The father of a 6-year-old girl who died after enduring hours of physical punishment has been detained, said local police in Yueqing, Zhejiang Province Monday.
The 30-year-old suspect, surnamed Zhang, hit his daughter with shoes and demanded the girl run on the spot for six hours on Friday. Late that night she woke complaining of a stomachache and soon lost consciousness, chinanews.com reported.
Zhang did not believe the doctor when he was told his daughter was dead. He insisted on taking her to another hospital but left the girl's body under a tree on a mountain.
Zhang turned himself in after he heard the police were searching for him.
The news portal said Zhang forced his daughter to run on the spot with only a short break for a quick dinner and her homework.
Zhang admitted that he beat his daughter after returning home to find their home in a mess and urine on the floor.
"I thought if I didn't make her realize her mistake, all previous punishments would have been wasted," Zhang said.
According to local police, the doctor who examined the girl reported that she had multiple bruises but doubted they were the cause of death. The police are waiting for an autopsy report to determine the exact cause of death.
"My daughter didn't like reading and was quite naughty. And I easily get angry due to my tiring work," Zhang was quoted by chinanews.com as saying.
Xiong Bingqi, an education expert with the 21st Century Education Research Institute, told the Global Times that physical abuse of a child has no place in a strict traditional upbringing.
"The Law on the Protection of Minors states that parents can be held accountable for abusing their children," Xiong said, adding that part of the problem is when neighbors turn a blind eye to child abuse.
Gao Ming, director of the Shanghai Wanfang Law Firm, told the Global Times that the law only provides a three-year prison sentence for someone convicted of abusing a relative.
"If I were a judge, I would want to sentence him to life in prison," said Gao, noting that physical assault by a stranger carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.