Beijing Subway Passenger Bloodied by Expat Sparks Angry Backlash Against Foreigners

Days before news about a "Chinese" passenger being forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight caused massive outrage in China, Beijingers were already angry over an incident of their own in which a Chinese man was victimized by yet another foreigner.

Chinese news reported last week that a male expatriate made a "wanton" attack upon a Chinese subway commuter on Beijing Metro Line 10 during the Thursday morning rush hour.

Photos of the incident show the male Chinese victim with a stream of blood trickling down his nose standing next to a Caucasian man whose face is spattered with blood. 

After boarding the subway at Songjiahuang Station, reports say the Caucasian man sat on the floor near the subway door with a Chinese female companion. This caused one Chinese man to intervene, asking them in English to stand up. According to an eyewitness named Ms Li, this caused an argument between the two men.

"The arguing began at around 8.20am at Panjiayuan or Jinsong Station. Commuters could not get on the train because the young foreign man was blocking them by sitting down," Li told Sohu News. "The young Chinese man wanted them to get up, but it seemed like the young foreign man did not want to heed his advice, and was not happy."

At some point between Jinsong Station and Shuangjing Station, the argument turned violent when the male expat "first took off the Chinese man's glasses, then punched him," said Li.  The physical outburst caused an angry reaction from the other commuter on the train who did not let the foreigner exit the train, and instead blocked him at the end of the carriage.

Published photos of the incident do not show the actual attack, instead showing the unidentified male expat with his palms facing outward, as if to explain he did something accidental. 

READ: Beijing Commuter Who Had His Back Broken by Subway Rush Hour Crowds Is Compensated RMB 260K

Chinese news reports commend the victim, described as "our countryman" with a "face full of blood," for not retaliating against the male expat in spite of his anger. However, a short video taken at the scene show the victim throwing a half-hearted punch over his left shoulder towards the Caucasian man's face, who quickly moves his head to dodge it (seen at 0:36 of the video; shown below).

However, Li said this was not a retaliatory act.

"It was only because the young foreigner touched his body," explained Li. "It seemed the young Chinese man didn't like to be touched."

Li also revealed the victim used racial slurs against the expat, calling him "white trash" and saying derogatory things to him like: "Can't speak Chinese but come to China anyways, and now you come onto a Chinese subway to attack a Chinese person. Are you here just here to pick up girls?" Additionally, Li said the spatter of blood on the Caucasian man's face is the victim's, who sprayed it there.

READ: Foreigner Details Attack Outside of Beijing Bar, Outlines Police Procedure

Li said the foreigner tried to apologize after the incident, but still thinks the incident was outrageous, saying: "The incident itself wasn't that big a deal, but assaulting another person is an wanton act."

After numerous commuters including the victim reported the incident to police, the pair of men were escorted off the subway at Guomao Station by police, who are said to be conducting an investigation. The unidentified Chinese companion, identified by Chinese news as both a "woman" and a "girl," had disembarked one station earlier at Shuangjing. 

Even though clearly not a fist fight and may have possibly have been an accident, the sight of a Chinese man bloodied by a foreigner upset Chinese netizens as seen from their Internet comments.

One person wrote: "This is how base and crass foreigners really are. By what right do people have in always calling Chinese base and crass?" Another referred to China's "Century of Humiliation" by writing: "Is (Beijing) an occupied territory?"

Chinese netizens were out to draw blood for themselves by saying things like: "My goodness. Foreigners are so reckless and wanton on Chinese territory. Foreign running dogs!!" and: "Severely punish the foreign instigator!"

READ: Cartoon Demonstrates How Beijingers Can Win Big Cash by Ratting out a Foreign Spy That Looks Like Somebody From 4Chan

The concept of foreign supremacy as defined by race was a common theme in Internet responses. One person wrote: "Cops in China are always inclined towards white pigs," while another wrote: "First tier: foreigner. Second tier: officials. Third tier: ethnic minorities. Fourth tier: Han majority."

There's a self-defeating attitude among some Chinese when it comes to foreigners. As one person wrote: "In this situation (when fighting with a foreigner), if he wins he'll go to jail, but if he loses he'll go to the hospital."

One person even referred to a hit TV show by writing: "Hit back! Do it in the name of the people!"

More stories from this author here.

Twitter: @Sinopath

Images: Sohu, Miaopai


I'm a large ex American football player. While I have heard local people say rude things about me while standing near me all the time, regardless of where in China I was. As soon as I ask them to repeat it, they always comment on how good my Mandarin is or that they didn't say anything. Being a larger than average guy is like a sheild in China. One on one, no one here dares to say anything to my face and I have yet to deal with a situation where they come at me in a large group(cowards). Though I've heard that it happened to others. I feel sorry for average or smaller sized expats here. They make the locals "brave".

The biased report is as bad as the Action or behaviour of the local man. It goes without saying how many centuries and counting the african volk has been subjected to untold abuse... It only shows how inferior and helpless auch people feel that the only to satisfy situation is to act like they are superior... This action has been normalized over centuries and still its not considered a crime. Who gives anybody the right to call people names? People you don't even know.
To me the bloodied nose is secondary. What happened before is what everyone should be talking about.

please tell us all sides of the story before writing an article. this piece is just crap.

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