WTF? (aftershocks)

UPDATE: 2 more aftershock hit almost exectly the same location in the north edge of Sichuan Province (see latitude and longitudes below). I hope this is the end of the fault and where all the stress were released.

  • MAP 5.0 2008/05/27 17:35:09 32.711 105.440 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER REGION, CHINA (jiangge, again)
  • MAP 4.5 2008/05/27 13:59:37 32.621 105.213 21.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER REGION, CHINA (SW of Jiangge, NE of Jiangyou)
  • MAP 5.5 2008/05/27 08:37:51 32.740 105.563 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER REGION, CHINA (Ningqiang)
  • MAP 5.2 2008/05/27 08:03:23 32.728 105.552 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER REGION, CHINA (Jiangge)
UPDATE: Another quake of 5.5 (5.7 as measured by China) crossed the Sichuan borader to NE into Ningqiang County of Shanxi province. 30 minutes earlier a 5.2 aftershock at 4 km to its west, across a reservoir, almost right on the provincial border, east of Shazhou town, Jiange County. (this time USGS and CEAI agree on the grade)

View Larger Map


Source of map CSI.AC.CN

This is very usual. Another quake (is it aftershock, or a new dislocation?) just hit a couple hours ago. There had not been a quake over 5.0 (USGS measurement, add about 0.5 for Chinese measurement) since May 19th, and no over 4.0 quake for over 32 hours.

  • One shock of 4.6 hit at right at Beichuan County (the town 31.9N,104.5E) at UTC 04:27 May 25th.

  • Then anotherof 5.8 6.0 (reported as 6.4 by China) 4 hours later, at SW of Qingchuan. This is the strongest quake since May 13th

  • About 1 hour later, a 4.9 aftershock hit Gansu. This is the first time in the past few month any aftershock over 4.0 was located inside Gansu province. It is possible that the dislocation is shifting NE. (33N, 105E - Jianshan Village, between Wenxian and Longnan of Gansu Province) . But let's hope (also possible) that this seals the other end of this phase of earth crust activities in that fault line.

Number of 5.0+ earthquake since the first 7.9 (8.0 by Chinese Earthquake Bureau)

  • May 12th: 29
    May 13th: 10
    May 14th: 11
    May 15th: 5
    May 16th: 6
    May 17th: 2
    May 18th: 3
    May 19th: 3
    May 20th: 1
    May 21st: 2
  • May 22nd: 3
  • May 23rd: 2
  • May 24th: 0
  • May 25th: 3
  • May 26th: 1
  • May 27th: 4

"stereotypical maps" -- across the strait

Here are some "stereotypical" maps

The world from the perspective of "a child in Taiwan" (source)

Shanghainese view of China

Pekingese view of China

The original post is from Doubban and Hecaitou. But Hecaitou's link seems to be dead now and Douban harmonized. You can click this blog to see the mainland China collections.


Light viewing: Naixiaode Guniang

The Japanese entertainment industry is perhaps the best in this world.

This very cute song is an example (with a very 囧 (jiong) title) :
奶小的姑娘(ないしゃおだくーにゃん) (the Japanese is the direct phonetic translation of Mandarin Chinese of these characters, not Hiragana)

Other version also available in Youtube (Maid/nurse version)

Inside China there are more versions available: e.g. Youku and Tudou have bigger collections. e.g., Break Dance, Chinese dress, etc

It has many Japanese pop elements all integrated, 猫耳), 蘿莉/Lolicon, Anime, Electronic Game (Idol Master / 偶像大師 where these videos are from)... and its lyric comes in 3 languages: Japanese, Chinese and English.

Those who understand Chinese would notice that most Chinese words here are pronounced in Chinese, and Katagana are actually English words. Full Chinese Translation is here. I will jutry to translate some lines below (CAPITAL LETTERS mean straight from how it is pronounced in the song, numbers denote tone in Pinyin):

Japanese trnaslation(!) -yes, normal Japanese would not fully understand this song as there are so many English and Chinese words in it.

ないしゃお だ くーにゃん 日本語(?)訳

部屋の隅まで がらくたごちゃごちゃ(纭纭)

デジタルでじたる(数字) アナログあなろぐ(模拟) (DIGITAL Shu4Zi4,, ANALOGUE M02Ni4)

モニター(Monitor)にかじりついて キミは黙々と MONITOR is where I cannot leave, while you are Mo4Mo4 (silent)

2Dの世界で 2D Love(二维爱)

夢の中でも たえずハァハァ(不乏邪念)

ネット(NET)で検索 カタログ(CATALOGUE)かたろぐ(目录)

妄想たくましい キミはブツブツ(哝哝)

だけどやっぱりI LOVE YOU(我爱你)

ぱんぱん(砰砰) ハート(HEART)が ドキドキしちゃうよ(心跳)

ないない(奶奶) ナイむね ふくらむ ぱんぱん(膨膨)

★ひんにゅーおにゃのこ ちっちゃくたっていいもん 

内緒だからね あたしの胸のうち 

それでも"お気に"は ネコ耳メイド? 

チャイナドレスも いいでしょ!(ね!) 

ひんにゅーおにゃのこ とっておきのモーション 

内緒にするにゃん ステキな恋のはじまりね 

このまま近づけば 時間も止まる 

二人の歴史は 四千年 にゃんにゃん!

★ repeat


We are united! Every Channel is CCTV

I have about 80 channels at the apartment I am staying. Number 1-60 are domestic, including the various CCTV channles, Beijing channels and a collection of provincial satellite TV channels.

During the past couple days they all became CCTV. (to be more precise CCTV-1, except for CCTV9, and a couple provincial/local channels for a few hours which would air a couple hours of their self produced Earthquake coverage)

Some speculated CCTV (together with SARFT) has conspired to capitalize on these 3 days of national mourning to edge on its competitors. This is not without base if we remember how CCTV has pushed Hunan Satellite TV around and finally banned the whole genre of Reality Shows. The rationale is that SARFT may go after any channel that dares to venture to non-quake related programming and that it is "safe" to simply take CCTV-1's programming, which many local channels are obliged to carry (and already has the facilities to do so) for evening news (19:00 p.m.)

