Recognizing Good Deeds in China

June 11, 2012

In October 2011, when a young child was run over by a van in the Chinese city of Foshan in southeastern Guangdong province, many China critics leaped on that one isolated example in a country about the size of the US in area with more than four times the population to stereotype all Chinese as insensitive monsters. I wrote about the incident in Litigation Nation Virus Spreading West to East.

Now, in 2012, we have an example of heroism from a Chinese man in Guangzhou, China where he risked his life to save a Chinese toddler.

The UK’s Daily Mail reported, “Chinese toddler dangling over 40 foot drop plucked by rescuer who scaled side of building to save him.” The Daily Mail ran four photos of the incident, which clearly show the danger to the hero and the child (click on link to see dramatic photos).

My question is, “Will the same China critics that used the Foshan incident to crucify China and the Chinese for apathy spend the same amount of time and effort to laud this hero as a positive role model?”

In fact, this hero risked his life and did not act alone. The Daily Mail said, “Within minutes of the terrified toddler being spotted, a crowd had assembled at street level with a large yellow blanket at the ready to catch him if he fell.”

I suspect that most China critics will claim this was a fluke instead of giving credit where credit is due. However, there is evidence that others also are willing to risk life and limb. For example, in July 2011, Wu Juping, 31, saved a two-year-old girl that fell out of a 10th floor window and Juping suffered a broken arm for her act of heroism. Source: China Daily

The truth is that the Chinese are just as diverse as most people in the world. For example, a recent study of human nature revealed that it is normal (for most of humanity) to lie and cheat—not just the Chinese as many China critics claim.

In The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves, Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University said, “Our behavior is driven by two opposing motivations. On the one hand, we want to view ourselves as honest, honorable people. On the other hand, we want to benefit from cheating and get as much money as possible. Human behavior is the balance between those two forces.”  Source: The Daily Ticker at Yahoo Finance

Moreover, if dishonesty is part of human nature, it stands to reason that people will be subconciously dishonest when they demonize something they fear or do not understanding, which means critics will filter the facts to fit personal beliefs—known as Cherry Picking and turn to the Ad Hominem Fallacy to slander an entire nation. Source: Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China


Litigation Nation Virus Spreading West to East

October 17, 2011

I have called the United States the “Litigation Nation” a number of times due to frivolous lawsuits, and it seems that China has earned that title too.

A disturbing story hit the Web from Yahoo.com — Chinese express horror at public indifference to toddler hit-run victim.

A surveillance camera in the Chinese city of Foshan in southeastern Guandong province caught a van hitting a two-year-old girl and then the van drove away.  Several minutes went by and no one went to the toddler’s aid.  In fact, a second van ran over her before someone dragged her off the street.

The injured toddler is now hospitalized and in a coma according to Reuters.

The conclusion to the Yahoo.com post says, “Many people in China are hesitant to help people who appear to be in distress for fear that they will be blamed,” Reuters’ Martina wrote in his report. “High-profile law suits have ended with Good Samaritans ordered to pay hefty fines to individuals they sought to help.”


This video of the hit-and-run has been edited and elements of the toddler being hit by the vans were blurred.

This brought to mind an incident when I was a few years old in the late 1940s or early 1950s when my father stopped at the scene of an accident in a heavy rainstorm.

Other drivers stopped too and gave assistance to a man trapped in his wrecked car.

The injured driver’s leg was pinned under the dashboard and he was bleeding heavily. To save his life, my father returned to our car and took out a hacksaw from his tool kit in the trunk.

My father told me and my mother to stay in the car and went back out into the heavy rain to the accident site.

Then he and several other people that stopped to help worked together to cut off the man’s leg where the bone was exposed to get him out of the car where they could apply a tourniquet to the stump and stop the bleeding saving the man’s life.

In that era, America had not earned the term “Litigation Nation”, and my father and the other Good Samaritans were not arrested or taken to court for helping to save the man’s life even though he lost a leg.

In China, thanks to the surveillance camera, the two hit and run drivers of the toddler were arrested.

The reason for the apathy might be that in the early 1980s, China implemented legal reforms and adopted a Western style legal system based on German law.  The reason China did this was that it was required to be accepted to the World Trade Organization.

In fact, this fear of being punished for being a Good Samaritan is not exclusive to China.


WARNING! — This video does not blur the hit-and-run and reveals the horror of the toddler being run over by the two vans.

In December 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that Good Samaritans in California get no aid from high court. The California Supreme Court ruled that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle was not immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn’t medical.

In addition, sarbc.org, says, “American common law has little success in encouraging the Good Samaritan, and two famous cases strongly illustrate this point. In a 1964 case in New York, a woman was stabbed outside her apartment building while her neighbors watched. No one called the police. When she screamed, the attacker fled, only to return twice to stab and kill her when no one responded.

“The second incident occurred in Massachusetts, in 1983, when tavern patrons watched a woman being raped. The assault lasted more than an hour, but no one intervened or called for help. The predominant excuse in both cases was a fear of getting involved, and progress in changing laws to deal with apathy is still sporadic and slow.”

