Outrage over passersby ignoring dying child in China


THE INCIDENT has shocked and deeply unsettled China. A two-year-old girl, Yue Yue, was hit by two vans, in incidents six minutes apart, and left bleeding on the pavement as passersby did nothing to help her. The whole event was captured by surveillance camera and broadcast on national media.

The hit-and-run has revived fears in China that rampant materialism and runaway economic growth is producing an unfeeling and indifferent society, with no moral centre.

“Even pigs and dogs are better than they are!” wrote one internet commentator of the motorists, pedestrians and cyclists who did nothing to help the child as she lay bleeding heavily on the street.

Her mother, a migrant worker, had picked the little girl up from kindergarten last Thursday and left her at home in the family shop in Foshan, on a narrow street typical of those in the city in booming Guangdong province. When she returned from an errand, the mother could not find her daughter anywhere until she heard a rubbish collector shouting that a child had been injured, the Guangzhou Dailyreported.

Yue Yue was hit by a light goods vehicle, which paused after striking her, then drove off, running over her legs as it sped off.

Over the next six minutes, the harrowing footage, broadcast on Southern Television Guangdong, shows how nearly 20 pedestrians and passing vehicles kept going without coming to the child’s aid. One young man walks past, apparently without seeing her, but others pass and look down, doing nothing. A mother hurries her daughter away from the scene.

Incredibly, the child was then hit by another van before the sanitation worker came to help her.

A doctor surnamed Peng described Yue Yue as “brain dead” and being kept alive by a lifesupport machine and was unlikely to survive the incident, the China Dailyreported. The van drivers have been arrested. According to some reports, one was talking on his mobile phone when the incident took place.

Online, the microblogs and chatrooms, as well as official organs, rang with outrage.

“High moral standards were once triumphed as national pride in China where individuals known for selflessly helping others were adored by the public,” the Xinhua news agency reported.

“But in recent years, the perception of a decline of morals has become a hot topic as profit and materialism are perceived to be affecting society’s values,” it said.