What have they done to deserve this?

Xunzi (荀子)said, "Human being is wicked in nature." (人之性恶,其善者伪也) I did not agree. But now I have doubt.
So when people rushed to capitalize on natural disasters, as happened in Myanmar when US and the Junta tried to hijack the lives of the innocents, and now in China, there are voices of wicked minds. Especially in the superstitious city of Hong Kong, some people started to invoke the so called "God".

But as the Petshop Boys would have asked, "What have they done to deserve this?" In this recent earthquake, the biggest victim, in terms of % population suffered or % property demolished, are the Qiang people.

There are about 200,000 Qiangs in 1990 (which gives perhaps 250-300k today -- Qiangs, as a minority, is not subject to the one child policy). They reside in the Counties of Mao Xiang, Wenchuan, Li Xiang, Hei Shui, Songpan. This recently earthquake probably wiped out 15-20% to maybe 50% of their population. (Let's hope this is not the case).

All Qiang Counties are within 200km of the epicenter
The net-star Erma Yina (aka Tianxian MM) is a Qiang. She is from Li Xiang, very close to the epicenter. The Qiangs are close to the Tibetans. They have nothing to do with the recent Han-Tibetan dispute.

To those heartless people in Hong Kong who pulled a political spin out of this sad tragedy. What have the Qiangs done to deserve all these?

p.s. One does not need to make himself a beast in order to dissent. There are much more rational voices of criticism, e.g.,
or even putting forward a political opinion, e.g.,
The only way to ensure the long-term harmony which China's leaders so often evoke is for the country to undertake courageous political reforms that will create greater transparency and allow China's people more say in how their country is run.

Why there is such a hugh percentage of schools that collapsed? Who has killed this girl who was just one step away from escape?

And then the HK wicked minds are not alone, they have comrades over on the other side of the globe.


Anonymous said...

The people did nothing to deserve this, but your one-party dictatorship failed to construct decent buildings so they all fell down.

Time for regime change in Beijing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above. If I was a colder man I would wish an earthquake on whoever you are and wherever you are. And see how you handle it.

But I won't. Let's look at this sanely. What has a one-party dictatorship got to do with (mythical) earthquake-proof buildings?

Do I need to bring the Indians in to make a (pointless) comparison?

Anonymous said...

To the first anon:
F*ck you! A disaster is no time to capitalize on your political agendas, a$$hole! You think it's corruption that prevents a whole town from withstanding a 7.9 earthquake that happened just 5km below the surface? Do you think any of your western buildings can a similar disaster, a$$hole?

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Bush build an airplane proof world trade center? Time for a regime change.

Anonymous said...

i think it is you, sun bin, who are pulling a political spin out of this discussion about this sad tragedy.

Anonymous said...

A measure of good government is one that:
1.upholds national pride,as chinese government did recently.
2. defends public welfare, as the government is now doing to save victims of the disaster
3. creates social justice, ie no politics of corruption, illegal land grab, rich-poor gap.
The third is something the Chinese government needs to step up more urgently, especially after this disaster.
If anyone wish to talk about regime change, perhaps this huge tragedy will mark the difference between the old regime - topdown approach, tight control and fear of any debate or challenge to authority (SARS period) - and the Hu era, which is getting an education on riding popular opinion to firm its mandate. Dynasties collapse only if they do not change.
As for the church that preaches of a God that can hate, one can only say that fear and oppressiion are well and alive even in so-called enlightened societies.
If they will speak to Chinese people themselves, even young ones, they will tell you that China is a Buddhist nation. You will find people climbing the hill to Buddha temple inside Forbidden City during morning, or praying at Shanghai Jing

Anonymous said...

While talking about putting a political spin on earthquakes, let us not forget what Beijing did after the 921 Earthquake in Taiwan.

Beijing interfered with the international rescue effort by trying to insist that it, as the "one true government of China", should coordinate all international disaster relief for Taiwan. Beijing's selfish actions delayed assistance reaching Taiwanese. As a result Taiwanese lives were jeopardized and lost.

I was living in Taiwan at the time and I remember it very well. It was utterly disgusting.

Sun Bin said...

yes, i was in taipei as well.
the red cross approval statement was deplorable.

but as i recalled, the 'regime' quickly realised how bad that mistake was, and stopped saying this the following day. (of course, you wouldn't expect them to retract it. they simply chose to pretend they never said it and not insist it any more. the international community were free to communicate with taiwan during the aftermath.)

Sun Bin said...

to anons #2-#4,

no need to respond to the teenager attention seeker "FQ". ignoring them is the best strategy.

Sun Bin said...

re: taiwan 9-21 (continue)

i am not trying to defend the 'regime'. against i think what Ms Sun said was that from a bigot.

but the fact is many international aids arrived promptly at taiwan, and it is a fair assumption that they did not fill the application form to PRC red cross. (and PRC Red Cross was put to silence after that PR disaster).

from wiki:



Many people praise Premier Wen. But IMHO he did not do his job well. foreign aids should have been allowed in. they are experienced and have detection equipments. Also helicopters should have been mobilized much earlier.

Govt from both sides refused Rescue teams from the other side, which are equally bad.

matteo said...

Francesco Sisci, an italian journalist, has a post about the Qiang and the earthquake :(


here in english

Anonymous said...

Sun Bin, what do you mean by this part "Govt from both sides refused Rescue teams from the other side, which are equally bad."?

Beijing rarely offers anything to Taipei without strings attached.

As for the rescue delays etc. My memory of events (and I may be wrong - but certainly this idea was prevalent at the time), was that certain specialist rescue teams from overseas ended up stranded back in their home countries for 24 hours or more while they figured out protocol in the wake of the confusing statements being made by Beijing. I think sniffer dogs from Sweden were one such group.

