British diplomat praised in China after saving drowned woman

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But as praise for Mr Ellison poured in, other commentators focused on the fact that no local people had jumped in to save the woman and that they had not done much for the help while she was fighting.

“So many people didn’t jump to save the girl, but waited for a stranger to jump to save her?” one person wrote.

“It was outrageous,” said another. “Most of them were taking videos, and there were only a few saving her, and the first one was a stranger !!!”

Drownings are all too common in China, where many people cannot swim; in a 2018 article on the issue, Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party newspaper, lamented that “Chinese culture places little importance on learning swimming skills.” Drowning is the first accidental killer of children under 14 in China, according to the World Health Organization.

There have been a number of incidents in recent years in China in which passers-by have ignored those in distress, apparently – at least in part – due to a widespread perception that if someone intervenes, they There is a chance that this person is responsible for the hospital costs. or otherwise held legally responsible.

Some cases, often those in which a video of the tragedy went viral – such as when a toddler was hit by a car and ignored in 2011 or when a man beat his wife to death on the street in the month last – caused waves of national soul. -research.

In March 2017, in response to such incidents, China passed its first “Good Samaritan” law, offering some legal protection to those who voluntarily offer emergency assistance to others. The law was intended to ease people’s reluctance to get involved, but some say attitudes have been slow to change.

Amy Chang Chien and Amy Qin contributing to the reports.

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