British Man Helps Chinese Homeless in Xi’an, Netizen Reactions

Tony is talking with a homelss person.

Tony and some of other foreign volunteers.

From NetEase:

British Engineer Sells Possessions and Came to China to Hand Out Steamed Buns to the Homeless

A British engineer sold 3 companies, a mansion, 2 sports cars, and came to Xi’an, China to hand out steamed stuffed buns to the homeless. Like that, 7 years have passed.

Tony and his crew are offering food to people.

46-year-old Tony was an electronics engineer in the the UK’s Royal Navy. After he retired from the military, he opened 3 companies, owned a mansion and 2 sports cars. Tony says, one day in 2002, he suddenly began to get weary of his busy life, and decided to sell his companies, his mansion and his cars, leave the UK, and travel around the world.

The homeless people.

In 2005, Tony founded the “Yellow River Soup Kitchen” in Xi’an. Tony says “Yellow River Soup Kitchen” has two goals: providing help to those who need help, and providing a platform for people to help others. The handing out of steamed stuffed buns has gone from 1 day every week to 3 days every week. “Some people say I shouldn’t help them (the homeless people), that they have houses and cars in their hometowns.” Tony says, “We don’t go judge who is real and who is fake. The truth after all is that most homeless people are real, we can help them, and that’s what gives what we do meaning…” Tony also uses a Chinese idiom “瑕不掩瑜” [xia bu yuan yu, one flaw does not obscure the splendor of the jade, the pros outweigh the cons] to describe this issue.

Tony's house is filled with donated clothes.

“People always encourage them (the homeless people) to go work…” but Tony disagrees. “Every person’s ability is different, for example handicapped people, old people, and people with mental problems. They (the homeless people) don’t have a choice. And there are also some people who don’t want to change for the moment. So, let them be. Our job is to just offer them service.” This picture is of June 27, Xi’an, where clothes donated by charitable people have filled a room. Tony says, they give them out regularly.

Tony is talking with a homelss person.

Tony says, homeless people don’t have a sense of security, so to newly arrived volunteers, they would explain to them not to ask why they beg, why not go work, etc. “We should first respect their right to choose this kind of life. People have the rights to choose how they live.” At present, their services have already expanded to providing the homeless haircuts, baths, giving out clothes, and giving out blankets.

Tony has box meal or Chinese hamburgers for each meal.

This picture is of Tony himself having boxed meals or “Chinese hamburgers” [usually a baked bun with meat or vegetables placed between, but different from a steamed stuffed bun] for every meal.

Tony is contacting the shopkeeper who sells steam stuffed buns.

This picture is of Tony contacting the shopkeeper who sells steamed stuffed buns, telling him the number of steamed stuffed buns to deliver.

The fancy cars and mansion Tony used to own.

This picture is of the photo stored in Tony’s cell phone showing the fancy cars and mansion he used to own.

Tony and some of the foreign volunteers.

This picture is of Tony taking a group photo with some of the foreign volunteers.

Tony and the shopkeeper who sells steam stuffed buns.

This picture is of Tony and the shopkeeper who sells steamed stuffed buns having also become good friends.

A homeless guy is showing his gratitude to Tony.

A homeless man showing his gratitude to Tony.

Tony is on his way home.

Every time after he finishes giving out the steamed stuffed buns, Tony walks 15 minutes to a bus station and catches a bus to return to the place he lives.

Comments from NetEase:

我们养的猪还少吗 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

A single meat bun and you guys are moved like somebody’s grandchildren [so impressed]. Real promising [sarcasm, more like “pathetic”]!

我们养的猪还少吗 [网易广东省东莞市网友]: (responding to himself)

This nation’s people needs to be cured!

荒狂之风 [网易吉林省长春市网友]: (responding to above)

Please look carefully, it’s been 7 years!
Tony is much greater than you, please behave yourself!

隐逸0 [网易河南省郑州市网友]: (also responding to 我们养的猪还少吗)

7 years for one steamed stuffed bun, you SB have probably eaten his steamed stuffed buns and forgotten him.

芙小小仙子 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

If the steamed stuffed buns were given to the Red Cross to give out, giving out each one would cost 10 yuan, and who knows if the Red Cross would think there was too little money/profit in it [for them]?

[Note: Public trust in China’s Red Cross has been very poor over a variety of scandals in recent years over possible misuse of donations and general corruption.]

专业杀西瓜 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

This laowai deserves everyone’s respect, ding this up, the work he’s doing is even more practical and real than what a nation [the government] does, even 1,000x better than that No.1 philanthropist… those who agree, ding this up… those who have humanity, ding this up.

81点net [网易北京市网友]:

Civil servants, where are you? The Red Cross, where are you?

芙小小仙子 [网易四川省成都市网友]:


荒狂之风 [网易吉林省长春市网友]:

The Bethune of today! Thank you!

我们养的猪还少吗 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

The second picture, is the young man also a homeless person?!

Comments from Sina Weibo:


This may not be a good thing to do.


I truly hope the government doesn’t involve itself in this, and not ruin a good thing~ Thanking on my knees. [鼓掌]


If one day there are protests against the UK, I dare say he’d still be beaten bloody by the patriotic traitors and patriotic shitty youth, kneeling on the ground yelling: Good people spare me!

[Note: This comment alludes to the incidents of mob violence during protests in China following Japan’s purchase and nationalization of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.]


It is better to teach one how to fish than to give him one…


This compared to what I saw yesterday about a certain city locking up its beggars in cages to improve its city image is simply a night and day difference…


What homeless people…they have arms and legs, [but] they don’t do a damn thing all day except sleep. I don’t have time to do anything for this kind of people, talk about having nothing better to do, If I have money, I’d give it to the children in impoverished mountain areas, and not people like them.


The Party’s education will never produce this kind of people. Instead there would be a Chen Guangbiao, but he cares about politics more than he cares about poor people. If one day our ordinary common people stopped protesting against foreign governments, and used the enthusiasm we have criticizing Japanese devils and American imperialists to criticize our own government, then our nation would be truly civilized.


China has so much money, gives it foreigners, and then one of their morons comes over to help the poor here, so laughable!


People who have faith/religion are just different, their hearts always want to do good things, while many people just want to gain without laboring.


While Chinese are beating, vandalizing, and robbing their own compatriots, take a good look at what a friendly foreigner is doing.

What do you think?

Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.


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