Looting, the Chinese way

Looting does not occur in Japan and looting does not occur on Taiwan. Neither does it occur in Singapore. Looting does occur very frequently on the Chinese mainland.

A thief in Sichuan dropped his stolen bag of coins. Before he was able to pick the coins up, a crowd rushed over the coins and picked them all clean.

A truck full of fruit flipped over in a highway accident in Guangzhou. “Villagers” who were standing nearby watching the crashed vehicles rushed up from along the highway, picked the fruit from the overturned truck and carried the fruit away.
There have been other incidents where such looting has occurred in China during the brief anti-Japanese riots.

The term “looting” is rendered in Chinese in various ways. One term is 哄抢 “hong qiang”, and another term is 趁火打劫 “chen huo da jie”. “Hong” means “to rush up to” and “qiang” means to “rob”. The term “hong qiang” is a very recent term. The traditional term is “chen huo da jie” which means “to take the opportunity of a fire to rob”.

The Chinese people have always been described as “tan Xiao pian yi”, “greedy for taking small advantages”. A typical example of this is the attempt by Chinese tourists to swipe silverware from on board a Singapore Airlines flight.

This mentality extends to copyright infringement and plagiarism which is practiced by many Chinese academicians, and even current Chinese president Xi Jinping has been accused of.

Looting generally occurs in chaotic situations such as in New Orleans during Katrina. It also seems to be characteristic of members of impoverished populations with poor or no education, and with no religious upbringing.

Those with proper moral religious education and upbringing do not loot. The only explanation for such looting behavior by ordinary “villagers” and bystanders on the streets in China seems to be a lack of moral education, a lack of religious education, and a lack of proper ethical upbringing.

A video documentary about life in North Korea described the humble demeanor of the North Korean people as being based on Confucianism. One does not look straight in the eye at other people. Many Korean owners of gas stations in America still retain that demeanor which to many in Western society seems very rude.

Looting does not occur in South Korea nor in Singapore either. It seems that in societies with traditional Confucianism, even without Buddhism as in North Korea, Confucianism dictates non-looting behavior while the people on the Chinese mainland who have not had any Confucian education engage in looting behavior without any sense of shame.

Here we go again! At 10:00 am on September 29, 2013, an open bed truck carrying cotton caught fire on the Henan Xu-Ping-Nan highway 144 kilometers from Nanyang City. Some 30 villagers braved the fire and looted the cotton before the firefighters arrived, and looting continued even while the firefighters were putting out the fire. The truck was carrying about 40 tons of cotton.

Looting the Chinese way

October 1, 2013, mainland China’s national day and the first day of a long holiday. As of 1600 hours, October 1, a total of 1,330,700 motor vehicles crowded onto the Zhejiang provincial freeway including the Hangzhou City beltway. As of 1600 hours, October 1, there have already been 1032 automobile accidents with 55 injured and 1 death. Congestion has been so bad that the freeway has become a 35-kilometer long parking lot. People got out of their cars waiting for traffic to move. They became so bored waiting that they climbed down the freeway, went into the farmers’ fields and picked the farmers’ planted winter melons clean. Many drivers have been seen carrying big winter melons and climbing up the side of the freeway to get back to their cars.

Uncivilized looters driving BMWs stealing winter melons from farmers! And who are these uncivilized looters, you ask? They are Hangzhou city residents who have “urban residency”, who drive their own private vehicles (Buicks, BMWs, Hondas) and maybe most of them own their own homes in some high rise in town.


About masterchensays

Victor Chen, herbalist, alternative healthcare lecturer, Chinese affairs analyst, retired journalist
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