In late October 2011, China was captivated by the distressing case of two-year-old Foshan girl Xiao Yueyue (小悦悦), who was coldly ignored by passersby as she lay bleeding in the street after being struck by a delivery van. Video shared widely across social media in China documented the October 13 incident in horrifying detail, including at least 18 people walking past Xiao Yueyue’s body without so much as a glance. Xiao Yueyue died in the hospital on October 21, 2011. Her case sparked a nationwide discussion in China about ethics, morality and social responsibility. One specific debate in Guangdong province, where the Xiao Yueyue case occurred, was over the legal aspects of the problem of “watching people die and not lifting a hand to save them” (见死不救) in Chinese society. Some experts and leaders in Guangdong talked about the need for a law holding people responsible for not acting to help those in danger. In the following cartoon, which illustrated a feature page on the Xiao Yueyue case at, a crowd of Chinese looks on as though at a circus spectacle as someone drowns in a pond.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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