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Chinese Sentenced to Death in Fatal Stabbing of Student

December 25, 1987|Associated Press

BEIJING — A bicycle repairman has been sentenced to death for fatally stabbing a student in an attack that sparked the first university demonstration of the school year.

The official New China News Agency said that Ma Qingjun, 22, was found guilty on Wednesday of the Dec. 5 stabbing. A companion, Wang Yanjun, 16, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Ma and Wang trespassed on the campus of the University of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade and picked a quarrel with Zang Wei, a 19-year-old sophomore. Ma stabbed Zang, who died the next day.

The slaying prompted about 1,000 fellow students to stage a demonstration Dec. 7. The students marched to the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, which runs the school, and complained of lax security and administrative problems.

It was the first time students have staged a protest demonstration since last winter, when tens of thousands of youths poured into the streets in Beijing and more than a dozen other cities to demand democracy. Those protests led to the ouster of Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang and triggered a campaign against those promoting Western-style liberalism.

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