Now of course this may be incorrect. A rescue effort is always going to be pretty confused, so there could have been other explanations, and things could have been exaggerated a little.

Of course Beijing's efforts to exclude Taiwan from international organizations also wouldn't have helped. I assume membership of international bodies like the WHO helps ensure the lines of communication are there already when unexpected events like this occur.

Anonymous said...

Great article on the Qiang minority. However I disagree with your reading of the Li Yi article. Li Yi did not say that the victims of this earthquake deserved their fate. Li Yi is telling the leadership to take this opportunity do a self-examination, just like the emperors of the old days would when natural disasters came in droves.

momo said...

I looked at the pix of the dead girl hanging like a limp rag under concrete and the God hates china poster several times.
I guess your point could be to contrast the blind hatred of extremists against the random victims of nature (or God?) whenever disaster strikes, in this case, china.
But i wonder if that picture is unfair to that girl ?
She did nothing to deserve a death so humiliating, and to be viewed so publicly is to rob of her of dignity.
I would still say that Premier Wen has done his job well. When the proportions of an event are just too huge to grasp, it might be better to be conservative and stick with the familiar, ie, your own resources.
International skills may (or not) save more lives; it will only intensify the debate that is bound to arise from this massive debacle.
Now that teams from Japan and Taiwan are allowed in, it could be a sign of public dissatisfaction with rescue efforts. When is enough ever enough in this sort of thing?
More important is the post-trauma rehabilitation. What will happen to those who have lost whole families, children?
Tokyo was shook by an earthquake a few days before the one in China. My colleague called me from her room on the 31st floor. Reception had told her it was nothing to worry about, but she was so scared and cried that she would not see her children again.
She remembers a friend who experienced the Kobe earthquake. She couldn't continue her studies and had to get mental help for nearly two years after coming home.

Chinamerican said...

Please ignore the psychos at Westboro. If you don't already know, these are the same people that picket at soldiers' funerals, claiming that "god" is punishing everyone for letting gays exist in the US.

Recluse said...

If Fen Qings were the fundamentalists/extremists of Chinese nationalism, Hong Kong and the West are not lacking the exact opposite of such extremist group. Anybody not anti-CCP at any given point in time is CCP supporter/collaborator/intelligence!

I do not doubt Premier Wen's genuineness. After all, he was one of the very first dispatched to Tang Shan (as pointed out by Liang Zi). Response was fairly quick, in my opinion. However, my doubts are:

1) Was dispatching PLA to march on foot a wise response? How effective would it be? How big is the risk to these soldiers, in case of after-shocks?

2) Why aren't helicopters sent in right after the quake on the same day? Was the heavy rain a factor preventing helicopters taking off? Military experts would be able to answer that.

3) Why didn't China accept foreign aid earlier in the first critical 72 hours?

I have no idea what was holding the officials back. It seems to me it came down to too big an ego to accept foreign aid. China might have the hardwares: the PLA, military supplies, or even high tech equipments but is still fairly inexperienced in dealing with the aftermath of such a catastrophe, particularly the top-down coordination of emergency relief. It's now too late to save any more lives even the two most experienced teams from Japan and Taiwan are allowed in. The most they could do is to provide relief for the survivors, but a very slim chance to save any under the rubbles. :"(

Lastly, to the Fen Qings: It is at time like this, Nationalism/Patriotism is called for.

momo said...

There might have been an elephant in the room and to the Chinese leaders, it was called Myanmar.
Foreign offers of aid were not altruistic, and the blame for the huge death toll is laid entirely on the junta’s side.
In the case of the china earthquake, the issue was politicized in western media from day one. It was painted as a test for china’s leaders, not a humanitarian tragedy that would again unite people in common cause.
I would say china has good reason to be careful about certain foreign aid. The countries now allowed in are those that would cast their efforts as relief aid, with no other agenda.
Besides, bringing in foreign teams early may not have made a huge difference. The fault lies not only with the stars, but probably with man and what he built. Just consider the eg of the highlands tower collapse in Malaysia. A number of foreign teams arrived relatively early and searched for days but efforts were futile.

well, i guess now the westboro people will have to invoke holy wrath on California and its latest decision about gay marriage

Sun Bin said...

re: li yi

i thought li yi's 1st essay was marginal/borderline. i wouldn't have much to say against it. (at least from what he wrote literally -- after all, apple daily is a major media)
but there are many who went as far as accusing even the panda as accomplice (of what?).

and at least li yi has the gut to back off. many FQs are playing polemics.

Anonymous said...

Westboro Church, what a waste of space. 'Chinaamerican', you said it best. We(Americans) know them very well for their Godhatesfags.com website.

I don't know if I should be angry at them for protesting at the funerals of our fallen soldiers or laugh at them because they are so stupid. Frankly, I'm not surprised about there views on the earthquake. I wouldn't take their comments to heart, we sure as hell don't...

Anonymous said...

Following up on chinamerican's and the previous anonymous comment, when I noticed the Kansas address at the top of the flyer and the hate speech, I wondered if it was the church of Fred "God hates fags" Phelps, and indeed it is. His sick and twisted church not only pickets the funerals of soldiers, but also screamed vile remarks at the grieving mother of Matthew Sheppard, who was viciously beaten to death because he was gay. Fred Phelps' church is definitely far out on the lunatic fringe, and even mainstream churches that view homosexuality as sinful shun Phelps.

It worries me that Chinese might see that poster and generalize. Owing to First Amendment rights, we cannot stop Phelps from spewing hatred at gays, the Chinese, and anyone else. Would you be willing to provide some background information on Phelps in Chinese for your readers? If you want to know more, just google "Fred Phelps God hates fags" and you'll see that he is reviled as a homophobic nut by most Americans.


Anonymous said...