When you have a country as big as China, justice is not a easy task. Physical punishement in public and public humiliation were two powerful means to enforce justice.
A friend told me as he was a kid, he saw a man hung by his feet from a pool. Several of his fingers were cut.
I learnt that in the past a thief was mutilated. One of his finger phalanx would be cut. But then if he was caught a second time they would take a second phalanx, and then a third... and so on...
He would also be hung by the feet and beaten.
When I first came to China, I saw a man handcuffed outside to some pillar. People would stop and stare at him.
This man was probably a thief. And this punishement was some kind of humiliation. The man loses face in front of other people.
Today physical punishment and humiliation is no longer a mean of justice.
Still important trials are often broadcast on television.
Also when dealing with relations between people, humiliation is a powerful weapon... For instance, some teachers use humiliation to punish some students.