Australian Foreigner Locked Up For a Year After Fending Off Intruders

Australian Foreigner Locked Up For a Year After Fending Off Intruders
Apr 03, 2013 By

It seems like becoming involved in conflict—no matter the circumstance—always ends up badly for foreigners in China, as Carl Mather, a 54-year-old Australian English teacher was recently charged with assault after fending off four intruders in his Nanjing home.

Back in November, Mather, who has a wife and child, answered his door to Gao Long, a man he knew, when three assailants sprang out of nowhere and all forced their way in, demanding to see his wife, Xie Qun. Fearing for his family’s safety, Mather used a kitchen knife in self-defence, slashing one of the men. Xie is a well-known businesswoman in Nanjing and the dispute was likely over money.

After the incident, Mather was detained and given a year-long jail sentence, which will be followed by deportation. Meanwhile, the intruders have yet to be investigated. Xie stated that since his arrival in Nanjing as a teacher a decade ago, Mather has been a “star,” dedicating much of his free time to helping students with their English at the English Corner near Nanjing University.

See also: Welsh Singer Removed from China’s Got Talent by Officials

Source: Hao Hao Report

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Keywords: Australian teacher Nanjing foreigner jailed in China Carl Mather


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Coming from America racism is nothing new to me, but I am often apalled at the blatant racism I see weekly if not daily in my travels across China. Thats not to say that I see it from everyone, however the levels of racial hatred that I see are so infinitely deep it pains me. Moreover that which I find on the internet literally knots my stomach. This whole notion of "This is China" that is used as a stereotypical validation of actions that those who speak the words are deeply ashamed of even as they pass their lips. Cross cultural relations are always complex, even without a language barrier. Factoring in a language barrier only amplifies said complexities. What really intrigues me is the willingness of Chinese men who are so eager to point out any concieved character flaw of a foreign man with urgent haste. This is indicative of a glaring lack of self esteem and confidence. Something I find painful due to the general fact that if an adult has not developed such character traits by their early adulthood they will never manage to develop them. I cannot speak for every other "western" male, I can only speak for myself. Having said that I didn't come to China for women, or for beer, or for anything other than to impact some lives and to help the world become more global. Wether it be right or wrong I would have stood my ground to these thugs as well, especially if my fiance or a child was involved. Negotiations are not to be made by shouting. They should be made calmly and articulately on neutral ground. If you cannot find the intelligence and civility in that then I pitty you Mr 779. Furthermore you cannot negotiate with someone who doesn't want to hear what you have to say. There is a word for doing so, it's called harassment, and in this case home invasion as well. I think being proud of your culture is great, don't get me wrong. Being blinded by it's dogma, or the rhetoric of anything, only illustrates an inability to think in a critical capacity and a propensity for being manipulated. That is all. Think globally, act locally.

Jul 20, 2013 03:55 Report Abuse



So, most of you so-called tough guys out there would have shot/stabbed/maimed/given-a-wedgie to these alleged intruders? I'm sure you would've...and you'd be sent up for a minimum of 20 years which, actually, isn't a bad thing because the less alcoholic, numb-nut foreigners there are walking around in public, the better it is for China. But hey, if westerners weren't so dimwitted and actually tried to learn a thing or two about Chinese culture, then they'd be better off. Case in point: if CHINESE guys barge their way into your house because they have business with another Chinese person on the premises, then you gotta realize that all the yelling and posturing they do is just for 'face.' So what you do is this: invite them to sit down, get them something to drink, call your wife/partner to come sit down with you, and then SHUT THE HELL UP and let your wife/partner do the talking because foreigners are generally too stupid and lazy to learn proper Chinese, so let a native speaker handle the discussion. And it may take a few hours, but the problem will eventually get sorted out and you won't be locked up for doing something idiotic like slashing someone with a knife. Look, folks, Chinese culture has been around for 2000 years and it isn't going anywhere. But all you grumbling foreigners can go somewhere if you're annoyed/pissed off/angry about living in China. You can always go back to your home country. So why don't you?

Jun 21, 2013 00:49 Report Abuse



basically foreigners can never win in China, if Chinese go to the U.K. they are treated better than the locals but here its opposite. I learnt one thing, if you have a problem, don't call the police. cut ur losses and go home, cos its only gonna get 10 times worse

Apr 10, 2013 02:17 Report Abuse



This is just plain shameful. Great article - keep them coming!

Apr 07, 2013 06:25 Report Abuse



those 3 guys deserved to be shot in the face ,,,,

Apr 06, 2013 22:33 Report Abuse



only foreigners can understand this....the man is the protector of his family...anyway urging with Chinese or pro Chinese law" activists" is pointless...its sad to know at this time and age people entrusted to maintain law and order can have such a low thinking capacity

Apr 06, 2013 14:44 Report Abuse



Similar in Japan. A foreinger I know who has lived there 16 years says, ..."doesn't matter if you are wrong or right, you are wrong".

