As China celebrated the success of its first spacewalk outside the new Tiangong space station on Sunday, the country’s main aerospace company was drawing attention online for a very different reason.
The state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has faced a backlash after news emerged that a Communist Party official at its subsidiary had allegedly attacked two prominent space scientists — including an 85-year-old woman.
The alleged brutal assault, which took place in early June, was brought to wider public attention on Saturday by a report from the state-run magazine China News Weekly. Chinese leaders have repeatedly stressed the importance of scientific and technological innovation, seeing it as a “main battleground” for competition with the West. Chinese President Xi Jinping himself has hailed the country’s top scientists as “the national treasure, the pride of the people and the glory of the nation.”
But the jarring fact that Chinese scientists can allegedly still be trampled — in this case seemingly quite literally — by an unscrupulous Communist Party official who apparently went unpunished for weeks has sparked a mixture of anger, disappointment and shame. (Read more from “Brutal Communist Party Official’s Assault On Two Scientists Overshadows Chinese Space Walk” HERE)
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