Hit-and-Run and the “Free” Virtual News

November 11, 2010

A friend sent me two e-mails about hit & run killings in China.

ChinaSMACK said a foreigner driving drunk and without a license, hit a 23-year old Yiwu girl crossing a street in a crosswalk. 

If you believe the Chinese media is completely controlled and censored, you may be surprised to learn that ChinaSMACK is a daily-updated collection of translated Internet content from the Chinese-language Internet.

ChinaSMACK covers stories, pictures, videos, and topics that have become very popular and have spread across China’s major BBS forums, social networking websites, or through forwarded e-mails sent between normal Chinese people every day.

Since starting in July 2008, ChinaSMACK now attracts over 930,000 visits and over 2,300,000 page views each month featuring a vibrant community of commenters.

ChinaSMACK did not identify the foreigner (laowai), who was driving drunk without a license. The victim was thrown over 20 meters (more than 65 feet), and she died in the hospital.

The laowai sped away from the scene to avoid being caught, but the Chinese police tracked him down and arrested him.

The victim’s family is poor and her father died three years ago.

The first two comments to the ChinaSMACK post said, “If you had hit a person, you too would be arrested and administratively detained first and then what should be done will be done. Laowai cannot escape Chinese legal punishment.”

“Our country’s criminal law does not put foreigners outside of our country’s criminal law. As long as the foreigner does something that matches a crime in our country’s criminal law, then the foreigner cannot escape the criminal laws punishment.”

This news clip talks about drunk driving and hit-and-run accidents in China

The next story is about the killing of a 20-year-old college girl in another hit-and-run.  When confronted, it was reported that the drunk driver yelled, “My father is Li Gang!” 

Li Gang is a high-ranking police officer and a member of the Communist Party. The victim was the daughter of a 49-year-old peasant from rural China.

The father of the victim said in an interview, “I’m just a peasant.  If it is unfair, let it be.”

However, an angry Chinese public on the Internet overruled the victim’s father and refused to “let it be.”  Although there have been many hit-and-run accidents in Hubei province, there was anger at China’s powerful elite and the arrogance of some children of money and power.

Arab News and the Washington Post both reported that the fathers met and Li Gang offered compensation to the victim’s father. The other choice was to have a trial, which may result in a death sentence for Li Gang’s son.

Now that the hit-and-run by Li Gang’s son is international news and all over the Internet in China, there are people in the Communist Party with more power than Li Gang that may want to see justice done. I am thinking of people such as Bo Xilai, a member of China’s Central Committee, and a man famous and popular for cracking down on crime.

However, the rich, powerful and famous often escape punishment for horrible crimes. For an example, I offer you Senator Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick incident of alleged drunk driving that caused the death of Mary Jo Kopechne.

Then there is a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle about Dominick Dunne and his 22 year old daughter that was murdered by her estranged boyfriend.

“When I attended the trial of the man who killed my daughter, what I saw was appalling,” said Dunne. “I realized that the rights of the defendant on trial exceeded the rights of the victim who had been killed…”

If you want to learn more about the rich, powerful and famous escaping punishment for horrible crimes, read about Claus von Bulow or William Kennedy Smith.

Is there a difference between China and America when it comes to justice for the rich and powerful?

Learn more about Growing China’s Legal System


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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The Power of Debate in China

April 29, 2010

“The news triggered a heated debate that was played out all over the Chinese-language media and on the Internet. Eventually, the government backed down, and it’s been left up to industry groups to figure out new guidelines.” Source: Gr-r-r-r! Why I hate China’s e-bikes

This quote from Adrienne Mong, an NBC News Producer, caught my eye. Gasp! Is this evidence from a Western Media source that the people of China have a voice and use it? I hope Adrienne doesn’t lose her job for this slip.

This sounds like America where public debates often have an impact on public policy even if that impact is negative since the majority rules—well, in theory, since in America the majority is often ignored while we constantly hear from “loud” minorities. Take the Tea Bag people, who represent less than 15% of the population, as an example. I wish they’d shut up.

Every time I’ve been in China, we walk, take taxis or use the subways.  We don’t bike, but I have admired the electric bikes.  This is the first I’ve heard of an e-bike without lights.

bicycle and an Audi 80 collide in China

Considering that America loses about 45,000 people a year to highway deaths and, according to Adrienne Mong, China loses twice that with almost five times the population, I’m surprised the numbers for road kill in China are not higher. Many of the drivers in China are crazy. The busy streets look more like an NFL game in the Super Bowl. I’ve often observed that red lights are ignored and crossing any street and sometimes even using sidewalks is risky.

Also see, Where Did All that Pollution Come From?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.