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BEIJING - When a hired assassin stabbed Li Shiming through the heart, many villagers experienced relief. The slain local Communist Party official had made their lives hell by seizing land, extorting money and bullying people for years, many said.
Parallels have reportedly been drawn between the plight of the Na'vi, who face the threat of eviction from their woodland home, and those in China vulnerable to displacement by predatory property developers.
Li razed 28 acres of trees belonging to them without permission or compensation in 2003.
The teenager entered a school where Li was attending a meeting, found the official alone and plunged a knife into his heart.
Li staggered out of the building and into his luxury sports utility vehicle but died before he could make it to a hospital, reports said.
The case quickly turned into an outpouring of sympathy for the young killer — and expressions of hatred for Li.
Nearly 21,000 people from the area around Xiashuixi petitioned the court for leniency for Zhang — to no avail.
Zhang's case echoes two other instances of ordinary Chinese who became anti-heroes after killing people in positions of power.
The case reflects the desperation that China's rural poor are driven to when bullied by their leaders, wrote Chinese social commentator Yan Changhai on his blog.
"Zhang Xuping is guilty. His biggest crime is that he dared to resist a bandit-like official, and refused to be obedient and to be a slave," Yan wrote.
Yan blamed the murder on collusion between officials and local police and courts.
"If the authorities did not indulge Li Shiming's evil deeds, if even one of his evil deeds was punished by law, he would have avoided death under Zhang Xuping's knife," he wrote.
The slain local Communist Party official had made their lives hell by seizing land, extorting money and bullying people for years, many said.
Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Would it be safe to call this kid a hero if it were a United States citizen who took out a tax collector threatening to confiscate his property?