My Homepage

Go to content


This is China

....first you see is a crowd,......but no one takes any action.

I found some articel which explain why everyone hesitate - in their hearts most would like to help. They fear to be ripped and blamed for their action.

This framing, looks like is becoming a daily business income for some people. They predent to be hit by the car. They ask for monay but don't like to call police (settle in a friendly manner). To call police - you just wait and waste too much time. If polica arrive they are gone. If not, then police may ignore facts and ask the "rich" car owner to pay. A lot of people just pay so they can leave. They are the actual victim.

Some of the court decisions are not understandable and evidence is ignored.

Fear of extortion keeps people from helping

A 90-year-old man fell down at a bus stop in Jinan, Shandong Province, on September 16, and appealed for help.

A middle-aged woman surnamed Liu stopped by to help - but for fear she might become a new Good Samaritan victim as in the infamous Peng Yu case, she called together nearby witnesses.

On conditions that the witnesses would attest to her innocence if necessary and the fallen old man would never try to extort money from her, Ms Liu helped him up and called his family.

But after the old man spoke with his grandson at the hospital, he suddenly changed his story. He made a false statement, reporting that Liu had knocked him down. Fortunately, Ms Liu was saved by her own foresight. She had witnesses. Otherwise she would indeed be in trouble like Peng Yu.

The notorious "Nanjing Peng Yu" incident is fresh in people's minds after five years. Back in 2006, in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, a young man named Peng Yu who had just gotten off a bus went to the assistance of a 65-year-old woman who was knocked down by a fellow passenger. The woman eventually sued him for 136,419 yuan (US$21,332 today, saying he was the one who knocked her down.

In a judgment that infuriated the public, the court ruled that Peng Yu was liable to pay 40 percent of the total damages. Even after an extended period of legal wrangling that culminated in an out-of-court settlement, Peng Yu was still made to pay 10 percent.

For fear of being victimized in similar scams, people have been buying video cameras for cars; sales have reportedly shot up since the bus driver was saved by his video. Nowadays, when someone sees a fallen old person, he or she will have to think twice before springing to the rescue.

In China today, it seems, a good deed can result in a case of extortion - it even can be legally punished. That's why Good Samaritans are thin on the ground these days in a country that has time-honored traditions of helping those in need. A recent online poll found that 84 percent or those polled would not go to the aid of a fallen oldster on the street, for fear of extortion.

"It is not always necessary to help old people immediately after they fall down," according to the "timely" guidelines published this month by the Ministry of Health. "If the fallen person has shown symptoms of a stroke, fracture or lumbar damage, passersby should not move them."

As expected, the guidelines brought gasps of disbelief, and a brouhaha erupted.

Online comic strips take a swipe at the guidelines. One shows hordes of passersby standing around and gawking while a man comes to the assistance of an old man who has fallen to the ground.

But before he helps, he takes a few photos, saying "I can't help it, I'm just protecting myself." Then he turns to the old man and shows him a document. "Please sign this agreement before I help you," he says. Finally, the old man holds up a big sign that says, "Passersby please take note: I'm a good man."

There are many cases that demonstrate that it's not good to be a good man in trouble. For instance, an 88-year-old man had to lie helpless on a crowded avenue in Wuhan for about 90 minutes before someone took him to the hospital. He was dead on arrival. The cause of his death? A nosebleed that blocked his airway eventually suffocated him. This could have been prevented if someone had bothered to lift a finger.

Family forced soldier to pay up after he'd helped

A SOLDIER in southern Hainan Province was forced to pay 3,000 yuan (US$469) compensation after helping an elderly man who had collapsed in the street, China's National Defense website reported yesterday.

The soldier was the latest victim in a spate of cases where offering help ended in people being accused of causing the original accident.

However, an investigation proved his innocence and he got his money back.

The story attracted thousands of comments online with some recalling Lei Feng, the late soldier remembered by Chinese people for his devotion to helping others.

"If Lei Feng was alive now, he might hesitate whether to help or not when confronting people in need," said Zhang Gufeng on the new website

Many others said the soldier should file a lawsuit against such false accusations because "it was no less serious behavior than a crime of swindling for compensation money." They said such cases continued to shake people's confidence in helping others.

The incident took place in a township in Hainan in early July. The land surveying and mapping solider, surnamed Liu, had just completed a surveying mission and was cycling back to camp when he came across the old man lying on the ground.

