Debate over accident shows 'crisis of trust', experts say

Updated: 2013-12-05 02:52

By Hou Liqiang (China Daily)

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A "crisis of trust" fueled a heated discussion over now-disproved reports that a Chinese woman intentionally threw herself in front of a foreigner's motorbike on Tuesday to extort money from him, experts say.

Debate over accident shows 'crisis of trust', experts say

This photo showing an altercation between a Chinese woman and a foreigner who allegedly hit her with his motorbike on Monday was widely circulated online and has been the cause of heated debate. Provided to China Daily

The woman, surnamed Li, was knocked over by a foreigner when she was on a pedestrian crosswalk in Beijing's Chaoyang district on Monday morning. The woman and the foreigner then argued while many bystanders looked on.

The woman was taken to a hospital after police arrived. The foreigner later gave the woman 1,800 yuan ($295) as compensation in the hospital.

Meanwhile, a photographer who happened to pass by took pictures of the foreigner and the woman while they were arguing and uploaded them to an online photo platform.

Though the photographer didn't see the accident, he wrote in the photos' captions that the woman fell when a foreigner passed her on his motorbike and asked the foreigner to take responsibility for her fall when the foreigner came back to help her.

The pictures soon aroused much attention and became the hottest topic on Sina Weibo, a popular micro-blogging service.

The photos showed the woman holding the motorbike and trying to prevent the foreigner from leaving. One picture showed that the woman had torn the foreigner's coat.

The post also said the woman's hospital examination showed that she wasn't injured at all.

Many Internet users subsequently criticized the woman, saying she "lost face for all Chinese".

But their feelings changed when it was learned that the foreigner had really knocked the woman down.

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