What happened to little Yue Yue was entirely predictable

Over the past week, China has been convulsed by a video that shows a little girl — 2 years old — clad in pink trousers, struck by two vans and then ignored by over a dozen passers-by, who cavalierly stepped around her broken, bleeding body:

Little Yue Yue has since died, but China, in an embarrassed way, is trying to come to terms with what her death means.   The MSM  helpfully hints that the problem is China’s burgeoning capitalism:

China’s economic boom and the growing disparity between the rich and poor have made changing social values a contentious topic, with some lamenting what they see as materialism replacing morals.

The same article gets a little closer to the mark, in the last paragraph, when it suggests that China’s willingness to impose severe punishment on people makes them disinclined to get involved:

Many people in China are hesitant to help people who appear to be in distress for fear that they will be blamed. High-profile lawsuits have ended with good Samaritans ordered to pay hefty fines to individuals they sought to help.

I’d like to suggest another possible societal paradigm:  China’s one child policy.  This policy says that urban, married couples may have only one child.  Approximately 40% of China’s population is subject to this policy.  The government takes it very seriously, going so far as to force abortions of full term babies on unwilling women:

During the past week, dozens of women in southwest China have been forced to have abortions even as late as nine months into the pregnancy, according to evidence uncovered by NPR.

China’s strict family planning laws permit urban married couples to have only one child each, but in some of the recent cases — in Guangxi Province — women say they were forced to abort what would have been their first child because they were unmarried. The forced abortions are all the more shocking because family planning laws have generally been relaxed in China, with many families having two children.

Liang Yage and his wife Wei Linrong had one child and believed that — like many other couples — they could pay a fine and keep their second baby. Wei was 7 months pregnant when 10 family planning officials visited her at home on April 16.

Liang describes how they told her that she would have to have an abortion, “You don’t have any more room for maneuver,” he says they told her. “If you don’t go [to the hospital], we’ll carry you.” The couple was then driven to Youjiang district maternity hospital in Baise city.

“I was scared,” Wei told NPR. “The hospital was full of women who’d been brought in forcibly. There wasn’t a single spare bed. The family planning people said forced abortions and forced sterilizations were both being carried out. We saw women being pulled in one by one.”

The couple was given a consent agreement to sign. When Liang refused, family planning officials signed it for him. He and his wife are devout Christians — he is a pastor — and they don’t agree with abortion.

The officials gave Wei three injections in the lower abdomen. Contractions started the next afternoon, and continued for almost 16 hours. Her child was stillborn.

The above story is from a few years ago, but it could have happened last year too:

A pregnant woman in China was detained, beaten and forced to have an abortion just a month before her due date because the baby would have violated the country’s one-child limit, her husband said today.

Luo Yanquan, a construction worker, said his wife was taken kicking and screaming from their home by more than a dozen people on 10 October and detained in a clinic for three days by family planning officials, then taken to a hospital and injected with a drug that killed her baby.

Usually it doesn’t come to actual government coercion. Why not? Because the Chinese people themselves, knowing that they’re limited to one baby, and rejoicing in a culture that values only boys, take matters into their own hands, routinely aborting female babies, a disgusting practice that has earned it’s own name of “gendercide“:

By the year 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women of marriageable age in this giant empire, so large and so different (its current population is 1,336,410,000) that it often feels more like a separate planet than just another country. Nothing like this has ever happened to any civilisation before.

Yuan Quan slipped into a busy down-market establishment in a grim and basic part of town, with a flourishing market for stolen bicycles just outside, and the police looking the other way.

She asked the abortionist if he ever aborted boys. He gaped. ‘Are you mad?’ he almost shouted, ‘Nobody aborts boys unless they are deformed. Girls are what we abort.’

This cheap and squalid storefront business offers abortions from around £10. Scans, which reveal a baby’s sex, cost a fiver. True, this is a rough neighbourhood, but similar businesses flourish in more respectable districts as well.

They usually start from £20, while supposedly painless procedures can go up to about £200.

The authorities, who have no moral objection to abortion itself, have been known to force women to have abortions in their ninth month of pregnancy to keep to the one-child policy.

They cannot really complain about the huge numbers of legal, commercial abortionists. Nor can they do much to ban the cheap portable scanning machines which detect the sex of the baby and condemn so many unborn girls to death.

Once you know more about China’s attitude to girls, it is surprising that so many survive.

So was it capitalism that deadened those drivers and passers-by to the death of one little girl, or was it a culture that traditionally devalues girls and that has, for thirty years, had enforced a government policy that, inevitably, means that girls are killed in utero?  If girls are so valueless in utero, why should their value increase ex utero?  The message that Chinese citizens have absorbed is simple:  Don’t get involved as a general matter because the government is likely to come after you — and considering the risk, you should especially avoid getting involved with a manifestly disposable citizen, i.e., one little girl in bright pink trousers.

 

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Comments

  1. Danny Lemieux says

    You are all soooo wrong about China.

    Why, not long ago we had an alphabet-soup commentator lauding the absolute modernistic moral miracle of China. He knew it was so. He had visited and seen with his own eyes. He had seen the future and the future worked! 

    You aren’t seriously suggesting that he could have been wrong, are you? 
     

  2. Charles Martel says

    Danny, I just saw your comment about abc. Given his druthers, I never doubted that he would gladly join America’s nomenklatura if, God forbid, such a dark night were to descend on this country.

  3. says

    Two things puzzle me about this affair:

    1) The woman who came to You-You’s aid was a street cleaner. I wonder if she would have helped if her job was not street cleaning.

    2) The driver of the first van telephoned the father to offer money as compensation. The father said he should he should turn himself in to the police. The van driver said he wouldn’t do that because he didn’t want to get involved.    