For my 20 foreign channels. Only Phoenix News survived (Phoenix is duplicating programs in its sister channel Phoenix News), plus CNN, CNBC and BBC, which are news channels -- all others are classified as 'entertainment' channel and banned. Star China and Channel V became CCTV clone to survive. CETV, unable to negotiate with CCTV or set up the CCTV-1 capture facility, had secured feed from Chongqing TV, (which is basically CCTV), is still banned locally.

What does it mean by "banned locally". You see this screen below. (Either this was done in the satellite uplink or locally at the Cable TV operator, I am not sure which) -- same for Star Movie, HBO and everybody else.

Note the key here is that you are guilty if you "could" contain (a minute of ?) 'entertainment programming, even if you are doing 99% CCTV. I suspect this was why CETV ended up still being shot. The local CATV just did not want to take any risk.

I have taken picture of a few other channels (note the channel logo on upper left side), as below:

A local satellit TV (the logo overlapped with CCTV-1)

Another provincial (Xinjiang) satellit TV (XJTV logo)

CCTV Music Channle is now CCTV-1

StarTV China (logo on right)

Channel V (part of Murdoch's Star TV)

People talk about financial impact on losing 3 days of inventory. But the real impact is not significant. Since most advertising slots are not fully sold, the commitment of CPRP to advertisers can always be compensated in the days that follow. In fact, as a result of overall loss of inventory across the industry, it may even boost price a bit!

Those that sell airtime to Type 2 advertisers (e.g. TV Home Shopping) are perhaps the real losers, as there is no extra airtime to fill.

The quake settled down (?)

Update (May 22 evening): no aftershock ober 4.0 since yesterday. It seems that the quake has really passed, when the nation mourned.

Update: seems it is settling down slower than I have thought.
(and USGS seemed to have been adjusting its calculations, both in terms of quake strength and coordinate. This is no surprising given the distance away and the complication of earth crust structure on the path

The last aftershock with strength over 4.0 was recorded at 21:01:07 (5.1) UTC on May 14, i.e. 05:01:07 Beijing Time 15th May. It has been more than 5 hours since then by now.

There were 10 such aftershocks in the 24 hours before that.

The total number of quakes over 4.0 since May 12 are

  • May 12th: 29
  • May 13th: 10
  • May 14th: 11
  • May 15th: 5
  • May 16th: 6
  • May 17th: 2
  • May 18th: 3
  • May 19th3
  • May 20th: 1
  • May 21st: 0
All aftershocks are still located on the NE-SW running strip from Wolong to the border of Sichuan and Gansu near Pingwu County (平武).

The list of aftershocks are as below (source: USGS) , and mapped above. Note that there has NOT been any aftershock (above 4.0) to the south or west of the 1st (7.9 grade) quake, which seems to indicate that the 1st quake was the beginning point of fault line, and perhaps the fault line has "extended to the SW" a bit after this quake.


Managing the risk of earthquake

1) the PRC government is far from doing a good job in quake prevention, or in safety monitoring, or anti-corruption -- for the past 40 years
2) even if we have Lee Kuan Yew managing Sichuan for the past 40 years, this disaster cannot be avoided (but damage should certainly be reduced, though the amount is unclear)
3) the art of earthquake prediction is still in its infancy. Even the 'warning' of Densmore et al. (pdf of the original article here) only managed to highlight that Longmen Mountain is a high risk area.

What should the government do? issue warning? enforce evacuation?

The best solution is perhaps to rely on the market. Let the insurance (to be precise, re-insurance) companies take the risk. The governement may require the builders and owners to pay for insurance premium. The insurance companies will then choose to fund which team of scientist, for how much, and what to act upon receiving a warning. Before we find a reliable (i.e. repeatable) earthquake prediction methodology/algorithm, we will have to rely on fuzzy logic and statistics/probability. Re-insurance companies will compete with each other, and only the fittest (i.e. those which could avoid loss of lives/properties at less cost) will have the competitive advantage.

The insurance companies are perhaps the best (more appropriate) people (at this moment) to do this, as they have done for HMO -- which allows them to reimburse preventitative medicine so that they could minimize the total medical bill in the long run.


Recognizing the professionalism, and hearts of the Japanese

This map shows how professional the Japanese media is. I was trying to locate 2 photos from Saturday's Ming Pao Daily on Japanese donation to the Wenchuan quake. I thought they are quite touching. One of them is a parliament member stopping a driver for donation, the other is a kind hearted lady (probably a housewife) holding a placard on the street asking for donation for China (she seems to feel terribly sad for the victim after watching the news).

What I found was the best map ever in any newspaper/website for the quake. from mainichi 每日新闻. showing the first quake, then the aftershocks of 6+ (red), 5-6 (green) and 4-5, with city names correctly labeled as well.

If China is ever to reach Japan in its accomplishment, economic or technological or whatever. It needs to learn from the Japanese professionalism. Many, if not most, Japanese do not see doing a job well as satisfying his boss or making more money. They just feel that they need to do things at their best. They do it for their own satisfaction and joy.

Secondly, as many Chinese have already seen in the famous picture of Japanese rescue team bowing to the victims they unearthed, they should also recognize that many Japanese people are friendly and sympathetic to Chinese people. I will simply show one small data point, a partial donation list one web site: yahoo.co.jp, which gave a link in its front page for donation to China's quake.

  • 緊急支援募金

    募金先団体, 日本赤十字社, 内容
    2008年5月12日に中国で発生した地震は、甚大な被害をもたらしました。日本赤十...[続きを読む]募金人数:16,001人 募金額:17,054,928円

    募金先団体, 日本赤十字社, 内容
    2008年5月2日から翌3日にかけてミャンマーで発生したサイクロンは、甚大な被害...[続きを読む]募金人数:9,863人 募金額:7,224,756円

The point here is not the total (it is only number from one website), but the relative sizes. As you can see, the total amount, number of people and the amount per person for China's quake is much higher than that for Myanmar (which has more casualty). The reason, of course, has more to do with the news blockade and the misersable response of the Myanmar Junta (and the great recent improvement by the Chinese government). Nevertheless, it helps to illustrate that the Japanese people overall are perhaps more sympathetic to Chinese people than other people from smaller (less known) countries, or at least, they are our friends, not our enemy.

Let's hope that this quake will offer an opportunity for the two great people of Asia to understand each other better, and work to ensure peace in this area of the world.


