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Chinese toddler Yue Yue dies but morality debate lives on

Chinese toddler Yue Yue, the victim of a hit-and-run, prompted a public discussion about the decay in morality in China.

In this image taken from a Oct. 13 security camera video run by China's TVS, a 2-year-old Chinese toddler, who became known as Yue Yue (identified as Wang Yue), is seen just before she is hit by a white van seen in the background in Foshan in southern China's Guangdong province.

TVS via APTN/AP

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A Chinese toddler who was twice run over by vans and then ignored by passers-by on a busy market street died Friday a week after the accident and after days of bitter soul-searching over declining morality in China.

The Guangzhou Military District General Hospital said that the 2-year-old girl, Wang Yue, died Friday. "Her injuries were too severe and the treatment had no effect," intensive care unit director Su Lei told reporters.

The plight of the child, nicknamed Yue Yue, came to symbolize what many Chinese see as a decay in public morals after heady decades of economic growth and rising prosperity.

Gruesome closed-circuit camera video of last Thursday's accident, aired on television and posted on the Internet, showed Yueyue toddling along the hardware market street in the southern city of Foshan. A van strikes her, slows and then resumes driving, rolling its back right wheel over the child. Over the next seven minutes, as she lay there, 18 people walk or cycle by and another van strikes her before a scrap picker scoops her up as the girl's mother rushes into the street looking for her.

State media said the girl's father was tending the family's hardware shop at the time of the accident and her mother was busy hanging laundry. Both failed to notice she had wandered outside.

Yueyue's death touched off another round of hand-wringing about society and personal responsibility. Many comments posted to social media sites said "we are all passers-by."

Communist Party chief of wealthy Guangdong province, Wang Yang, has called the accident "a wake-up call for everybody."

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