Daily Bloom is the shortform blog of New Bloom, covering breaking news events as they occur in real-time. 

23 year old fresh military recruit Jian Zhilong dies after being denied access to a hospital by his superiors. A graduate of Nanhua University, reports indicate that Jian began to feel unwell last Friday, November 6th, and requested to be allowed to see a doctor for an examination on the November, but was denied leave to do so. Jian was only able to visit an clinic for an examination on November 8th, whose conclusion was that Jian was severely sick and needed to be hospitalized for at least three days. Medical leave was denied by Jian’s superiors. Jian family only found out about the situation on the November 11th, when Jian placed a phone call to his family, who rushed to Taipei by train immediately afterwards. But this was too late and Jian passed away yesterday at 6 PM.


Jian’s death has not, in fact, been widely reported on by media, although some outrage from Taiwanese civil society has ensued on Facebook. Jian’s death recalls the death of Hung Chun-Hsiu, the military recruit who died under mysterious circumstances in 2013. Hung’s death provoked much social outrage and raised questions of accountability and oversight in regards to Taiwan’s military draft. Yet, in the case of Jian’s, little has been done to raise awareness of his death, a vastly different media treatment compared to Hung.

The demonstration which ensued were a significant factor in the development of Taiwanese civil society leading up the Sunflower Movement, with the rise of activist group Citizen 1985 which called for oversight and reform, and a demonstration of over 100,000 outside the Ministry of Defense on August 3rd, 2013. There has yet been little comment from Citizen 1985 or from Hung Chun-Hsiu’s sister, Hung Tzu-Yung, who became involved in activism after her brother’s death and subsequently became one of the legislative candidates of post-Sunflower third party, the New Power Party. Will we see mass public outrage in the future? Or will this event go unremarked upon, in spite of any injustice?


Author: Brian Hioe
Photo Credit: Xavier Wang
Biography: Brian Hioe (丘琦欣) is an M.A. student at Columbia University, a freelance writer on politics and social activism, and an occasional translator. He is a former resident of Taipei, Taiwan.

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