  4. says

    Materialism long replaced traditional Chinese morality when the modern revolutionary called the Great Sage Mao came into existence. And Mao is still deemed a great “reformer” by Chinese schools and propaganda.

  5. Dennis Elliott says

    The idea that this depraved, odious culture will ever overtake ours is ridiculous on its face. This whole incident, to me, is brought to a bright point when the “street cleaner” picked up the baby, obviously alive and in pain, by her armpits and callously tossed her in the roadside trash. They are a contemptible people.

    I was struck by the incongruity of that disgusting story appearing on the same day as this one:
     
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/woman-dies-of-cancer-after-refusing-treatment-to-save-unborn-child

  6. SADIE says

    I first read of the horrific and sad story on a economic blog. The reader response garnered more than 100 comments. One in particular was highlighted below.
     
    A reader, who lives in China part of the year with his Chinese wife, comments in part here and you can read the rest at the link.
     
    The first driver in the video didn’t come down, but tried to kill the little girl instead, because he knew that killing someone in an accident would probably involve a lump sum and maybe sometime in the prison, whereas being responsible for her medical bills would mean bankrupting his family. The legal system, which is enacted by and for the governing elites, is inefficient (at best) and corrupted, especially any level of governments are involved (and they are involved in almost everything). From their own observations, many people lose hope; many turn cynical; and even more just become numb. Avoiding uncertainty at all cost is not a bad strategy to protect oneself. A media friend of ours who lives in Shanghai calls the current time in China “The Carnival before the Judgement Day”.
     http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/10/must-see-heart-wrenching-video-of-moral.html
     
     

  7. Mike Devx says

    Sadie,
    Your article reminds me of a discussion here in Books room several months back concerning the US court system.  To wit: The Court System is *not* your friend.  It is its own bureaucratic friend, and the two attorneys are adverserial towards each other, each trying to win.  You, as a witness, are material for  the grist mill.  The system is not your friend.  Have your story straight, stick precisely to the facts, offer nothing beyond exactly what is required.

    They are not there for the Truth, they are not there for Justice.

    So now let’s consider China.  In China, one overarching rule still serves: An individual exists to serve the State. That is endemic to any such country and culture.  So I can certainly understand why people avert their eyes, refuse to help, do nothing to help.  It is extremely dangerous to get involved, in any way, with anything.

    That’s sad.  But it’s true.  When Government controls you, instead of the other way around, that is where you end up.  The same is slowly happening to us in the USA, as each year passes.  Everything is more and more controlled under the government miasma, and each new day is imperceptibly grayer; each new year grayer and darker and less free.
     

  8. SADIE says

     
    Mike, I do indeed remember. A friend of mine was involved in an out-of-state auto accident and has a hearing next week. I asked her if she was bringing an attorney (she wasn’t sure). I told her almost the same thing you wrote below. I think I’ll cut, paste and send your reminder, since your put such clarity to it.
     
    China has always been its own worst enemy.
     
     
     

  9. Charles Martel says

    “China has always been its own worst enemy.”


    Amen. Doomed perpetually to be “the country that almost could.” It almost invented science, it almost invented modern warfare, it almost invented a decent ethical system, it almost invented food that sticks to your stomach.

  10. SADIE says

    – Average Chinese Female Height 5’4″; Weight 125 Pounds; Chest
    31″; Waist 28″; Low Hip 35″

    — Average U.S. Female Height 5’4″; Weight 155 Pounds; Chest 37″;
    Waist 34″; Low Hip 42″

    — Average Chinese Male Height 5’8″; Weight 145 Pounds; Chest
    35″; Waist 31″; Low Hip 36″

    — Average U.S. Male Height 5’9″; Weight 191 Pounds; Chest 41;
    Waist 37; Low Hip 41″
     
    Depends on the size of your stomach ;)

  11. Mike Devx says

    The discussion back then centered around police officer testimony, if I remember correctly.  And it comes back to an even earlier discussion of stereotype vs traits.

    You’ll find good conscientious judges and lawyers within the system.  But you can’t RELY on being lucky enough for them to happen to you, is the point.  Similarly, I’m sure you’ll find caring welfare workers (when they can take the time to even care beneath their enormous workloads).  

    Or caring people within the vast Medicare bureaucracy; I’m sure they exist too.  But you can’t RELY on being lucky enough for one of them to be assigned to you.  My neighbor has horror stories about the Medicare bureaucracy, and waste and even corruption and probable criminal false charging, that she’s observed.

    I may be a cynic, I suppose.  I assume this has been true of every “system” or systematic bureaucracy we’ve lived under or lived with, from the dawn of human city-based civilization.
     

  12. SADIE says

    Some of you may remember the author linked below, who commented here during the time of abc and z. Although he does not post often to his own blog, when he does it’s quite a read. This one, “Why China is not going to be a Superpower” is a historical and cultural look into the Middle Kingdom. I’ve cut and pasted this paragraph for obviously reasons for this thread.
     
     
    Chinese society has been based on a system of hierarchical relationships within the family unit since the time of our earliest evidence regarding their culture. Age was superior to youth, men to women, and rulers to subjects. Thus within the family, children are always inferior to parents, wives to husbands, sisters to brothers, younger brothers to elder brothers, and so on. The father figure controlled all family assets and held ultimate authority over his offspring; he could sell them into slavery if he desired or kill them for improper conduct. Moreover, these relationships were essentially fixed in perpetuity; that is, one was (in theory) always inferior to one’s ancestors and superior to one’s descendants.
     
    http://cowenjohnson.blogspot.com/

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