The man had collapsed and was almost unconscious. The soldier called for paramedics and went with him to hospital. The patient was soon on the road to recovery, but when his relatives arrived, they insisted the soldier was guilty of running the man over and demanded he pay 3,000 yuan in compensation.

Liu resisted their demands at first but gave in for fear that the conflict would escalate.

But the story reached Liu's commanders, who sent a team of senior soldiers to investigate. They found several witnesses who all testified to Liu's innocence.

They presented the evidence to the family, who then admitted their mistake, apologized and returned Liu's money.

The military website is advising soldiers in similar situations not to tolerate such false accusations.

Taxi driver

HAD it not been for video cameras mounted atop the windshield, bus driver Yin Hongbin would have been just another of the many wronged good Samaritans.

The ordinary driver of a coach in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, recently made headlines for being wrongly accused of having hit an old woman, whom he had actually stopped to help.

Yin was driving his bus as usual on the highway linking downtown Nantong and its suburbs on August 27, when he spotted an old woman lying beneath a tricycle-cart flipped on its top. He instinctively stopped the bus, got off and with the help of a conductor helped the woman get back on her feet, for which Yin was profusely thanked by the senior. Since he had a bus-load of passengers to ferry, Yin asked a passing villager to take the woman home and then drove off.

In an abrupt twist of the saga three hours later, Yin found himself at a police station being questioned about what was described as a hit-and-run accident - by the old woman he had helped.

After police heard eyewitnesses' accounts and watched the footage shot by cameras installed on the bus's windshield, Yin was cleared of wrongdoing. The woman, perhaps realizing her failed attempt at blackmail might spell trouble, sent her wronged savior a red banner bearing words of gratitude.

Yin should consider himself lucky, for without the cameras he would have no solid evidence to back up his claim of innocence - just like the many other wronged good Samaritans who ended up regretting their good-hearted decisions.

Hence, I find a commentary published in Wenhui Daily on August 30 to be intriguing. After the piece hailed Yin's good deeds, it lamented toward the conclusion that "cameras may have saved Yin (from malicious intents of the person helped), but they cannot save social morality."

Hasn't the fact that the camera prevented the possible descent of a man with a heart of gold into a world of cynicism and apathy said enough about the importance of the gadget in such cases?

Rare breed

Though many people fret that the widespread installation of surveillance cameras might turn society into a police state, credit should at least be given to the cameras for occasionally saving a few good men, now an increasingly rare breed as a result of smear campaigns and extortion scams targeting them.

Driver Xu Yunhe came across the same situation as did Yin Hongbin when he allegedly saw an old woman falling while climbing over a median guardrail on a busy street in Tianjin in 2009. According to the 29-year-old, he stopped his car, called an ambulance and was falsely blamed for causing her to fall. But that's where the similarities between the two cases ended.

In Xu's case, he had no street or windshield-mounted cameras to prove his innocence. Thus, he was taken to court by the sexagenarian's children, who held him responsible for knocking their mother off the guardrail.

In a recently announced verdict that riled the nation and won sympathy for the defendant, Xu was found guilty and ordered to pay the plaintiff 108,606 yuan (US$15,925) in compensation.

The verdict was hugely controversial for neither the senior nor the prosecutors could prove that Xu's car had any contact with the victim surnamed Wang. Still, the court deviated from the judicial principle of "presumption of innocence" and ruled against Xu. He appealed the conviction and the second trial began on August 23.

Cheering crowds

Public opinion has sided firmly with Xu, as he walked out of the courtroom to a hero's welcome by cheering crowds gathered outside. Contrast his treatment with the public humiliation of the old woman and her children once they left the court. Their taxi was besieged by heckling crowds, who denounced Wang for her dishonesty and greed while she diffidently avoided their gaze. Even the cabbie refused to take the family.

…and one more

This week in Zhejiang Province, a female motorist, surnamed Xu, saw in her rearview mirror someone had been hit by a vehicle. Xu stopped her car, called police and tended to the victim, wiping away his blood.

But when police arrived, a motorcyclist, surnamed Guo, told the officers that Xu had hit the pedestrian with her car. As the victim was weak from his injuries and could not speak, traffic police had to look for evidence on surveillance cameras. This showed that the motorcyclist Guo was responsible for the accident.

When questioned by police later,
Guo admitted: "I wouldn't have said it was her if she hadn't stopped and helped."

Back to content | Back to main menu