Chinese netizens express overwhelming thanks and appreciation to the Bushes and the United States
Today George W. Bush and his wife are very popular people in China. That’s not something you’ll read very often. And all it took them was a short trip from Pennsylvania Avenue down to the Chinese Embassay in Washington, to mourn the vicitms and sign a book of condolensces in memory of the Sichuan earthquake victims.
To see the American president bow his head in mourning (吊唁) to the victims plays exceedingly well to a prestige conscious culture that has felt slighted lately. So far, nearly 1800 comments have been posted to this story (in Chinese).
The comments are very interesting – I’d say 90% of them are positive toward President Bush, his wife, and Americans! This is unlike what one usually finds in the Chinese Read the rest of this entry »
Robert Vance of the China Teaching Web wrote a well considered article, suggesting that Japan’s generous support in China’s earthquake disaster and recovery may turn the tide in favor of positive Chinese-Japanese relations from hereon. I’d like to think he’s right, but doubt it. This touching picture of a Japanese schoolgirl and accompanying story have not gotten much attention on the Chinese blogosphere, and to the extent comments have been made about this and similar stories, they are virtually silent about Japan, but rather just remarks of “Chinese unite”. This could be interpreted as passive acknowledgement disguised as public ambivalence (a step forward), or as just ignoring the story and wanting to post “go China comments”. But at least I haven’t seen direct Japan bashing as a result. So maybe Mr. Vance’s theory is correct, but I still think the good will of the Japanese government and people during this disaster will be forgotten in China in very short order. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.
There has been regular information online and television about how to adopt an earthquake orphan. According to this explanation, the Adoption Law of the PRC (收养法) clearly stipulates 4 conditions: the adopter must not have any children, must be able to raise and educate the adoptee, must not be ill or deemed medically unfit to adopt a child and must be at least 30 years of age. An additional stipulation is that if an unmarried man wants to adopt a female orphan, the age difference between the two must be 40 years or greater. (Go ahead, imagine all the dirty-old-men scenarios that could exist around this loophole.)
Orphans are Like Puppies
As for the the comments to this explanation, I’m sure they are well intentioned, but to me they read like requests for a free puppy. Post after post there is a similar theme – ‘I think the law should be amended because I already have a child but want another child of his/her age. , or ‘I want to raise a baby, under 2 years old (the same age as my son/daughter, the same/opposite sex as my son/daughter). Here is my email, please contact me”. Many, many of these comments are confessions from mothers saying that Read the rest of this entry »
The American government donated $500,000 to the China Red Cross. Seems like “the helping hand of a friend”, as the US Embassy’s Beijing website called it. But the Chinese bloggers view it differently. Let’s review the comments (in translation) on one blog responding to America’s ‘pultry’ donation. As you read the comments, keep in mind that the $500,000 donation was from the US government and does not represent American corporate or individual donations. I’m not translating all comments as some were deleted, were redundant, or were just posts of “ditto” to earlier comments.
#2 (Guangdong Province) – America is trash. F*ck all American women.
#3 – They’re helping us Chinese? Americans are real crooks. Everyone let’s take action, put forth your effort to help the injured people in the Sichuan earthquake!
#7 – Everyone unite! Whether America donates or not is their business, but we must help.
#9 – America, f*ck your ancestors, a people born as dogs and raised as wolves, a dogsh!t people.
#10 – commenter posted news that McDonald’s is donating 1,000,000 RMB, and that the Read the rest of this entry »
A few days ago I reported on China’s earthquake donation effort. Little did I know then that the donation effort would blow up into a full fledged attention grabbing event. I’ve had CCTV1 on for the past few hours. A program just ended where company after company made very conspicuous donations (putting huge packages of money into boxes). This was interrupted by songs and kind words, but the focus of the program was to broadcast the companies that were giving the most. For the record, Tianjin Rongcheng United Steel donated the most, having pledged RMB 30,000,000. This was already the largest corporate donation made but during this live program on CCTV1, as the Tianjin Steel person was putting all that cash into the box, he spoke up to say “I’m now deciding on the spot to raise this amount to RMB 100,000,000.” The company had originally donated 10,000,000 before raising it, to stay ahead of the Jones’, errr, Wangs’. The person (a director of the company) was an orphan from the Tangshan Earthquake 32 years ago.
I have to say, I have never observed anything like what is happening in China with this donation effort. It is becoming nearly as big a focus as the earthquake. From the Read the rest of this entry »
Chinese are coming together to extend moral support, cash and blood to help the victims in the Sichuan disaster. It’s a heartening thing to witness. So much blood was collected on Wednesday 5.14 in Beijing and Shanghai, that the blood collectors had to turn people away.
Sina.com is keeping a list of companies that have donated RMB 1,000,000 or more. It’s good to see lots of major Chinese corporates kicking in some cash. Several foreign companies with a presence in China are big donors too (Mary Kay, Intel, GE, Carrefour, IDG (venture capitalists putting their money to great use!)).
The French retailer and target of Chinese nationalist fury over the Olympic Flame controversy, Carrefour, has donated RMB 2 million (US$290,000) in earthquake relief. Chinese ‘netizen’ response is mixed. One site has mixed postings of thanks and others pointing out it’s a pittance considering Carrefour “broke the hearts of all Chinese people”, with one posting a picture of a french baby giving the bird, cynicism was expressed here from a user named “son of a bitch little Japan (狗日小日本) that Carrefour wouldn’t have made the donation if not for the boycott of its stores in China earlier this month. But lots of commenters kept it positive with thanks, and one here saying this proves Carrefour is a friend not an enemy of China.
It’s now 5:30pm in China. The 7.8 earthquake with an epicenter in Wenchuan, Sichuan province that struck at 2:28pm is being reported on local TV and the internet. While State media is reporting that Premier Wen Jiabao is headed to the area and that emergency aid is being sent, and that Hu Jintao has said the injured must be helped immediately. However there have been no reports of injuries or deaths. Television reporters on CCTV9, the Chinese language news channel, have not even mentioned the possibility of casualties. They are currently doing interviews with reporters around the country, but have not been able to reach any reporters near the area of Wenchuan.
My friend in Shanghai from Shaanxi Province (which borders Sichuan) called a friend in Shaanxi. The friend said that students in Shaanxi have been hospitalized due to falling debris in their school. My friend in Shanghai from Sichuan has been calling Sichuan but Read the rest of this entry »