Do Chinese people lack compassion?

16:39, October 14, 2009      

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Recently a group of photos, of a dog "asking for help" from pedestrians for her injured companion were reproduced by Japanese media and attracted much concern from netizens.

However, Japanese websites deliberately connected these pictures with Chinese human nature, saying that they reflected that Chinese people have "no love".


This immediately started a hot discussion on the Internet in China. Some people recognized this, some refuted it, and some exposed Japanese shortcomings. Some even suggested that Chinese should carry out comprehensive reflection on its own society, education and human nature.

"I felt ashamed to look at these pictures, especially the last one. It seems that what Mr. Luxun said about Chinese people's psychology of standing-by has never faded is right", a Netizen said.

"The spectators should be criticized… When a dog lay injured on the road and its companion desperately asked for help from passers-by no one offered a hand. However, someone felt interested at this and took photos with mobile phone…. Neglecting to love is indeed shameful, and we, as contemporary people, should reflect on this", said another netizen.

But others gave their different views. "People took photos because they are moved by the true love of dogs and Japanese really confused right and wrong".


Some people said the only incident can not prove all Chinese people lack compassion. "Chinese people's compassion was completely demonstrated during the snow havoc and the May 12 earthquake in 2008. However, Japanese love has also been known to people around the world during the World War II.

Netizens then spoke of Japanese people's hunting of whales and dolphins. "How many whales and dolphins have bee killed by Japanese every year? They are not qualified to say Chinese people show a lack of love"

Some netizens said it does not show Chinese people lack love, but they would not design to offer their hands and could not escape the mentality of acting like the mass do.

Also some Internet users questioned the authenticity of the proposition: only see a few pictures, we can not judge the final results; did those people really leave after taking photos?


Generally, the majority of netizens accepted the criticism and believed Chinese people should reflect.

An online poll conducted by Global Times shows as of 8 pm on Oct., 13, 75.9 percent of people (2,529 votes) would accept the criticism, 17.5 percent of people (584 votes) would not and 6.5 percent of people (217 votes) selected "cannot tell".

Many netizens said Chinese people should reflect on society, education and human nature. We should strengthen education on affection, said a netizen. A mature nation should humbly accept criticism.

By People's Daily Online
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