A British diplomat has been commended for rescuing a drowning girl in northeast China.
Stephen Ellison jumped right into a flow to rescue the girl after she dropped into the water at a village on the outskirts of Chongqing. Ellison is the British consul general in the Chinese town.
“We are immensely proud of our Chongqing Consul General, Stephen Ellison, who dived to a river on Saturday to save a drowning pupil and float her into security,” that the British Embassy in Beijing said in a tweet.
In footage taken by onlookers and published on the internet, Ellison, 61, is observed ripping his sneakers and leaping in fully clothed before swimming into the girl, who seemed to be unconscious. A life preserver was thrown into the group but Ellison swam into the lender by himself as the others pulled the girl in the water.
Ellison received overwhelming praise on the Chinese net, with a few contrasting his quick action throughout the Saturday morning episode with all the relative passivity of the onlookers. Footage posted online racked up countless perspectives, together with commenters praising the selfless act.
“We welcome this kind of foreigner. Saving lives has no boundaries,” read one comment on the Twitter-like Wechat microblogging forum.
China-Britain connections have been under stress in recent months over trade disputes, London’s condemnation of China’s crackdown on opposition figures from the former British colony of Hong Kong, and Beijing’s detention of over 1 million members of Muslim minority groups from the northwestern territory of Xinjiang.