If contemporary China had a national martyr, it would’ve been Peng Yu. In 2006 he was stepping off a Nanjing bus when he saw an old woman had fallen to the ground. While others passed her by, Peng not only helped her up, he took her to the hospital and even paid her bill. In thanks, the old woman sued him for injuries sustained when he allegedly knocked her to the ground. The story became a media sensation, and in the years following, Peng Yu’s name was always the first to be uttered when strangers failed to come to the aid of an injured stranger in China. Hundreds if not thousands of articles have been written about the case and the phenomenon.
And now, they’re all going to have to be revised. Because, on Monday, Peng Yu confessed to knocking over that old woman, after all.
It’s hard to overestimate the shock value packed into that revelation. But I do my best to distill it in this week’s column over at Bloomberg View, “China’s Infamous Good Samaritan Case Gets a New Ending.” I hope you’ll take a look.
And, if I don’t get around to saying it next week, best wishes to all of my readers in the Year of the Dragon. My sense is that it’s going to be a good one.