After toddler is left to die, China disquieted

Yueyue, a 2-year-old, moments before she is hit by a truck in Foshan City in China. Chinasmack.com via Youku

Yueyue, hit by truck, China
Yueyue, a 2-year-old, moments before she is hit by a truck in Foshan City in China.
Chinasmack.com via Youku

The video from Foshan City of Guangdong Province in China is unequivocal: A two-year-old is seen lying in a pool of blood on a market street having just been hit by a truck, which sped away after slowly running over her with its back wheels too, after which more than a dozen people walk around the toddler, none offering help.

The child, named Yue Yue, survived the accident, after a 56-year-old rag collector finally came to her rescue and dragged her out of the road, but not before a second truck hit the girl, according to China Daily. She is now, however, in rough shape - "brain dead," doctors say - and is unlikely to survive.

By itself, the video (WARNING: Graphic violence) has sparked worldwide news reports, and within China it has led to a serious discussion about public values.

The state-run news agency, Xinhua, writes: "High moral standards were once triumphed as national pride in China where individuals known for selflessly helping others were adored by the public. 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. On Sept. 2, an 88-year-old man in central China collapsed, his face striking the pavement. Yet, no one came to his aid, and he ended up choking to death on the blood from his nose."

According to many internet commentators, the relatively new tendency in China to ignore those in desperate need can be blamed on the "Nanjing judge."

Chinese news aggregator Chinasmack.com writes that phrase refers to "the 2006 case of a man named Peng Yu who helped a woman to the hospital after she had fallen only to have the old woman accuse him of knocking her down. The Nanjing judge in that case ultimately ruled that common sense dictated that only the person who hit her would take her to the hospital."

Several reports claim police have apprehended both drivers that ran over the girl and fled the scene. However, public anger seems to be mostly directed at the many who did nothing when helping was the only right moral call.

  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at CBSNews.com.

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