Foreigner Allegedly Slaps And Spits On Local Woman In Henan, Nearly Starts Riot

A foreigner nearly incited a riot in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province on Friday evening after he got into a physical confrontation with a Chinese woman on the road. The foreigner, riding a BYD, apparently thought the female had hit his car with her electric bike, so he got out and slapped her twice across the face, according to an eyewitness interviewed in the video (subtitles are mine, along with any errors), and then spat in her face. A very angry mob surrounded the vehicle for hours, puncturing its tires. Finally, with crowd emotions still high, stoked by nationalism, a squadron of cops smuggled the foreigner into a police vehicle and drove away.

Before we go any further, let us warn against slinging accusations that only serve to reveal your personal prejudices. Whenever these foreigner-Chinese confrontations arise — and they do more often than we’d like — there’s a tendency to rush to conclusions, leading to gross generalizations, misguided anger, and paranoia. It’s obvious and goes without saying that slapping and spitting on someone is an act worthy of condemnation across cultures, but so too is mob violence. Regarding the Friday incident in Zhengzhou, we can only agree that hardly anyone comes out looking very good.

The story continues. With the alleged assailant trapped inside his car, someone outside shouts, “When you’re hitting a person you play hero, afterwards you play the coward.” Another man, on his bike, says into the camera, “He sits inside strangely nice and cool, comes to China to hit Chinese people. Too crazy.” The most angry comment that’s subtitled: “Come out, fuck him, handcuff him to a tree.”

One man sees a Walmart card poking out of the foreigner’s breast pocket, and wonders, “Walmart is American, right?” (It appears that there’s another passenger next to the foreigner, but we’re never told who he is.) For whatever reason, people want to know his nationality. “I just want to ask what country he’s from,” one man angrily demands. “So fierce!”

Relatively high-level officials — or at least those with the authority to make important decisions — get called in to settle the stalemate. One of them decides that the foreigner needs to be hauled away (arrested), which would “be like a victory for us,” by which he means the laobaixing, commoners who were demanding street justice. After the foreigner is hauled away, the mob turns its attention to the BYD, with someone imploring, “Smash his car!”

If there is anyone who comes away from this incident looking all right, it’s the official who, in the center of a still-incensed pack, tells the people, “Listen to me. This situation, I’m taking back, I’ll handle it properly. If I don’t handle it properly, I’ll resign. I’ll make my position known to everyone. Don’t worry!”

The people actually cheer him and appear to disperse soon after.

As always, we’ll keep you updated with details as they become available.

(H/T Alicia)

    15 Responses to “Foreigner Allegedly Slaps And Spits On Local Woman In Henan, Nearly Starts Riot”

    1. narsfweasels

      Not a smart thing to do for two reasons:

      1) Reveals poor character on the part of Mr-Stinking-Dirty-Imperialist-Laowai.

      2) Given that there has been a furore over foreigners recently to deflect attention from ACTUAL problems, this is inly going to make the rest of us look bad.

      However, there are times when you DO want to smack them in the teeth.

      What is a little annoying is that you don’t see this often enough for the issues that really matter – forced abortions, abuse of official privilege and those drivers on the road wo believe red lights are optional.

    2. Boooooooooya

      1. One vehicle hits another
      2. Argument/fight starts
      I think it’s fair to say this happens hundreds of times every day in China. And yet somehow this particular one turns into an ‘incident’. Interesting.

    3. Joe

      In those videos it’s always very funny to see how the mob turns MORE angry and cocky AFTER the police arrives. Because then they know there will be someone to stop them. No intention to be racist, but it’s a cowardice thing you often see on the streets of China.

      • hero

        I see what you’re implying, if it were you, you would have just single handedly hauled him out of the car and beaten him senseless – right?!

        Easy to write about it on a blog.

        See you on the mean streets, I’ll look out for the biggest, baddest and bravest man on the pavement dispensing swift justice to all – which will no doubt be you! LOL

        • Joe

          I was not pointing out the coward-factor of not beating the man up. I was talking about how ridiculous it is to smash his car in anger AFTER he left the scene.

          Thus, sir, you can stop acting like a jerk.

    4. KopyKatKiller

      Chinese wimps finally feel brave enough to attack empty car once their horde swells to 500 and the scary laowai has left. hahaha!

      I wonder if this was a set-up like that British guy in Beijing…?

      • hero

        Just read the reply I wrote to Joe – “Kopykatkiller”.

        Obviously some kind of rap star wannabe who really believes he’s from the hood.

        When you’re out and about on the mean streets of Shanghai, I’ll just look out for the laowai in baggy pants, dark shades and an abundance of jewelry dispensing his own brand of vigilante justice to all.

    5. Jido

      The “rapist” in beijing, still no info on who he was and where he went. The same with this, the Police could easily settle it by swabbing the woman’s clothes for the guy’s DNA. They won’t though and there won’t be any traffic cam video released either.

      • Boooooooooya

        They’re hardly going to search for traces of DNA when the dude hasn’t committed a crime… or at least, not one the police would be interested in arresting anyone for. This is a very normal occurrence, except for the ‘foreigner’ part. Even the crowd were just demanding an apology, not a jail sentence or anything like that.

    6. Chinese Netizen

      Foreigner was contemplating leaving China finally after reading all the recent blog postings on that topic. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      And his friend is Li Gang!

    7. brian

      Shortly after this incident occurred, I contacted Walmart media relations. They knew about the incident, but this man was not their employee. That’s not a nametag on his chest; it’s a brochure in his chest pocket.

      Based on a Walmart brochure in his pocket, people in the crowd decided he was American and called him a meiguo guizi. :(


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