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This post was edited by jiayangguizi8 at 2013-3-25 01:46|
There have been several cases in the past where people have helped those in need of consideration, and have ended up being a culprit themselves.
Those who were in need exploited the judiciary system and accused the people who helped so that they could be rewarded with money. So, many people now fear helping others, in case they are wrongly accused.
The case that seems to repeat the most is the one where someone is knocked down by a vehicle, the driver flees the scene, someone comes to help and he/she gets accused by the victim in exchange of money.
For the anecdote, I had an accident two years ago when I took a curve and landed on the ground after hitting the duffel bag of a woman who was walking in the two-wheel lane instead of the adjacent pedestrian lane, which left me with a nasty chronic back pain. The woman and her friend were obviously migrant workers, so I didn't want to take action against her (there was no good samaritan who came to my rescue anyway!). So, I told her that from now on, she should be careful with where she chooses to walk on the street. She replied with a "this is China, we can walk on the two-wheel lane if we want to!". And after suggesting that we both went to the police, she agreed to take the advice and hopefully avoid a future accident.
As for the people who are unwilling to help, it might also be an aftermath of the "first come first served" mentality during famine days, where people were only caring about their own survival.
Every time I have helped people under the eye of my local friends, they always told me that Chinese people would think that only a stupid person would do so, even if it's with something very banal.
Notice how people can sometimes get quite surprised or reply with a coarse "bu yong!" when you give a simple "xie xie" after they give you a service (taxi, cashier etc...). Also, notice how stories with simple acts of kindness that end up well often make the news and touch readers/viewers; meaning it's something uncommon.