As for China, it appears that we are seeing the results of China adopting a Western legal system, which includes a virus called apathy and a fear of being punished for being a Good Samaritan.

Discover Growing China’s Legal System

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

About iLook China


A mutual preference for baby boys

August 22, 2011

Imagine what it would be like to live in the United States if the population was China’s 1,339,724,852, which is 4.3 times the population of the US.

According to the US Bureau of Transit Statistics, there were 255,917,664 vehicles registered for use on the highways in the
US in 2008.

Multiply that number by 4.3 and we might have more than 1 billion vehicles on US roads today if our population matched China’s.

What would your commute to work look like if you lived in a city such as Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, but there were four times as many vehicles on the roads?

At this point, as a reader, you may be wondering what the significance of this post’s title is, which was influenced from an article, Americans Like Baby Boys Best, written by Stephanie Pappas for “Live Science”.

Pappas wrote, “If they (US families) were only allowed to have one child, more Americans would prefer it be a boy rather than a girl, a new survey finds.”

For China, providing enough food has always been a challenge since China’s arable land covers about 15% of total land area, but China’s 300 million farmers today rank first in worldwide farm output. Source: Agriculture in China (Wikipedia).

America, on the other hand, is blessed with farmland covering about 41% of total land area. Source: USDA

Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China. In fact, four of those famines happened between 1810 and 1849 killing about 45 million. Source: List of famines (Wikipedia)

Then between 1959 to 1961, during The Great Chinese Famine (according to Chinese government statistics) about 15 million died while unofficial estimates of scholars puts the toll between 20 to 43 million that may have starved to death.

However, the United States has never suffered a famine. If people in the US go hungry, it is not because there isn’t enough food. It is because those people live in poverty and do not have enough money to buy food.

When Americans criticize China’s one-child policy, remember, China has survived about 1,800 major famines in the last 2,000 years and five of those famines killed 88 million.

However, the US and China do seem to have one thing in common. Most Chinese also prefer baby boys to girls. Have you ever watched a child starve?

To discover more facts about China’s one-child policy, visit One Child, The One-Child Tragedy, Exemptions in China’s ‘one-child policy’, Reversing China’s “one-child” Policy, and Avoiding China’s “one-child” Policy

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


24 Hours in Qiannianyaozhai (Viewed as a Single Page)

August 19, 2011

This Guest Post by Tom Carter originally ran as a three-part series starting May 24, 2010.

Eclipsed by the neon blaze of Guangzhou and lost in the limestone peaks of northern Guangdong is 1,000 year-old Qiannianyaozhai, the oldest Yao minority village in China.

Over 7,000 Yao people once occupied the mountain community; however poverty and generational differences have dramatically thinned the ethnic population, leaving Qiannianyaozhai in its present perfectly preserved state.

6am: Rise and shine in Liannan County for a long day of exploring bucolic North Guangdong. Unlike steel-and-glass PRD, the north is a poem-inspiring swath of farmland and karst summits.

7am: Ask several locals for directions, but either their regional dialect is unintelligible or they each point in a different direction. These are the joys of traveling in rural China.

8am: Well-informed bengbeng taxi takes us twenty kilometers southwest up a lush mountainside to “Nangang Thousand Year Yao Zu Village.” Crowning the 800-meter crest we behold our destination: the mystical Qiannianyaozhai.

12am: Spend several hours wandering this living museum. The only sounds to be heard are the whispering wind and an occasional farmer’s hoe against soil. Clustering against the amphitheater-like gradient are approximately 400 stone-and-slate homes, standing majestic and unscathed since their Song Dynasty construction.

1pm: Qiannianyaozhai is reportedly the largest Yao village in China, but with less than 200 current residents we veritably have the entire 159-mu grounds to ourselves. Tilling the terraces are barefooted, red-turbaned Yao farmers, regally draped in dark blue robes and scarlet sashes, ancestors of an ancient agrarian society and the last generation.

2pm: Invited for tea in the home of the yaowang village chief of the Pai Yao clan. The simple dwelling is warmed by a wood-burning stove and accentuated with hand-wrought farming tools, whicker baskets and other antediluvian household goods. No modern appliances in site. While Mother mends clothing, Granddaughter chats with us. She must walk four hours every day to attend primary school at the bottom of the mountain.

4pm: Capitalize on the clean air with a long stroll back down the mountain, peeking into other nearby villages and stopping to chat with locals. Everyone is so unbelievably kind it’s a bit shocking; definitely no relation to the Cantonese.

5pm: Spot a woman with a satchel that glows like a rainbow – the Pai Yao’s signature accessory. Females will spend up to three months hand-embroidering their own bags, each with a unique, blindingly-bright design. I attempt a purchase, but she drives a hard bargain. Apparently, some retail high-rollers have already passed through here and set the standard, which is too much for my backpacker budget.

7pm: Dinner at a riverfront restaurant for fresh caoyu grass carp and locally-grown greens, then retire to our luguan boardinghouse for some much-needed sleep.

