fter a young man, whose name was not given in media reports, was rescued from the cold by police in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, it was discovered that he had received aid from relief centers across China 234 times in the past two years. The man said he was traveling across China and often begged for money, and he would turn to relief centers if he did not make enough money begging. In this way, he has visited over 60 cities, without a job or steady income. After his story went viral, many media outlets weighed in on the young man's chosen lifestyle.
The Beijing Youth Daily
criticized the young man for acting like a vagrant, rather than a traveler, as even those traveling around the country cheaply usually make good arrangements for their trips and will often take on short-term work to pay their way. While he is wasting the resources at aid centers that could be spent on more deserving cases, he should not be refused help, as if he dies of the cold or from hunger, the public would blame the relief center. Worse still, other young people could copy his behavior and abuse the public welfare resources, and youngsters may decide to quit work to enjoy the freedom of life on the road.
But Zhou Dongji, writing on news site opinion.southcn.com, argued the man has the right to get help from relief centers, because measures for the rescue and management of vagrants and beggars, issued by China’s State Council, and rules for the rescue and management of vagrants and beggars, issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, stipulate they have a duty to provide aid for vagrants. The young man has not lied, and is not intentionally cheating money out of national aid resources. If young people want to travel around the country, they should have the right to do so.