I think the Juneyao pilot behaved in a reckless manner. And given how much China has had to do to get its airlines in order (not having an accident every few months) as it was happening a few years ago, they had to act in a manner that would make an example of this idiot and send a message to the world that they are serious about safety in transportation. Keep in mind they recently had a high speed rail crash.
Unusual?, maybe, unexpected? well the only reason the Captain wasn´t send to jail was because he was not a Chinese citizen. Besides, although the article says the Qatari plane had only 18 mins of fuel remaining, it still had the 30 mins. reserve, but it was forced to declare an emergency when the tower told him the Juneyao plan would not give way. Now, if it had actually run out of fuel over the middle of Shangai, it would have been a major mess.