Maps and satellite photos of the Quake area

(update) Above is the map from Earthquake Bureau.

SourceFYJS.CN, National Bureau of Surveying;

The USGS has revised the coordinate of the epicenter. It is now on 30.989, 103.329, about 20km SES of the previous site. It is on the hilltop about midway between the towns of Gengda and Sanjiang. To be more precise, north of the village of Caoping.
(The previsous site was at the village of Xinfangzi and Laofangzi, 25km NWW of Yingxiu Town. Gengda Town, which is about 6 km East of the epicenter, is probably more devastated than Yingxiu. I hope someone in China could let us know if there is any news there. (more maps in FYJS link above)

View Larger Map

This is a satellite view of Beichuan County, along the fault line about 150km to the NE, hit by numerous aftershocks. More such images can be found in the NBS site linked above

Related link: 四川大地震数据分析图解(一)-- 震中搞错了?

Project Hope 2.0

As donation pours in for China's quake victims, many of us continue to donate, acting more out of easing our own grievance than how the fund will be used.

As China's economy grows, the government, with the donations, should have enough fund for the repairing the damage. Some cannot help but wondering how the fund should be used.

However, one question that has been raised (by CCTV as well) is what is called Tofu Engineering. i.e. the relatively new school buildings that collapsed while older buildings stand. No doubt some buildings are less well built, statistically. But it is also true that school buildings are usually done with the minimum budget. School casulies are also magnified because classrooms are usually much more crowded than home, or office buildings.

What we need now is looking forward, i.e. think about how to prevent these tragedies ahead of time. The technology is here and it is not expensive. It is easy and cheap to test the strength and stress tolerance of walls and pillars. It is also straightforward to determine gaps in structure. Strengthening a building may require only adding a few more pillars instead of a full rebuild.

Therefore, I would suggest we set up a special purpose fund for such preventative work. to begin let's focus it in school buildings (because the historic risk exposure is the highest). Let's perhaps call it Project Hope 2.0.

The fund will be used to
1) Identify structural faults in buildings in quake belts (let's start with schools, but it does not have to limit to schools)
2) To fund the structure strengthening, repair, or rebuild of these buildings when the test results show such need

With "Web 2.0", our donor could perhaps be able to trace down how his/her fund is used. i.e. testing structure for which building where or repair/reinforcement of which building, plus a picture of what has been accomplished. I am sure many of us, even those who do not trust charity bureacracy should be comfortable with such structure of the fund.

I wish there is such a fund for other developing countries as well, such as Pakistan. Perhaps the Bill and Merlinda Fund should consider this.

p.s. This post is prompted by a video interview by CNN (Yes, CNN has very good reporting -- most of the times.) on a Pakistani scientist tonight. The scientist did many study after the deadly Pakistani quake a few years ago, where many students were victims. Many of these disasters could have been avoided, if there is enough fund to identify and strengthen the structures of these buildings.
The CNN report also found that this is no coincidence for developing countries, as education is underfunded and schools are much more crowded than offices ot homes.
"Earthquake-resistant buildings there cost about 4 percent more to design and build than other structures" CNN reported in another interview. (there is a living proof in Sichuan: a Project Hope School, supposedly on low budget, was strong enough to withstand the quake in Beichuan County)

Update (I am replying to comments below from here, since it seems very hard to make comments on blogspot behind the GFW, while blogger.com is not blocked)

(1) Kiva models showed us that we can actually do one-to-one corrspondence between donors and receiver these. For the Kiva model see this Fortune report.
(2) re:HoKafka, please go ahead and set it up. I will try to fill in the skeletons when I got time. (I suppose "create" is faster as it requires no approval? -- I couldn't open the other link

I suppose there is discussion page at the wiki project where we can discuss and edit the project page? we can brainstorm over there?


Revelation of an American Hawk, about Myanmar

Robert Kaplan is an American hawk, a journalist pretending to be a politician/strategist, who knows absolutely nothing about strategy, but extremely 'patriotic' (or 'nationalistic', depending on your political stance). From his essay on "How we would fight China" I suspect he is a enthusiast of a board game called Risk. If he has read Sun Zi, I am pretty sure he has skipped the first 3 chapters for the lessons on tactics which he could begin to comprehend.

He is despised by the great American strategist Thomas Barnett, who often ridicules(1) Kaplan's lack of strategic insight. However, he has also gathered some fans, including some very intelligent bloggers who I have much respect for (and IMHO, understands the world and 'strategy' much better than whom they admire). Unfortunately, these bloggers had chosen their pseudonym from those of the most brutal British colonists, the British version of Pizarro, who had massacred thousands of disarmed Tibetans in their aggression to Tibet more than a century ago.

Anyway, back to Kaplan's new revelation, here are some quotes (the full article is replicated in cominganarch.com, plus the comment from adamu below), which offers a glimpse into the motivation behind the bickering between US and the Myanmar junta in aiding the victim

  • France’s foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, has spoken of the possibility of an armed humanitarian intervention, and there is an increasing degree of chatter about the possibility of an American-led invasion of the Irrawaddy River Delta.
  • As it happens, American armed forces are now gathered in large numbers in Thailand for the annual multinational military exercise known as Cobra Gold. This means that Navy warships could pass from the Gulf of Thailand through the Strait of Malacca and north up the Bay of Bengal to the Irrawaddy Delta. It was a similar circumstance that had allowed for Navy intervention after the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004.
  • Because oceans are vast and even warships travel comparatively slowly, one should not underestimate the advantage that fate has once again handed us. For example, a carrier strike group, or even a smaller Marine-dominated expeditionary strike group headed by an amphibious ship, could get close to shore and ferry troops and supplies to the most devastated areas on land
  • In other words, this is militarily doable. The challenge is the politics, both internationally and inside Myanmar. Because one can never assume an operation will go smoothly, it is vital that the United States carry out such a mission only as part of a coalition including France, Australia and other Western powers. Of course, the approval of the United Nations Security Council would be best, but China — the junta’s best friend — would likely veto it.
  • And yet China — along with India, Thailand and, to a lesser extent, Singapore — has been put in a very uncomfortable diplomatic situation. China and India are invested in port enlargement and energy deals with Myanmar. Thailand’s democratic government has moved closer to the junta for the sake of logging and other business ventures. Singapore, a city-state that must get along with everybody in the region, is suspected of acting as a banker for the Burmese generals. All these countries quietly resent the ineffectual moral absolutes with which the United States, a half a world away, approaches Myanmar. Nonetheless, the disaster represents an opportunity for Washington. By just threatening intervention, the United States puts pressure on Beijing, New Delhi and Bangkok to, in turn, pressure the Burmese generals to open their country to a full-fledged foreign relief effort. We could do a lot of good merely by holding out the possibility of an invasion
  • About a third of Myanmar’s 47 million people are ethnic minorities, who have a troubled historical relationship with the dominant group, the Burmans. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the heroine of the democracy movement, is an ethnic Burman just like the generals, and her supporters are largely focused on the Burman homeland. Meanwhile, the Chins, Kachins, Karennis, Karens, Shans and other hill tribes have been fighting against the government. The real issue in Myanmar, should the regime fall, would be less about forging democracy than a compromise between the Burmans and the other ethnic groups.

