Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Offering bus seats optional: survey


14:40, July 25, 2013

BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Most Chinese believe offering their seat while riding public transportation is optional, rather than compulsory, according to survey results published by the China Youth Daily on Wednesday.

About 70 percent of 1,597 surveyed people believe offering one's seat is optional, according to the survey.

In China, respecting the old and caring for the young is a traditional Confucian virtue. Refusing to offer one's seat to the elderly or children was previously considered a social faux pas.

However, conflicts and violence arising from disputes over seating have increased in recent years.

In August 2012, a young man in east China's city of Hangzhou was physically assaulted by another man for not offering his seat to the second man's wife, who was carrying an infant.

In March, an elderly man dragged a girl from her seat to the door of a bus and violently assaulted her before being stopped by other passengers.

The survey mentioned incidents similar to these, with 71 percent of respondents saying the attackers are more at fault than those who are unwilling to give up their seats.

"Choosing whether to offer one's seat or not is a moral issue. But when violence is involved, it becomes a legal issue," said Zhang Xiandong, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law.

"If you want to have a seat, you can try to communicate with others, but you can not force someone to give up his seat. The law protects the basic rights of everyone, including the freedom to not offer one's seat," said Zhang.

Nearly 58 percent of respondents suggested creating special seating on public transportation for the elderly, pregnant and disabled that is not allowed to be used by others.

Many buses in China already have such designated seating, although most people ignore the designation.

Feng Gang, associate dean of the Sociology department of Zhejiang University, said the seat conflicts reveal the absence of social norms and ethics, saying that many people are raised to look out for themselves first, rather than cooperate with others.

Although the vast majority of respondents said they have offered their seats before, they also said they are not always willing to do so, especially when they are not feeling well. [ "Once I had a fever and refused to give my seat to a mother who had her child with her, even though the bus conductor told me to do so several times," said Beijing resident Zhang Xiaodong.

Yi Lin, a sociologist at Xiamen University, said passengers who do not feel well enough to give up their seats should explain the situation to those who want their seat, as other passengers may be more willing to give up their own seats.

Yi said Chinese society is still an "acquaintance society" in that it lacks mature social covenants, adding that people should be more aware of the importance of self-education and introspection in order to help society evolve.

We Recommend:

San Francisco crash survivors come back home

China’s weekly story (2013.7.5-7.12)

A glimpse of residents' daily life in Sansha

Photos:The world's oldest woman

Students' survival challenge in a strange city

Fuzhou tops the list of hottest cities in China

Sea foods, a luxury bite in summer

College student car models show youthful vigor

Nightlife at Foxconn Zhengzhou park

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangJin、Gao Yinan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Bombers in real-combat drill

  2. Live fire drill of PLA Artillery Forces

  3. New prince makes first appearance

  4. Young graduates, owners of online shop

  5. The sand painting dream of a girl

  6. Dog survives after 30 hours buried in debris

  7. China tie South Korea at EAFF Asian Cup

  8. Awarding ceremony of 15th Taipei film festival

  9. China builds 'world's tallest building'

  10. Huawei H1 sales revenue up 10.8 pct

Most Popular


  1. Removal of deposit rate ceiling not imminent
  2. Feeble Japanese-Philippine 'axis' doomed
  3. Is high cost of studying abroad worthwhile?
  4. Central bank has limited role in real economy
  5. Ways to help labor working better
  6. Feeding Kenya through organic farming
  7. Filmmaker: Chinese like good movies set anywhere
  8. Multinationals' dependence on China grows
  9. Skipping breakfast may increase heart disease risk
  10. Economic restructuring helps China's growth

What’s happening in China

Dog survives after 30 hours buried in debris

  1. Children offered a helping hand
  2. Girl, 2, dies in parking dispute
  3. Retailer pulls knives after fatal attack
  4. Food safety insurance for wedding feasts
  5. Court upholds death sentence for baby killer