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Editor's Note: The following article was translated and edited from an article that appeared on the iFeng news site with supplements from a related article from Wenxuecity.com. The article concerns a recent incident in Shandong Province in which a foreign teacher threw a five-year-old Chinese girl in a swimming pool, distressing the child and her family. After a lengthy argument, the man finally agreed to apologize and pay the family 20,000 RMB as compensation.
The foreigner who threw the child is escorted away by police
On July 1st, the Qilu Evening Post reported on a New Zealand man throwing a 5-year-old girl in a swimming pool, a story that has since made significant waves on the Chinese internet. Under the terms of the agreement between the man and the girl's family, the man is to apologize and pay 20,000 RMB in compensation.
Ms. Tian, mother of Dongdong, the thrown girl, spoke to reporters on July 2nd. After the incident, Ms. Tian and the authorities watched the security camera footage, and confirmed that, after Dongdong swam close enough, the man took her and raised her high in the air before throwing her back down into the meter-deep water, causing her to almost hit the floor of the pool. After Dongdong returned to the surface, she was retrieved by a Chinese man. According to Ms. Tian, "She didn't just fly safely from the foreign man to the Chinese man's arms; that's why we're all so upset."
"Money's not the issue; the issue is that the foreign man was being completely inappropriate," Ms. Tian added.
Family seek punishment; compensation deal reached
After the incident, Dongdong's family had difficulties coming to an agreement with the man. According to Ms. Tian, the man and his family repeatedly pleaded with her to take pity on their financial situation: "They said he worked at Shandong Finance and Economics University, only makes 5,000 RMB a month, just had an operation, basically that money was tight. But we didn't budge. The offense wasn't enough to get him arrested, but we just couldn't let him off without some kind of punishment, teaching him some sort of lesson." Eventually the two sides reached an agreement in which the man would pay 20,000 RMB to the family.
According to Ms. Tian, Dongdong's grandmother was shocked and physically distressed by the incident, forcing her to lie down immediately upon returning home. Dongdong was also visibly troubled, refusing to sleep alone: "She curled up with her grandmother, talking and calling out for her mother in her sleep."
"The foreign man's wife wanted to come with her husband to our home and apologize in person, but I was afraid Dongdong and her grandmother would become too upset upon seeing him, so at the time I said no," Ms. Tian told reporters.
Identity of the foreign man revealed
Sources have identified the New Zealand man's Chinese name as Wu Side, a teacher at Shandong Finance and Economics University, whose teaching contract is set to expire in August of this year.
On the afternoon of the 2nd, the director of foreign affairs office at the university told reporters, "Wu Side is in fact employed at the university as a foreign teacher, and we know that he underwent heart surgery in February. Because of his age and his health condition, after much deliberation we'd already decided to cancel his foreign expert permit. Now, considering the incident with the girl, we've decided not to renew his contract."
The university also told reporters that, until his eventual departure, the school will continue to expect him to follow Chinese legal and ethical codes.
Wang Wei, senior attorney for Shandong's Qianshun law firm, told reporters that anyone who breaks the law, be he/she foreign or Chinese, is susceptible to incarceration, fines, and/or education. "However, seeing as the man in question inflicted no harm upon the girl, the situation does not warrant an arrest. The agreement with Wu Side paying compensation to the family is a lawful and reasonable arrangement."
Reporters talked to one of the man's students, Lin, who has taken one of his classes and found him to be very knowledgeable about China, but only an "average" teacher. Lin also said the man, known to students as "Phillips", lives in the same apartment building as students and likes to discuss politics with students in class. "He's active in a lot of administrative groups on campus, so lots of students know him. When we heard the description of the foreign man in the news, we figured it must have been him."
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Keywords: foreign teacher swimming pool Shandong foreign teacher case
We’ve all seen it, everywhere we go, nearly every day: an American man with a Chinese woman on his arm. We’ve also heard the stories from the foreign man’s perspective about all the cultural differences and the interesting exchanges. But what do these relationships look like from the other side? ...
Well, I think this is at least the crime of assault so the foreigner should face legal and/or monetary penalties.
I'm more worried about my Chinese friend who was attacked by another Chinese woman and got severe scratches to her face. The police would not even lift a finger to help her.
"at least the crime of assault." That is a bunch of nonsense!! :( Regarding your friend that received all the facial scratches from the mental case Chinese..NOW THAT'S ASSAULT..I agree with you. * Now, you see how it feels..usually the police here don't care about what happens to a foreign person..i could be attacked by a Chinese citizen and I'm sure that the police would do nothing..just like in the case of your friend! :( I do genuinely feel sorry about what happened to your Chinese friend..that's horrendous! :(
Yes, I have a sneaking suspicion that the girl was having fun before this incident, and then her parents saw an opportunity. Foreigners are a pretty easy target, legally, and it's also very easy for Chinese news "reports" to whip up anti-foreigner hysteria.
Foreign teachers are indeed barred from discussing politics. A fact that has no bearing on this incident, but it was obviously added to make readers boo and hiss at the bad guy.
I'm ashamed to be a NewZealander! What a dickhead... No matter what, there's no excuse for what he did. Yes, there are two sides to a story but what could a 5 yr old child have done to deserve to be thrown into a pool? According to our newspaper, she walked past and knocked his leg! Duh!! So what? Get over it!
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