A man has set himself on fire in Tiananmen Square, the first time in more than five years that such an act has been committed in the heart of Beijing. The incident happened in late October, but was only reported recently in the west as Chinese media did not cover the story.
Self-immolation is a common method of protest across China, but is relatively rare in the capital. The Daily Telegraph has a photo of the immediate aftermath, which shows the man – named Wang – being ‘put out’ by emergency crews. It’s reported that he was taken to hospital and is expected to survive.
The 42-year-old set himself on fire at the northern edge of the square, close to a large image of Mao Zedong. Wang is said to be from Huanggang city, Hubei province, and was reportedly upset over a civil court case. Security is extremely tight in Tiananmen Square following 1989’s uprising against the Chinese authorities.