The lives of the victim were never what came first to the mind of the American hawk, "opening their country" is what they insist, plus the Balkanisation/Yugoslavation afterwards, which made them only a little better than the bloody Myanmar junta.

to Kaplan's credit, he concluded his essay with the Iraq lesson, "but make no mistake, the very act of our invasion could land us with the responsibility for fixing Burma afterward"

(1) Thomas Barnett has this to say about Kaplan, "Kaplan offers no vision, no strategy, nothing beyond accurate descriptions of the current state of warfare inside the Gap. He is the global war on terror's best sideline reporter, but he's the wrong source to cite on how to run the entire franchise." "


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.


China's quake belts

This is a map of China's quake belts (source). You can see the quake today (NW of Chengdu) is located at a "series quake" belt -- we have about 20 aftershock now.

This is the historic distribution of major quakes in China. China has perhaps the best registrar nad the most complete record of quakes for about 3000 years, mainly because in the past the emperors were superstitious and believed quakes were omen for the rulers. (As recent as 1976 the Tangshan quake which took from 1/4 to 3/4 million lives were regarded as omen for Mao's dynasty)

Again, although there are a lot of quakes, the quake frequency of China proper is much lower than that of Taiwan as shown in this map (note that the record for Taiwan dated from 1600s the earliest vs 3000 years of record for the mainland)-- which is on the circum-Pacific belt, with frequency similar to that of Japan, Alaska and California.

This one has the date and grade of historic quakes. Those in green are quakes before 1900.


Richter 7.9 Earth Quake hit right at Wolong Panda Reserve

The longitude and latitude data shows that the epicenter is a few km from the Wolong Panda Reserve.

Update: USGS revised the magnitude to 7.9 now (was 7.8, initially at 7.5). There are now OVER 20 aftershocks, all around 4.9-6.0 grade in Richter.

  • MAG UTC DATE-TIME y/m/d h:m:s deg LON deg DEPTH km Region
  • MAP 5.0 2008/05/13 03:00:38 31.222 103.671 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.3 2008/05/12 23:54:47 31.307 103.576 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.4 2008/05/12 23:46:19 31.319 103.501 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 4.6 2008/05/12 21:08:14 31.385 103.436 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 4.8 2008/05/12 20:51:26 32.312 104.958 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU
  • MAP 5.3 2008/05/12 20:45:31 31.759 104.420 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.6 2008/05/12 20:08:48 31.420 103.906 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 4.4 2008/05/12 18:55:21 32.223 104.850 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER
  • MAP 5.1 2008/05/12 17:54:32 31.250 103.492 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 4.8 2008/05/12 17:52:23 31.891 104.449 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 4.9 2008/05/12 17:03:10 31.133 103.586 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN, CHINA
  • MAP 5.1 2008/05/12 15:28:54 31.129 103.391 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.1 2008/05/12 15:05:31 31.258 103.700 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.1 2008/05/12 14:46:08 32.709 105.617 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER
  • MAP 5.1 2008/05/12 14:15:26 32.120 104.612 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER
  • MAP 4.9 2008/05/12 13:40:55 31.023 103.526 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 4.9 2008/05/12 12:15:42 31.898 104.623 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.8 2008/05/12 11:11:02 31.249 103.693 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.1 2008/05/12 10:23:40 30.992 103.413 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.5 2008/05/12 09:42:25 31.519 104.116 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 4.9 2008/05/12 09:23:35 32.142 104.894 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER
  • MAP 5.1 2008/05/12 09:07:01 31.255 103.788 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.0 2008/05/12 08:47:25 32.215 105.029 10.0 SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER
  • MAP 4.9 2008/05/12 08:26:13 31.399 103.957 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.2 2008/05/12 08:21:41 31.542 104.085 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.2 2008/05/12 08:10:59 31.225 103.574 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.4 2008/05/12 07:34:43 31.278 103.799 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 5.7 2008/05/12 06:54:18 31.155 103.826 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 6.0 2008/05/12 06:43:15 31.225 103.761 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN
  • MAP 7.8 2008/05/12 06:28:01 31.104 103.270 10.0 EASTERN SICHUAN

Note the aftershocks form a line, which is likely the "fault line" or "earthquake belt". For more updated map see here.

The lines joins the locations of different aftershocks. Red lines are the first 6 after-quakes. Blue line is the more recent after-quakes (colored differently for easy reading)

zoomed in, Chengdu in SW corner (you can see the longitude/latitude in lower left corner)

Earthquake wave sent from 1500km was felt here in Beijing, especially by those in high rises

  • Richter scale 7.8
  • Epicenter is 10km below ground level, which explains why the wave was able to reach as far as Beijing and Shanghai (Quakes closer to surface tend to be localized and absorbed in its neighborhood)
  • The epicenter is just north of the famous Dujiangyan, in Wenchuan County, which is part of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous State. From the map above we see the epicenter (and those of aftershocks) are all in the mountains, which is supposedly sparsely populated (in Chinese standard)
  • Note the epicenter is very close to the Famous Panda Reserve (Wolong)
There is no need to panic. Unless you live in the area west of Chengdu, Sichuan. But even in Sichuan, as we know, the after-quakes are in general mild comparatively. Note also that the apparent quake is much stronger upstairs, for the same degree of displacement (elementary geometry. It was said the you add 1 grade for every 6-8 floors up.