Apr 05, 2013 15:44 Report Abuse



Everyone in Nanjing who is for this guy should be visiting him,encouraging him,and helping him now when he needs it.If enough expats raised up a protest about this it could help things improve between us and them.

Apr 04, 2013 22:39 Report Abuse



I am an Australian and we're getting a long list of Australians locked up for daring to have successful businesses Here's a few more facts from a high-standard Australian newspaper called the Sydney Morning Herald The 54-year-old Australian English teacher opened the door of his Nanjing apartment to a man he knew, Gao Long, but three others sprang from hiding places and forced their way in. They were demanding to see his wife, Xie Qun, in a language he couldn't understand, and he feared they would abduct their daughter for leverage in an ongoing dispute over money and pride. One of the biggest of the intruders pushed against his throat and the others beat his upper body. In desperation he ran to pick up a stick - but they grabbed it from him - and then a kitchen knife. Since November, Mr Mather has spent his days in a bedroom-size Chinese prison cell, shared with 15 men, while the assailants have never been investigated. Read more:

Apr 04, 2013 15:14 Report Abuse



I didn't even realize that they didn't have complaining witnesses. so lesson to learn here is do not go to the police. get the hell out of dodge. this guy was seriously screwed over. the aussie govt should put a halt to exports from china until this guy is released. this is not a matter of chinese law because clearly chinese law wasn't even followed.

Apr 06, 2013 21:18 Report Abuse



I have to add a bit of logic to this debate (something the Chinese legal system obviously didn't)... how can the guy go to jail for assault, when they don't have a 'victim' to prove he assaulted someone?? The guy's arm he (purportedly) slashed hasn't been found... thus, the only 'evidence' for this is the Aussie guy's word. And he goes to jail for a year for (potentially) making up some story about 3 guys invading his home and defending himself with a knife... I mean, back home, you actually need the assault victim to make the complaint to the police that they'd been assaulted... here, apparently, you can just talk to the police and say you've done something to get convicted.

Apr 04, 2013 14:00 Report Abuse



What can we do to help this guy?? Us foreigners need to help each other! Whats the bail? Surely there´s something we can do to help! Even visit to give clothes or something!

Apr 04, 2013 12:18 Report Abuse



Fact is also that the man used a knife, could he have created less damage to the 3 people? These kind of questions should be discussed in a fair trial, how much damage did he cause vs. the damage they did. And was it money dispute or something else? Why did they even enter the home? All those questions should be asked during a FAIR trial, with a judge, a jury, and lawyers! On top of all that, bloggers and people who are interested should be allowed to see the trial publicly. But here placing so many opinions and personal attacks - it's useless, only proves why China is still censoring comments because people clearly still need to develop their critical thinking skills and learn the difference between fact and fiction, that goes for foreigners too! On top of that, most of us foreigners do not really see the whole picture of China, we have to let China deal with its own problems, this is not our fight! All we can do is peacefully assist China find it's roots again and include modern thinking! That is why this man should have a fair trial, and that is why these 3 guys should be found and also put on trial!

Apr 04, 2013 10:51 Report Abuse



Most of these comments, are personal attacks and opinions! Let's talk about facts: 3 unwanted males forcefully enter a private property and threaten a female. We don't know what they would have done had the husband not been home. So we can't think in theory. Fact is they tried forceful entry, which was stopped by the husband. It was NOTHING like the husband went out and searched for those 3 guys, which would make him guilty! In the west you have the right for self defense if attacked. This is exactly what happened. It was self defense! So what I conclude from this is that the law system in China is massively flawed, but because of history there is, understandably, a great distrust in foreigners being violent! What should happen is this man should have a fair trial! It would clearly show that China's judicial system has advanced, but this proves that it is still a medieval system. Instead of writing stupid comments that attack each other, you must ask yourself what country you live in that has such medieval laws! It could happen to anyone! So what can you suggest to improve this? Keep peace and harmony and use your brain not your emotions to discuss!

Apr 04, 2013 10:21 Report Abuse



My belief in the stupidity of the Chinese government has been restored - particularly the police force. Let's see....incident was November, that's 4 months and they haven't found the perps yet. It was easier to arrest the Aussie because he didn't run off. Less work and they could still turn on their sirens and be home for lunch!

Apr 04, 2013 08:44 Report Abuse



This really makes me sad for the guy and his family.

Apr 04, 2013 01:03 Report Abuse



@Guest314114 That's such a nonsense you're saying that you prove you have no brain nor soul the same way you look to be nobody behind your guest number. Actually you are no heart and soul, only a number and of course a coward because you hide your lack of identity behind that number. You idiot! Comments like yours makes me lose faith in humans. Comments like yours should be banned from this website. It makes me feel ashamed that I am sharing this space with people like you. And, yes, you are a shame for the people of your kind. If you don't believe me ask somebody you love so much what would he, she, they think about your stupid answer to such tragedy. No offense to other guests who in this situation share their anger at your lack of sympathy, compassion, common sense and humanity.

Apr 03, 2013 23:01 Report Abuse