Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

83 Year Old Man Lies Helpless on the Street, the Locals Watch Him Die

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 7, 2011


This is from chinasmack.com but I actually read a book by a guy from England who had lived in China over 160 years ago. He witnessed the exact same phenomenon in China at that time. The locals will attribute this behavior to modern issues such as the cultural revolution and declining morals, but somehting much deeper must be at play here.


Dec 29, an 83-year-old man fell down on a sidewalk in Fuzhou City. 2 passers-by attempted to help but were held back by others for “their own good”. With the crowd watching, the old man laid on the icy floor till his last breath. According to a witness Mr. Chen, yesterday around 2:55 P.M., the grey-haired old man was walking on the sidewalk when he suddenly fell over with his face down. Mr. Chen said there was no one nearby when he dropped. Since there were several gravels on the sidewalk, the old man must have slipped and fell over.

2 Responses to “83 Year Old Man Lies Helpless on the Street, the Locals Watch Him Die”

  1. Daniel Bos said

    This is a very grim situation in China… If you involve yourself in a situation, you may be blamed. This has happened a few times before, where a kind Samaritan helped an injured person, and was subsequently sued for causing the injury. And convicted, because they couldn’t prove they didn’t! Especially if you’re obviously rich (a foreigner for example) you have this risk.

    The only way to help someone in such a situation is if you have several witnesses who are willing to testify if necessary that you hadn’t any part in the cause. And that’s a whole other can of worms…

    • wtdevflnt said

      That is what many of the locals say, but Daniel check out Herbert A Giles and his sojourn here about 140 years ago. He described the exact same situation. He describes how an elderly Chinese man had fallen and no one stopped to assist him, I do not know if there were multiple occassions. To me it now seems cultural after reading about China’s past and stories there of. Thanks B

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