12am: Awoken by a riotous KTV parlor next door, Mandopop blaring from a pink-glowing room full of high-heeled, mini-skirted xiaojie. I guess no matter how far you stray from the big city, in China some things just don’t change.

Getting there and away: Qiannianyaozhai is well off the beaten path. From Guangzhou City bus terminal, catch the ___am bus to Liannan County, ___ hours, ____ RMB. From Liannan, best to hire a taxi directly to Qiannianyaozhai, 20 RMB (at the time), 30 minutes.

Tickets into Qiannianyaozhai were 30 RMB per person when I was there and contribute to the preservation of this rapidly-vanishing minority culture.

Liannan’s main, and only, drag is comprised of several guesthouses (20 RMB per bed) and one three-star hotel (100 RMB). Xiaojie cost extra.

____________________

Discover Tom Carter’s Guest post On Crime in China. Photojournalist Tom Carter traveled for 2 years across the 33 provinces of China to show the diversity of Chinese people in CHINA: Portrait of a People, the most comprehensive photography book on modern China ever published by a single author.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


24 Hours in Qiannianyaozhai – Part 1/3

May 24, 2010

Guest Post by Tom Carter

Eclipsed by the neon blaze of Guangzhou and lost in the limestone peaks of northern Guangdong is 1,000 year-old Qiannianyaozhai, the oldest Yao minority village in China.  Over 7,000 Yao people once occupied the mountain community; however poverty and generational differences have dramatically thinned the ethnic population, leaving Qiannianyaozhai in its present perfectly preserved state.

6am: Rise and shine in Liannan County for a long day of exploring bucolic North Guangdong. Unlike steel-and-glass PRD, the north is a poem-inspiring swath of farmland and karst summits.

7am:  Ask several locals for directions, but either their regional dialect is unintelligible or they each point in a different direction.  These are the joys of traveling in rural China.

8am:  Well-informed bengbeng taxi takes us twenty kilometers southwest up a lush mountainside to “Nangang Thousand Year Yao Zu Village.”  Crowning the 800-meter crest we behold our destination: the mystical Qiannianyaozhai.

12am: Spend several hours wandering this living museum.  The only sounds to be heard are the whispering wind and an occasional farmer’s hoe against soil.  Clustering against the amphitheater-like gradient are approximately 400 stone-and-slate homes, standing majestic and unscathed since their Song Dynasty construction.

Go to 24 Hours in Qiannianyaozhai – Part 2

____________________

For more of Tom Carter’s on China, discover Teaching English in the Middle Kingdom. Photojournalist Tom Carter traveled for 2 years across the 33 provinces of China to show the diversity of Chinese people in CHINA: Portrait of a People, the most comprehensive photography book on modern China ever published by a single author.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


On Crime in China (Part 2 of 5)

May 1, 2010

A guest post by Tom Carter, a first-hand expose

But all is not necessarily quiet on the home front. In an uncharacteristically candid public admission, the MPS once reported a pandemic of illicit drug trafficking in China led by an increasing number of foreign crime syndicates, reportedly from the African regimes of Nigeria and Liberia and triads from neighboring Asian countries.

Moreover, violent crime on the southern shore is notoriously rampant in Guangdong, making it the only province in China’s mainland to arm police with guns.

Nor is this to say that Westerners are entirely exempt from either being the victim of, or committing, more serious crimes.

I have found myself in several situations while traveling extensively throughout China. I fondly remember the street gang who confronted me in a darkened alley in Inner Mongolia, or facing off with a pickpocket in a crowded Qianmen hutong in Beijing with a baying crowd of onlookers taking great delight in watching a 196cm waiguoren vigilante.

Go to On Crime in China – Part 3 or return to Part 1

 View as Single Page

______________________

Travel photographer Tom Carter is the author of CHINA: Portrait of a People, a 600-page book of photography from the 33 provinces of China, available on Amazon.com!

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


2012 – Changing the Guard

March 8, 2010

The fifth generation of Communist leadership in China will take charge in 2012, as the fourth generation steps down.  Retirement from public office is mandatory at 67.

Who are these people? There are two factions (recognized by the Western media) competing for leadership of the country.

One faction is the Gang of Princelings whose parents were powerful members of the Communist Party. The other faction comes from those that climbed the ranks from China’s Youth League. This year’s session of the National People’s Congress marks the unofficial start of the campaign season for 2012 when most of the current leadership will retire.

One rival is Wang Yang, once a member of the Communist Youth League. Wang has talked about having new, capital-intensive industries replace the old, labor-intensive industries in Guangdong.

One princiling has been in the spotlight recently. He has achieved celebrity status in China because he was successful fighting organized crime in Chongqing, a city with a population that is more than thirty million.  His name is Bo Xilai, one of the princelings, and his father was one of China’s eight Communist Immortals.

Bo Xilai

In China, family history is important and always has been. The Chinese look at the history of the family, the father, the mother and believe that will show them who the child will be and if that man or woman can be trusted.

See Family Connections

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,511 other followers