Tag Archives: Wenchuan Earthquake

The Wenchuan Earthquake and Chinese Police Response

From what I gather, police actions in China go through three stages.

1. An officer will attempt to persuade the subjects to cease their behavior. For instance, there is a Youtube video of a pro-Tibet protestor outside Carrefour in Beijing. The officer attempts to convince the protester that he could protest equally effectively — but not block sidewalk traffic — if he did so on a blog.

2. The government sends in a team in that is able to dispense favors and rewards. This may be removing perceived trouble-makers from an area, or giving hush money.

3. The police start clubbing people.

Given that, I would not be surprised if the next we hear about the Wenchuan Earthquake Parents is that their heads were busted in:

Grieving Chinese Parents Protest School Collapse – NYTimes.com
Hundreds of parents protesting shoddy school construction that they said led to the deaths of their children in the May earthquake were harassed by riot police officers on Tuesday and criticized by local government officials, the parents said Wednesday.

Local officials were also trying to buy the silence of the parents by offering them about $8,800 if they signed a contract agreeing not to raise the school construction issue again, several parents said.

The confrontation between the parents and the police officers erupted on Tuesday morning as 200 parents protested outside government offices in Mianzhu, a city in the earthquake-ravaged Sichuan Province, said Liu Guangyuan, a protester who lost a son when a school collapsed.

As Tom says, the Wenchuan Earthquake has the potential to be a systems pertubation. Let’s hope so. The victims and their families are immensely sympathetic throughout China. If they are clubbed by police, this is something that will be bitterly remembered in 20 years by even non-political Chinese.

China Requests Japanese Military Insistance: Backwardness on both sides nixes the deal

I was really excited when I read this on Coming Anarchy: the People’s Republic of China requested the Japanese Self-Defense Forces deliver aid to survivors of the Sichuan Earthquake. This would be the first military deployment by Japan in China since 1945:

ComingAnarchy.com » Blog Archive » I hope to see Japanese military planes over China
No, I am not some militarist condoning a preemptive attack on China. I am supporting China’s request for Japanese soldiers to deliver earthquake relief aid in Sichuan. The Japanese government is still deliberating as this would be the first deployment of Japanese military forces to the Chinese mainland since the second world war.

Jun Okumura thinks it is a nice idea, but worries about being taken in by a Chinese bully. Tobias Harris also supports the plan and points out how it perplexes both the political Right and Left in Japan. My favourite quote is from the Social Democratic Party of Japan who are against the plan claiming that “the JSDF are not a disaster relief organization (saigai kyuujo dantai).”

Unfortunately, elements in both sides would rather waste time than move forward. As noted in the CA article, some in Japan don’t want to JSDF deployed in that way. But what sounds a lot like concern over the same ultra-nationalist bloggers who threaten the safety of students in America led China to backtrack.

Too bad. I wonder how many kidneys / arms / legs / lives could have been saved if not for the dithering.

The one good thing out of this is that the second request for something is typically less shocking than the first.

I hope we don’t have to wait for another 70K dead to get there.