China is defiantly in mourning today. To those who lost their lives last week: you are in our memories, rest in peace.
Faced with a disaster of biblical proportion, the vast majority of Chinese stood still at 2:28 PM (local time) on Monday to memorialize those who lost their lives in last week’s earthquake. The Chinese government and Chinese businesses are taking extraordinary steps to participate in this memorial, including basically shutting down all entertainment in the country for three days; Shanghaiist gives a detailed overview of some of these measures.
The year 2008 might go down in history as the year that has again united China. I’ve had several Chinese of my parents’ generation tell me that many of them had lost faith in the Chinese as a people after the Cultural Revolution, that a decade of mutual persecution and incrimination had destroyed even basic morality. I’ve had other Chinese tell me that they had lost faith in the Chinese as a nation after 1989/6/4, that a country which used force on its people could not possibly survive. I’ve heard from younger Chinese that they felt abandoned by the new market economy, that the growing wealth gap meant we were growing more separated by the day.
But many feel a sense of renewal this year. We’ve seen the wealthy reach deep into their pockets to donate to the victims; we’ve seen young peasant soldiers give their lives, give every inch of their souls in fighting for every last life in Sichuan; we’ve seen (some) admirable government officials go sleepless nights trying to solve every last problem. All of the pain that we’ve shared (from the snow storm, to Tibet, and now to the Sichuan earthquake), and all of the good that we’ve done to fight back are re-establishing in many Chinese a broad love for China that hadn’t existed for decades.
This is no longer the red hot, testosterone-driven lust for a stronger China many of us (including myself) exhibited after the Olympic torch was attacked on foreign soil. This is a deeper, determined, unblemished love for a China that we will rebuild.
I was very moved by this video of the crowds that spontaneously formed in Tiananmen Square (and many other Chinese cities) following a 3-minute period of silence; the video shows tears, anger, sorrow, and hope in the hearts of a billion plus Chinese of all ages and backgrounds.
A Yu says
Yes – GO CHINA – indeed…!
The kindness, generosity, self-restraint and couragerous, selfless heroism of many ordinary Chinese who were caught up in this devastating earthquake–the police woman who had her loved ones burried under the rubble but chose to carry on rescuing efforts, the teachers who pushed the students to the safe yet with themselves hit by the falling walls… have touched me so deeply.
I also saw on TV when two boys were dug out from rubbles after days being stuck there, barely alive, the first thing they said were “thank you” to the rescue workers; a rugged beggar made two trips to have donated 105 yuan to the quake victims; a migrant worker whose child’s education was supported by the government borrowed money and bought the train ticket to wenchuan to donate his labor to “help the country” in return; asked why he refused the meal offered to him on the day he arrived there, he said he could only take the meal after he had worked there.
those are the people with a heart of gold. I wonder if a disaster like this always brings the best out of a people. Never before did I feel so proud of being a Chinese as I do now.
I am so impressed by what I see in this video, taken in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Beichuan:
The people of Beichuan rallied together in that moment of hardship, sharing and risking everything to help those suffering around them. This also explains everything I’ve seen in following days, as the people of China have rallied around the people of Sichuan in their time of need.
THIS IS NOT A NATURAL QUAKE!!
This earthquake was caused by underground nuclear tests carried out by PRC maniacs.
This area is where the PRC geriatrics centered the nuclear arsenal of the nation.
Repeated underground tests have been carried out here and the geology of the region suffered considerably. The last few tests were the straw that broke the camel’s back – the ravaged earth just gave in.
It is very difficult to have sympathy for the Chinese populace that thrives on nationalistic jingoism and accepted such tests as a symbol of national virility. There is a price for such excess and the Chinese have paid it.
Let the world desist from shedding tears for the victims – one reaps what one sows.
Focus on the plight of the Burmese – aided and abetted by the CCP goons this nation has also been victimized by its ruling elite. The Chinese were willing accomplices to the shenanigans of their masters – the Burmese are innocent victims.
Any opinions on whether we should delete garbage like what Naradar has just posted?
Or should we just leave it here and assume people will recognize it for the insane, inhumane drivel that it is?
So Buxi – your attitude is similar to the heavy handed CCP. Delete, suppress, muzzle – no debate or honest exchange of views.
Drivel??? – the CCP itself makes loud noises about the safety of its nuclear joints. Seems to me like they are covering their behinds.
Do you have any proof my contention is wrong? The quality of buildings that led to numerous deaths is meekly accepted. Why do you dispute that the CCP that is already perceived as being callous by sanctioning sub-standard buildings cannot stoop lower. Chinese nationalism??
Naradar, your conspiracy theory reminds me of similar theories in the US about how the government caused 9/11. Both exploit the same things: fear of government power and mistrust of public officials. These theories then use this fear to make people believe irrational ideas. How could nuclear weapons cause a 7.9 quake? Do you have any idea how much energy that would require?
If you want to make a point about Chinese nationalism, you’re welcome to do so. There are numerous discussions on this topic.
If you want to make a point about Chinese nuclear research… well, that hasn’t really come up before, but if you make an interesting point I’ll bring it to the top as its own thread.
If you want to allege that this earthquake is caused by nuclear testing… I won’t waste the time trying to prove you wrong. I’ll just assume you’re either insane, or a troll.
I’d say leave Naradar’s comment as it is. I bet most readers are capable of discerning facts from figments.
The latest news that China will slash 5% of its current fiscal year spending, to reallocate the fund to disaster relief and rebuilding, impresses the hell of me. All governments love spending. Disasters like this often give cover to pork spending — After the Katrina, the US government just let the budget deficit further run away since it’s “free” money for the politicians anyway.
I’ve been never more convinced that within out lifetime, RMB will be the dominant currency in the world. Something like 300% to 400% appreciation against USD in the next 2 decades is easily within reason. The news show the guardians of RMB, are quite possible the best in the world.
Very interesting take! Let’s hope this effectively controls the potential inflationary effects of the required emergency spending.
I remember you talking about this on a different blog.. are you back in China yet?
Not yet… Unwinding takes a bit longer time than I envisioned. I may have to do half:half for a little while.
Most other blogs just delete comments like that, but allowing them to stay up shows a degree of respect for your reader’s intelligence.