On the edge of a slippery rock, a young woman loses her leg and falls into the river. Moments later, she drifts and then floats down in the face as a jerk, shouting, “Hurry up, hurry up, save her!”
Within seconds, a man takes off his shoes, jumps off a ledge and swims towards it, lifting his head from the water as he puts it on shore.
The man, Stephen Ellison, is the British Consul General in Chongqing, China, and has been widely revered as a hero on Chinese social media following the rapid spread of the video that surfaced on Saturday. The reactionary response to the diplomatic actions intensified amid the strained relations between Beijing and London over the national security law imposed on Hong Kong, a dispute over the initial handling of coronovirus and access to Chinese technology firm Huawei’s 5G wireless infrastructure in Britain.
The 61-year-old Mr. Ellison was visiting the ancient city of Chongqing, 75 miles south of Chongqing, on Saturday, the British LC said in a post on social media. WeChat platform.
In the video, recorded by a viewer and later shared by the British Embassy in Beijing, Mr. Ellison jumps off a ledge before swimming to the woman, who is swimming with her face in the water, barely moving. . In the background, a woman can be heard saying that the situation was “fortunate for this foreigner.”
Another viewer threw a life guard for Mr. Ellison, who caught him as he guided the woman to shore. A handful of people from the bank then helped him out of the water.
“The situation was critical,” the embassy said in its post. It noted that the woman had lost consciousness, but due to timely rescue, “soon came to breath and senses, and all was well.”
The embassy said that when Mr. Ellison, who had been appointed to his post this year, was back on dry ground, “he was well looked after by the local villagers,” who gave him a hot cup of coffee and gave him new clothes . A user on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform similar to Twitter, which Mr. Ellison called an “English gentleman”. Another called him a “friend of the Chinese people”.
But when Mr. Ellison was praised, other commentators focused on the fact that no local man had jumped in to save the woman and did little to help her escape.
“Not so many people jump to save the girl, but an alien waiting to jump to save her?” One person wrote.
“It was outrageous,” posted another. “Most of them were taking videos, and only a few of them were saving her, and the first one was a foreigner” !!!
Drowning is very common in China, where many people do not know how to swim; In a 2018 article on the problem, Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party newspaper, stated that “Chinese culture places little importance on learning swimming skills.” According to the World Health Organization, the number of children under 14 in China accidentally drowns killers.
There have been many incidents in China in recent years in which people have ignored people in distress, apparently – at least in part – due to the widespread belief that if someone intervenes, there is a chance that the person May be liable for hospital costs or otherwise held legally responsible.
A few examples, often those in which a video of the tragedy has gone viral – such as when a child collided with a car and was ignored in 2011 or when a man beat up his wife on the street last month Thi – which has inspired the waves of the national soul – by searching.
In March 2017, in response to such incidents, China adopted its first “Good Samaritan” law, which provides some legal protection to those who voluntarily provide emergency assistance to others. The law was intended to reduce people’s reluctance to include, but some say the pace of changes has been slow.
Amy Chang Chien And Amy Kin Contributed to reporting.