, on the other hand, has detailed laws requiring the minimum age at which children can be alone at home without parental supervision: in Maryland and Georgia, it is 8 years old; in North Dakota, it’s under 9; in Washington it’s 10; in Nebraska it’s 11; in Colorado it’s 12, in Illinois it’s 14. Around the same time those 4 boys drowned in Zengcheng, Guangzhou, an American mother was imprisoned for a year and fined 18,000 USD for letting her three children go swim by themselves in the river.
6. While people are smuggling baby formula as if it were heroin, officials are thinking about how to get their hands on mistresses while regular people are thinking about how to get their hands on baby formula, these comparisons are a luxury. A woman said on Weixin yesterday, “Oh God, they dare to have a baby, how do they dare?” Just as they confirmed that it was Zhou Xijun who killed Haobo, news also came that an American car thief had discovered a car as he stole it, and reported it twice to the police, leaving a note…these totally different choices by two car thieves drew another round of heated discussion on Weibo: “Does the case of the murdered infant have anything to do with the system?”
7. I truly don’t think it has anything to do with the system. Although China has always had this or that problem with protecting women and children, this is the result of the level of development in the economy and society. I have also done some research and found that in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, a woman who was only 20 years old put her newborn infant in the refrigerator, where the baby died. The autopsy showed that the poor child was still alive when she was put in the fridge. There was also another instance of cruelty in Germany’s history: A 39-year-old woman killed 9 of her own babies from 1988 to 2000, and then buried them in her own flowerpots and buckets.
8. I also discovered that on the evening of November 28th, 2001, Xu Deyong and Xu Gongwei climbed a wall to look for money and were discovered by a husband and wife, whom they subsequently stabbed to death. Afterwards, Xu discovered that there was also a 10-month-old child in the room, and stabbed it to death. There is also the case in Heilongjiang, Jiamusi city, when a 35-year-old man surnamed Gu fought with his girlfriend, and then forced her to kill her 3-month-old on her bed. He then forced his mother-in-law to dismember the infant’s body.
9. It’s clear that such cruel murders of infants occur in China and abroad. They just do not believe in hell. The act of killing a baby is not related to the system or education. The “human evil” of the individual is the source of violent acts. However, in contrast with how officials made sure to demonstrate their moral education after the Xiao Yueyue incident, in Germany, the government came out to conduct psychological examinations and documentation for the criminal: “We could not prevent the criminal act, but we can deeply investigate in order to lower the rate at which these tragedies occur.” Brandenburg’s local government head also took responsibility and expressed to the public that in the face of these cases of infant murder, all of German society must examine their own hearts, no matter if they are in the government, relatives of the woman in question, neighbors, local doctors or government departments, everyone should reflect upon it. 
10. The German media reported on this widely, criticizing the government’s reaction, but didn’t contact the government departments in charge at all.
11. The evening of the day before yesterday, Changchun’s local papers received a notification: the case could not be on the front page, and it should emphasize the capabilities of the police, playing down the piece. After 6 days, it was forbidden to make any report on the case. Very obediently, one paper only ran a small article in its inner pages, while another didn’t make any mention of it at all. Yesterday evening, reporters sent to the scene by the Southern Weekly also received similar orders.
12. To kill an infant who is totally unable to resist you just to steal a car; to use the image of the murdered child to run an ad for a GPS system; for a man named Li’er Chaisi to first say the search for the infant was just a publicity stunt, and then to put on performance art about it; to pretend that the streets have been peaceful, that everything under heaven is in order, a single order made it as if none of the above had happened at all, that it didn’t exist. Evil never walks alone, but with its like.
13. Something that has happened everywhere in the world, and was a product of human evil that didn’t originally have anything to do with the system at first, later did have something to do with the system…that’s what inevitably happens with so many matters in this country. 


Article originally appeared on A Big Enough Forest (
See website for complete article licensing information.