The epicenter is west of Mianyang, in Wenchuan County, the mountain NW of Chengdu Basin, where the slopes begin to climb to the east part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

For those who are still worried, let me tell you there had been over 10 of after-quakes over grade 5, which you did not feel (so it is unlikely that you will feel more quake at your localities)

With so many after-quakes, whatever unstable structures that is still there 10km underground should have more or less settled into something more stable.

It has also been noted that the high-rises in Beijing and Shanghai shook for 1-2 minutes. This is a result of "dispersion", i.e. when a wave transmitted through a distance, it spreads. (Technical note: because any wave is a superposition of different harmonics (difference frequencies in a fourier series), and the speed for difference frequencies are different, so the further it travels the wider the wave is spread apart)

Rumours, as usual, are passed by the unscrupulous. Such as this one

  • "中国地震局刚刚发布公告:北京时间08年05月12日14点30分左右北京局部地区发生2级轻微地震另警告在08年05月12日晚上22点至24点时间段北京局部地区还会有2-6级地震 望大家提前做好预防措施 --中国地震局 08年05月12日告"
It is easy to spot the flaws in these rumours. e.g.

  • if you go to geology website, it would be quick to know that there is no such grade 2 earthquakes (USGS site list all earthquakes above 2.5 over the world)
  • No earthquake prediction will say things as precise as 2200-2400pm or grade 2-4One simple way to verify is to check the website of the source, i.e., the so called "中国地震局"


Lee Kuan Yew tells China how to play the Western media rules

Well, for all of us here, bloggers or surfers, the advice for China's ossfied "Propaganda Department" is quite unaimous -- learn to play by their rules.

Now Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew weighed in. (via Blood and Treasure blog, and also Danwei)
  • my outlook, my mental approach is different from theirs. I would laugh at the west. Just like, you know, they say “Singapore is a fine city.” Everything is fine, no chewing gum, no litter in the streets, it's antiseptic, it's sterile. I don't take offence.
    People come here, people stay. It's safe, 3 a.m. in the morning, you can go jogging by the marina, nothing happens to you, no rape, and no muggings. News gets out: “We are dull.”
    Now, we are not dull, we are quite cool. We're going to have reverse bungee, all-night dining by the river and by the marina, two integrated resorts, Formula One. How do you explain that? Whether they like it or not, they have to shift the nuances.
  • You take Tibet. Who started it? It was started by the Tibetans. The March incident, March 14. I was reading Jonathan Eyal who writes for our Straits Times. He was a commentator from London. He is from I think Chatham House, a very thoughtful man. He said if they had called in the newspapers right from the word go, and said, look, this is what happened. The Economist correspondent was in Lhasa when it happened and wrote about it. He was favorable to them. The rioters started killing people and they were not reacting. The orders were not to shoot, not to take on the rioters because they didn't want trouble. Had they engaged the west, all this would have turned out differently.
    Why didn't they? Because there was a chasm between their mental make up and that of the west. So they say all western correspondents out, that means you have got something to hide. I think that was not very wise. Supposing it was Singapore, do we say all correspondents out? No. I say look come on, stay, watch it, see what happens, see who started what.
    Are they [the Chinese] stupid? They can't do what we do? No. Its just people at the people at the top have not been educated in the west, they have not been exposed to that kind of environment, that kind of rules of the game, and are not playing by those rules of the game.
    The day they build up an educated middle class, a large middle class, huge numbers of whom have been educated abroad, PHDs, MBAs in America, Europe, Japan elsewhere, and they are the people setting policies at the top, not people whose mental mindsets are from Soviet days, that day they will find they can play by the western rules and win.

I am a bit shortsighted than Senior Minister Lee. I think it takes more than (or it does not really) a new western world exposed generation to pull this. The source of the problem is not just the old hags at the notorious Propaganda Dept (which controls SARFT and the media). It is the extreme risk-averseness of the government which picked the Propaganda heads. This would hinder the effort to let in foreign reporters. However, Mr Lee is right. With the ubiquitous DV and camera phones plus the internet, with or without foreign reporter there is really little difference. They might as well let them in.

If what Mr Lee said is serious. The Singaporeans have to thank the MSM for labeling Singapore "dull", as it forced it to become cooler. In the same spirit, when China becomes "cool", the MSM should be credited, whatever their "original intention" was. The great people are those who could turn even the malicious force against them into something good for themselves. Mr Lee is a great person. China needs to take heed of him.

Anyway, I think what Mr Lee showed is a win-win scenario. Just like in his example of arm-wrestling between Singapore and the MSM. Singapore is now not dull (even if not all agree it is "cool"). When China takes his advise, the accompanying measures (which is as harmless to China itself as making Singapore "cool" for Singapore) will transform China, into something that is closer to the "Western ideal" -- well, in reality, the "universal ideal" which is created by extracting the portion of Western ideal which also is acceptable by China. (again, the "coolness" which fits both Mr Lee's and MSM's definition).

The nitpicking I have on Mr Lee is the notorious T3, and the equally notorious Norman Foster for airport, who had so much pratice at London's Heathrow that walking a km is considered short stroll. T3, though better than Chek Lap Kwok in terms of the limping walks, is not what Mr Lee thinks. It still suffers from the Heathrow/Chek Lap Kwok syndrome, i.e. they are designed as your exercise machines, not as your airport.

The demise of the HK Alliance

Wang Xizhe is a prominent (pro-democracy) dissident from China. He has spent more than 10 years in jail in China. He had a history of not singing with the crowd.

He has a prediction, that the life of the "HK Alliance" (in support for patriotic democracy movement of China) is numbered, due to a series of strategic mistakes. (HT and English translation). For the most recent example, he argued, The HKA has not been entirely tactful in its joining the protest against the Olympic Torch Relay in HK. Because this alienates its supporters (most of them, are "patriotic" and at the same time pro-democratic). He suggested by this year's date of 8x8 the turn-out number will reduce significantly.

