Mike Paterniti

The hero of Nanjing

China has 200,000 reported suicides a year. On a vast road bridge across the Yangtze river, one man is trying to stop them

The Nanjing Yangtze river bridge is four lanes wide and four miles long, a monument to Maoist endeavour clogged with the traffic of China’s economic boom. And every weekend, at one of its two towers, you can see Chen Si. He is 42 years old, with spiky black hair, a rasping cough from cheap Nanjing-brand cigarettes, and a baseball cap bearing the slogan ‘THEY SPY ON YOU’.

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