A heinous act of wanton slaughter, committed on 5 October 2011, dominated Chinese news for months. Two Chinese cargo ships were found adrift on the Mekong River, a major trade route for China, near the Thai-Burmese border, with 13 Chinese crew members brutally killed, summarily stabbed or shot with their hands bound behind their backs and their mutilated bodies dumped in the water. The Chinese government suspended passenger and cargo traffic on the river, while the Chinese public was furious at the government's failure to protect against violence on the Mekong and "increasingly critical of government agencies not perceived as taking a strong enough stand to defend the country".
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