I agree with his conclusion. But I am skeptical about the 'test' he suggested. Because
1) What can be alienated has been alienated, many times, and long ago. e.g. by the infamous statement Martin Lee made after the Belgrade Emabssy Fiasco. Lee defended the US bombing and faulted the Chinese within hours of the protests, acting as if he had more information than anyone else (quite unscrupulous for a successful barrister). So there is really no incremental difference that can be observed this year.
2) The "HKA" is not really a political party as Wang said (or wanted it to be). It is more of an idealist group than some organization that was established to achieve a clear political agenda. But Wang was right that its most recent action did not show clear alignment with its proclaimed ideal "patriotic democracy movement of China"

Perhaps Wang is right. That the "reminder" effect may still be significant. We will see in less than a month.


Boycott Guangzhou brands and businesses?

See this.
For those who boycott Carrefour, it is time to create a list of Guangzhou businesses and brands.


Spiegel vs Adidas

This is the best debate for the past few month, or shall I say, "ever"?

Well, it is supposed to be an interview. But the Spielgel reporter turned it into a debate, perhaps subconsciously (I highlighted some of these in bold type, short note in italic and blue fonts). But we thank the reporter for giving a chance for Mr Hainer to retort and defend, and we thank Spiegel for publishing it.

Transparency is good for the world, and it worked for China when Mao's decision to publish Synopsis for Project 571 has led to the awakening of the Chinese people from the Cultural Revolution 'brainwash'. This is probably what Spiegel (or RSF for that matter) should really be focusing in.



SPIEGEL: Mr. Hainer, the Olympic torch is being guarded by Chinese security officers (more...) who are part of a known paramilitary group. The group is normally used to protect Chinese government buildings or to stifle unrest in places like Tibet. When these people acted against demonstrators here in Europe, they were wearing Adidas tracksuits and shoes. That isn't exactly nice, is it?
Hainer: Nice? To be perfectly honest, I wasn't thinking about the word "nice" when I saw the images of the clashes in Istanbul. In the media, we constantly see people wearing our products. What I fear is that these games are now only about politics.

SPIEGEL: So it isn't a problem that these paramilitary thugs were wearing Adidas?
Hainer: It's a challenge for us to be providing equipment for the Olympic Games, for 100,000 helpers, athletes and officials, all of whom are doing their part to ensure that the games will be a peaceful and successful event. We did the same thing in Athens in 2004, and we'll be doing it again in London in 2012. The torch runners are just as much a part of it all as those who make sure that the torch relay can take place without disturbances. In fact, they are simply doing their…
SPIEGEL: …job?
Hainer: Do you think it's OK to violently disrupt the torch relay? It's OK that people use these events to publicize their political beliefs, but, in my opinion, that doesn't give them the right to violently disrupt the torch relay or extinguish the flame.

SPIEGEL: The torch relay has turned into a farce. The longer it lasts, the more professional are the attempts to exclude the public from this event.
Hainer: And the more professional are the attempts to disrupt it. Let's talk about the significance of the torch relay. The torch is a symbol of the Olympic Games, of peace and togetherness. It's a good idea. And this idea is now being misused. I believe in the Olympic ideal and in the torch that symbolizes this ideal. We should be condemning not those who have this ideal, but those who try to destroy it.

SPIEGEL: But the politicization of the games and the torch relay is a result of China's policies in Tibet. And don't you think it's questionable for these people to be attacking demonstrators on foreign territory? (Spiegel again used lie to bait Hainer. We may have see the blue tracksuits pushing the the torch grabbers away, but what the hell was he talking about they going out to "attack" the demonstrators? This is really unprofessional for Spiegel)
Hainer: You can't exactly expect us to resolve these sovereignty issues. Our job is to support sports and the athletes, and we will continue to do so -- just as we've been doing for the past 80 years. When (Adidas founder) Adi Dassler provided the equipment for the black sprinter Jesse Owens in 1936, it certainly wasn't a welcome move in Germany. We provided the gear for nations in the Soviet bloc at the 1980 Moscow games, and that too was no political statement. It would be wrong for everyone to simply capitulate now. I continue to be firmly convinced that sports bring together the peoples of this world like almost nothing else -- certainly more than many political movements. For instance, the 2006 football World Cup played an enormous role in improving Germany's image in the world.

SPIEGEL: Can't you say to the Chinese: We don't want these people wearing our tracksuits any more?
Hainer: Why should I do that? If we wanted to conceal something, we wouldn't sponsor anything at all. I don't have a guilty conscience. But please understand me correctly: Our commitment to the Olympics is not a political commitment. It's not a commitment to any particular social system or cultural idea. It is a commitment to sport.

SPIEGEL: Major international sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as Volkswagen, which, like Adidas, is sponsoring the Chinese organizing committee, are deeply concerned.
Hainer: Nowadays, anyone who supports such major events must expect that they will be used as a platform. In fact, there is no better platform. Let's be honest: The Tibet conflict has been around for more than 50 years, and now the months leading up the games are being used to market this conflict politically.

SPIEGEL: That sounds as if you are criticizing the human rights groups, Tibetans and non-governmental organizations. The games are also a platform for Adidas. You hope to position yourself as a sporting goods maker on the Chinese market.
Hainer: It's not a criticism of these groups. But I am astonished when I read in the papers that sponsors like Adidas and Volkswagen were supposedly surprised by the events. No one in our company is surprised when there are demonstrations surrounding the games. They will not be the last.
SPIEGEL: China and human rights violations (more...) -- this isn't exactly a new issue.
Hainer: Look back in history to see what boycotts have achieved: absolutely nothing. Try talking to athletes who were prevented from taking part in the games for political reasons. I'm opposed to any boycott. I read a survey that said 88 percent of Germans are opposed to a boycott. Even the Dalai Lama doesn't want a boycott. One of the purposes of the Olympic Games is to bring the nations of the world closer together, so that they can conduct an open dialogue. We should be careful about constantly imposing our values on others.
SPIEGEL: Before the games were awarded in 2001, the Chinese made human rights commitments which they have not upheld.
Hainer: It's the IOC's job to sit down with the Beijing organizing committee afterwards to discuss how it went. I've been to many Olympic Games. More than 10,000 athletes will be living together in the Olympic village like in a giant youth camp. Chinese people will come together with athletes from around the world, which will lead to a gradual improvement in communication and the establishment of a more open society. I am convinced of that. It's an evolutionary process, not a revolution.
SPIEGEL: But isn't it possible that the protests against the torch relay are also part of this change process, and therefore necessary?
Hainer: I'm completely in favor of people expressing their views in connection with such events. But using force to take the torch away from someone -- that goes beyond the limits of freedom of expression.

