A 61-year-old British diplomat who rescued a woman from a river has gained a hero status in China. Images from the rescue campaign have been watched tens of millions of times on social media. That is where Consul General Stephen Ellison is also exuberantly praised.
According to the British diplomatic post in Chongqing, Ellison took action last weekend when a woman fell into a river. He dived into the water completely dressed in order to help the victim. Bystanders filmed how the diplomat dragged her to a lifebuoy, after which the duo was brought ashore.
The action of the British did not go unnoticed. On message service Weibo the hashtag “British consul general in Chongqing saves female student from water” is used. “The fact that a man of such an advanced age takes another person out of the water during such cold weather, without taking into account his own safety, makes him a hero and a gentleman”, said a message that received about 2000 likes.
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“Regardless of our differences, it is virtuous to act heroically. That should be praised,” says another message. This referred to the sometimes tense relationship between the United Kingdom and China. This is under pressure, among other things, due to British criticism of Chinas Hong Kong policy and the decision to exclude Huawei from the 5G network in Britain.