LI Yang, founder of "Crazy English," yesterday said he beat his American wife because of heavy working pressure, cultural differences and, most of all, a traditional Chinese thought that domestic violence is common and normal.
"I was in a rage and I wanted to die with my wife. I charged to her, pushed her down and knocked her head against the floor several times," Li told Legal Daily. "At the time I was probably semi-conscious."
Li said he beat his wife Kim Lee, a US citizen, in front of their two-year-old daughter, but he had since apologized and reconciled with his wife at a police station.
Li said it would be his wife's choice whether they should divorce, and the decision has not been made.
"I hope I can be a negative example warning people of the seriousness of domestic violence and persuading them to offer love instead of rage to their family members," said Li.
Li's case is far from uncommon in a country where there are few laws to protect wives and children from domestic violence. Between 40,000 and 50,000 complaints about such violence are registered by the All-China Women's Federation every year, according to Legal Daily.
Li said he was raised in a Chinese family where his parents argued all the time, and there was violence.
He added: "A husband beating his own wife cannot be called a problem, some of my friends have told me. Many Chinese people think the same and they prefer to keep silent because they believe it is simply family business not to be disclosed."
Li said in such families, the son may soon learn from his father that beating a wife is not serious but common and normal, and the idea may pass on, as in his own case.
Li said he beat his wife also because he believed "a man's career is more important than his family."
He said he could be incited to fury when his wife tried to argue with him over trivial family affairs after 15 to 16 hours of work.
Cultural differences, personalities and conflicting opinions about education were also reasons for the violence, Li said.
"But now I have taught my daughters that when they encounter such domestic violence in the future, they should scream for help rather than keep silent," he said.
Now he is urging the country to make laws banning domestic violence. "I hope more people can learn from me and the incident may help the country to make laws," he said.