Hit-and-run accident and death of toddler Yueyue stirs Chinese concern of societal apathy.
2-year-old Chinese toddler Yueyue was struck twice by trucks on a market street in Southern China and ignored by witnesses. Surveillance cameras captured the incident as the first truck ran over the child, stopping after the front wheels rolled over her body, and then drove over her with the back wheels. Another truck later drove over her as 18 bystanders ignored her as she lay injured in the street. A woman identified as a scrap collector pulled her aside and sought help. Yueyue died one week later from brain and organ failure at Guangzhou Military Hospital. The accident has sparked public outrage over the apathy of those who ignored the toddler, and whether it stems from Chinese culture or the country’s rapid modernization.
“My first question is what Yueyue’s parents were doing at the time the accident happened and I cannot find any answers online. Her Parents, while they looked after this injured girl, were busy with getting interviewed and posting messages on Sina Weibo. Did any journalist consider about how a two-year old girl ran into the street? Yueyue’s guardians in fact took an unescapable responsibility to her death, they are the ones who should feel shame.” –Ningmo, writer for column, Females Commentate News, as posted on Lady NTES
“It is quite rare to see anything like this happen in Western countries, even in the old days. we always advertise our so-called socialism morality, which is very different from the capitalism morality, is this what it is? I remember once I was taking a friend to the airport, and the car broke down at the toll station. None of the passing cars stopped to ask if we needed any help, besides a car from the embassy with an American flag stopped, and gave us a ride to the airport. It was very moving.”–Writer at South News Politics Review, as posted on Weibo
“We should not only blame the government for this accident. Our nation indeed has too many problems. Bad morality has always been the case, we cannot only blame the government. However, I cannot help but ask, it has been 60 years since the founding of the Republic of China, should not the government bear the responsibility for the decline of society?” –Xue Haipei, President of Chinese-American committee as posted on Weibo
“2-year-old girl Little Yueyue was rolled over by two cars in Foshan, 18 pedestrians [ignored the accident]. This has sparked heated debate in Japan. It is hard to imagine such things would happen in Japan. Although the Chinese have money, they are the poorest in terms of morality among all the countries. Only the lowest class of people in China have morals.” –Liao Shen, Evening News as posted on Weibo
“Society is filled with distrust in China today. Especially in the political sphere, people distrust government officials and the effectiveness of policies and laws. In the legal field, public distrust the judiciary. Finally, this distrust extends to the members of society, and expands between each other. As a result, a number of ethical behavior based on moral, became impossible for those people with distrust– Little Yueyue was probably ignored just by such distrust.” –Zhe Si 0203, Fujian, as posted on Weibo
“The majority of Chinese parents educate their children to merely take care of themselves and to get away from any troubles. If a law can be made to punish persons who show apathy, it may help reshape social norms and reform current education.” –Zhu Jiongping, lawyer, Nanjing, as quotes in the Wall Street Journal China on Oct. 24
于静, 政治法律研究所研究员, 广州