Zhang Lijia

Author Zhang Lijia discusses at CriEnglish the moral crisis of China, after the death of toddler Yueyue was overrun and ignored by bypassers triggered of a fierce debate. Is it time for a law to force citizens to rescue others, she wonders, among many other issues.

Zhang Lijia’s Weblog.

Legal enforcement, to start with. I am strongly in favour of introducing a law which imposes the duty to rescue – the only way to make people to take action. Of course it is not enough. There should be education.

Sure, China places so much emphasis on propaganda. But what the kids get at school have been political education instead of moral education. And the young people often find the heroes they are introduced to irrelevant, such as semi-fictionalized Lei Feng who supposedly went out every Sunday to do good things for strangers.  Some call Lei Feng rudely shabi, stupid c..t.

In the long-run, the state-sponsored and enforced laws may not work that well. Look at Mao era, only an authoritarian aberration. The incentive to become a Samaritan has to come from each individual. To reach that level, China needs to vigorously develop a civil society where the government can retreat a little bit and slowly and gradually plays a smaller role. And we need to introduce the idea of
humanitarianism – to show compassion to all fellow human beings, regardless of race or class,friends or strangers. Only in doing so that we can rise above the narrow confines of our net of guangxi.

The full radio program can be downloaded here.

More in her weblog.

More stories on Zhang Lijia at Storify.

Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request.

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