SPIEGEL: The Olympic "youth camp" is of great commercial importance to you. In addition to the Chinese team, Adidas is providing the equipment for 15 other national teams, and you are involved in 27 of the 28 Olympic disciplines. You have reportedly paid the Beijing organizing committee a total of €70 million ($112 million) for your sponsorship.

Hainer: We are not investing in an event that lasts only 17 days and at which we hope to make as much money as possible. Rather, the Olympics have been part of our brand for decades. That's why we provide equipment for more disciplines than any other company. We have sponsored events and campaigns in China for the past four years, and we have communicated to the Chinese that we support the Olympics and sports in general, and that we are looking forward to a fantastic games. We want to develop an emotional connection with consumers in China. Our goal is to reach more than €1 billion ($1.6 billion) in sales in China by 2010.

SPIEGEL: In that case, taking a political stance probably doesn't make much sense?
Hainer: You will not hear me making any political statements, neither on China nor on any other topic.

SPIEGEL: Do you have a personal opinion?
Hainer: Yes. If you want to bring the people of this world together, you have to be willing to engage with countries that do not share our democratic values.

SPIEGEL: Organizations like Human Rights Watch want you to make statements on human rights issues, on China's dialogue with the Dalai Lama and on freedom of the press in Tibet.
Hainer: It's an attempt to drag us into politics, and we won't allow it. Politics is the responsibility of the United Nations and individual governments. It isn't right to fight out these disputes at the expense of the athletes -- or at the expense of the sponsors.

SPIEGEL: But don't companies like McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen and Adidas allow themselves to be used for political ends?
Hainer: Then we couldn't do anything any more. No World Cup, nothing. We would have to speak out against (the Basque separatist group) ETA in Spain, and in the United States we'd have to tell the government how we feel about Guantanamo.

SPIEGEL: China still carries out a massive number of executions each year. (on a per capita basis I am not sure if China is in the first tier these days)
Hainer: Unfortunately, executions are even carried out in democratic nations. But, once again, Adidas is not a political operation, and I am not a politician. Or would you prefer to see me in charge of the government instead of (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel?

SPIEGEL: Jürgen Hambrecht, the head of BASF, recently said that the Germans would be well advised to stay out of the conflict (more...).
Hainer: He also said that in an interview with (German news show) "Heute Journal," in his role as the chairman of the Asia Pacific Committee of German Business. And he's right. For Germany, as an exporting nation, the Chinese market is tremendously important. We should be careful not to rush to judge, and we should look at things from both sides.

SPIEGEL: Don't you have to weigh the damage you inflict on your image in the West for not taking a position on China, against the losses you would incur in the Chinese market if you did speak out?
Hainer: No. The criticism is especially loud in Germany and France, but it's significantly quieter in many other countries. And in Asia, not just in China, people are looking forward to the games with great anticipation. I also believe that Western consumers -- unlike some in politics and the media -- understand our role correctly. We are involved in the Olympics because we make equipment for athletes. In any event, we have received more emailed complaints in the past about issues like the use of kangaroo leather in our shoe production than we have recently had about China. We have not noticed any damage to our image so far.

SPIEGEL: What would be the consequences if you were to suddenly take a political stance on China?
Hainer: It would certainly not make the world a better place. We, as a company, do what we can within the confines of our capabilities and our scope of responsibility, especially when it comes to working with our suppliers and factories in China. We insist on setting social standards in our agreements. In China, 300,000 people work indirectly for us. Wages are rising there, and more and more people can now afford a better life. That's our contribution.

SPIEGEL: Two weeks ago, non-governmental organizations published a report in Brussels on the athletic wear industry. Adidas was accused of exploitation in that report.
Hainer: At the same time, we are praised for having been the impetus for many positive changes. For years, we have repeatedly been attacked at our shareholder meetings, even though we are in fact a model company. We send out our own inspectors and allow the NGOs' inspectors into our factories. Those who violate our standards can expect their contracts to be cancelled. We publish an extensive social and environmental report each year. Of course, someone always comes along and tells us what we ought to improve. Just like everyone else, we're not perfect.

SPIEGEL: Do you feel hounded?
Hainer: Not hounded, but sometimes used. Attacking successful companies like Adidas generates a lot more attention than criticizing some no-name company.

SPIEGEL: In China, Adidas products are made in a total of 264 factories. Can you rule out corruption there?
Hainer: We try to crack down on every kind of criminality. I have been with Adidas for 20 years now, and we have been cheated many times. A few months ago, we fired the head of our factory outlet here in (the Bavarian town of) Herzogenaurach. We don't have to go to China to find corruption.

SPIEGEL: How often do you travel to China?
Hainer: Four times a year.

SPIEGEL: Are you in contact with Chinese party functionaries?
Hainer: I had a lot a contact with the organizers of the games. For instance, I had two meetings with the Chinese sports minister. These are intelligent people, demanding, but also extremely reliable. Of course, they too have figured out that they have an enormous market, one that everyone wants to tap, and they've become more careful as a result. It takes time to gain their confidence. But they are fulfilling all our agreements and contracts. Naturally there have also been critical moments when mistakes have happened.

SPIEGEL: For example?
Hainer: We made a bag with a Chinese flag on it, but instead of the stars, we inserted the Adidas three-leaf logo into the flag. A designer was being a little too creative. The Chinese complained, and we pulled the bags from stores immediately.

SPIEGEL: Is it is more stressful for an executive to deal with a Western democracy than a communist dictatorship?
Hainer: I don't deal with political structures, just with consumers. And they react differently, depending on the kinds of social and political conditions in which they were brought up. With some consumers, it just happens to take a little longer for us to help them realize how happy our products can make them.

SPIEGEL: You cancelled a press trip to China in late April. Is it too risky for you to reschedule the trip?
Hainer: Well, the main reason we canceled the trip was that our big new Adidas store in Beijing wasn't finished yet.

SPIEGEL: Isn't that just an excuse? You weren't exactly planning to spend days examining shelves in some store with the journalists, were you?
Hainer: Some store? You're going to make me fall off my chair. It's the biggest Adidas store in the world.

