Toddler Death Sparks Outcry Over Morality in China

Posted October 23rd, 2011 at 9:05 pm (UTC+0)
1 comment


In a picture taken on October 16, 2011, two-year-old girl nicknamed Yue Yue is treated at a hospital in Guangzhou

In a picture taken on October 16, 2011, two-year-old girl nicknamed Yue Yue is treated at a hospital in Guangzhou. A Chinese toddler who was ignored by 18 passers-by as she lay critically injured in the street after being run over by two vehicles has died, the hospital treating her said October 21. (AFP)

Yueyue (悦悦), the toddler who was run over in Foshan, Guangdong province (广东佛山) and left to die by many passing adults, has sparked an outcry over morality in China.

The toddler, whose parents were working nearby, died early in the morning on October 21.

When the incident occurred last week, video footage of the event made its way onto the internet and became viral. Commenters railed against cold passersbys, more than a dozen people who left the child dying before an elderly lady, Chen Xianmei (陈贤妹) alerted the authorities.

Now, it emerges that the 16th passerby, according to the security cameras, had gone to the hotel where Yueyue’s parents were staying to apologize, saying: “I definitely didn’t see her, if I did I would have called an ambulance.” “我绝对没有看到,看到了会打110.”

This video, posted on Youku on Saturday morning, attracted the comment: “I believe him. Let’s have some more trust.” 我信他..多一点信任

However, many online forums and microblogs are still trying to present the case as related to the morality of their Chinese countrymen.

For example, the famous director Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚) said in an interview “A lot of people are discussing if this is a coldness, and just a violent act that caused people to bristle with anger. But really it was because communication was difficult in the past [so no-one knew about these events]. In reality the coldness is in our race, and has a long history.”

Sina weibo (新浪微博) is abuzz with comments to Yueyue, including a page devoted to her passing yesterday.

Even though the moral outrage has been over the people who left her to die, a survey taken about the incident on Sina weibo showed that 60 per cent of voters thought the two drivers responsible for the incident were to blame, followed by her parents who let her roam.

Well known commentators were split into two camps, with some believing that neglecting to act was in human nature. The Sanlian Life Weekly journalist Yuan Yue posted:

Immusoul: The parents of Yueyue were careless, but which parents don’t make mistakes? In a normal society, this carelessness will not be punished like this. Perhaps the hit and run was an accident, but  the things that happened after the hit and run cannot be excused. It is to do with human nature, and not related to the law or regulations. PS: The cold-blooded comments after the incident will hurt Yueyue’s parents once more.

However, the founder of, Wang Lifen, pointed to Yueyue as a sacrificial item for the economically driven and socially cold China of today:

Yueyue and Yiyi [a young victim of the July 23 Wenzhou rail crash] are both sacrificial victims of our generation, the most hurtful thing is using children as sacrificial victims, which is really too cruel. The twentieth year of the 20th century, the era will remember these two children and a blind man [Chen Guangcheng]. They are amongst the weak groups of this society.

One response to “Toddler Death Sparks Outcry Over Morality in China”

  1. Bao Cai says:

    So very sad.

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