SPIEGEL: There were no political reasons?
Hainer: No. The delays in opening the store also have nothing to do with claims of reprisals by the Chinese. There were construction delays. We now plan to open in mid-June, and you are cordially invited to visit it at any time.

SPIEGEL: Are you traveling to Beijing for the Olympic Games' opening ceremony on Aug. 8?
Hainer: Of course.

SPIEGEL: During the games, the German water polo team plans to wear orange bathrobes to protest China's Tibet policy. You are the team's official outfitter. Will they be Adidas bathrobes?
Hainer: Certainly not. That's the athletes' business. We will neither stand in their way nor support them in this effort.

SPIEGEL: Would you have any objection to the Dalai Lama wearing Adidas?
Hainer: Not at all. Actually it's always been my goal to one day see the pope wearing our three stripes. With a German pope, the chances of that happening have never been as good.
SPIEGEL: After his operations, former Cuban President Fidel Castro appeared in an Adidas tracksuit several times.

Hainer: We don't have a problem with that, either.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Hainer, thank you for this interview.

Koo Kuan-min mimicking CNN?

CNN, ""CNN would like to clarify that it was not Mr. Cafferty's, nor CNN's, intent to cause offense to the Chinese people, and [CNN] would apologize to anyone who has interpreted the comments in this way."

Taiwan's DPP chariman candidate, after telling the public that DPP should not be run by a single unmarried middled age woman (i.e., his competitor Ms Tsai Ying-wen) , "apologize", "If what I said made someone uncomfortable, I feel very sorry (如果他說的話有讓人覺得不舒服,他感到很抱歉)"

Is Koo very "CNN"?

The Creationist Myth of Chinese Nationalism

The Creationist Myth of Chinese Nationalism

via ESWN


Light viewing: Paris under PLA occupation

Chinois à Paris, Les (1974) is a French satire movie ...
  • ...an acid "satirical comedy" on life in Paris under a hypothetical Chinese occupation of that city. In the end, the Chinese are obliged to leave because the French have led them down the sinister paths of over-fornication, over-eating and over-womanizing. The film is above all a satire of the collaboration of the French with the Nazi occupants in Paris during WW2...

But there is a ballet scene within the movie which is a hilarious cross of the Red Detachment of Women (real video(1), (2)), Carmen and more...enjoy

(via Douban's 宇宙囧片王小组)

Bonus: 东北之冬 (via Hecaitou which introduced me to this Douban group) a great subtitled Karaoke for Chinese to sing (and memorize) an Indian song.


Lhasa Anecdote (3) - The friendly Tibetan people

This was a half finished post from my Tuboh trip almost a month ago. I did not think there is much insight I could generate from these anecdotes. I finally decided to share it after I read this essay by "Chairman Rabbit" ESWN translated (scroll down as he copied the NYT article first), I thought I could share a few data points to (illustrate) "what the Tibetan really want". Esp Re: this question

  • The article also said:
    Students argue that China has spent billions on Tibet, building schools, roads and other infrastructure. Asked if the Tibetans wanted such development, they looked blankly incredulous. “They don’t ask that question,” said Lionel Jensen, a China scholar at Notre Dame. “They’ve accepted the basic premise of aggressive modernization.”

  • It is not hard to see that the reporter was skeptical about the views of the students. I have participated in many forums on Tibet, and I never heard any westerners questioned the Tibet independence supporters or sympathizers: ""Do the majority of Tibetan people need and care most about independence, religion and culture?" I have never heard anyone asked this kind of question. Here, most westerners' assumptions are: These lofty political rights, culture and pursuit of values are obviously more important than the quest for basic economics, existence and materials!" Of course, they have never done any public opinion polling in Tibet. Instead of being supported by facts, their ideas are propped up by their belief values. With these beliefs, they will obviously give even more sympathy to the Tibetan independence movement.
In my rather short trip I tried to talk to as many Tibetans as I could. I went into (rather shabby looking) Tibetan tea houses. I tried my best talk to every Tibetan I met. When I finially got into a lone Tibetan driver cab, I asked him to take me to the airport the next day but 'dumped' the Han driver who I had asked the previous day because I want to talk to Tibetan.

People who have read this blog know that I do not trust the state propaganda (and am critical on any media in general), I also assume the Han Chinese I met are biased to a certain extent (what they said are pretty much in line with the official lines, which is not surprising. Though I was able to extract some inference myself -- more later). I wanted to hear with my own ears what the Tibetan think of me (a Han Chinese), Han Chinese in general, and if possible, what they think about the issues of D-L, T-I, and more specifically, the event from March 10-15.

Of course, what I observed in this short trip is only illustrative. In Chinese we call it "viewing a leopard view a pipe" (管中窥豹). i.e. If it is indeed a leopard what I saw could extrapolate reasonable, but if what on the other side of the pipe is an elephant then I might have only shown you its trunk. (瞎子摸象). I think my observation is more of the former (as I did try to triangulate and I viewed a few different part of the animal's body) but I really do not have enough data. Since I am a Han myself and spoke Mandarin to them (even though I managed to "speak" to a few people who could barely speak Mandarin) they should be naturally careful when speaking to me (I made it clear that I am not from mainland so better my chance to gain their trust, and I know I suceeded in a couple times -- see below). Nevertheless, I could still be the photon which might have unknowingly killed Schroedinger's cat in a few of my 'interviews' (i.e. my data point was changed because of who I was).

From the extremely small (and insignificant statistically) sample of interviews. Here is what I gathered:

1) People are friendly in general, to me and to Han people

  • I tried to look into all Tibetans in their eyes. Occasionally I met a few looks which seem to be suspicious or hostile (a couple young / middle age men). Many people are, of course, indifferent to a curious (and perhaps stupid looking) tourist like myself. So I would also assume a similar proportion of these people are "hostile". My estimate is perhaps 10-15% of the Tibetans detest the presence of Han Chinese there. The rest do not really care (or accept the fact that there is little they could do, or just wanted to mind their own business) -- overall, they are in general friendly to me

  • Of those who gave me a suspicious look. I tried to smile at them, about half of them actually smiled back

2) Most people are willing to talk about 3-14 briefly, but stopped when I inquired further (eg the taxi driver who told me about how his car was spared in the riot because he has hada on the side mirrors). Nevertheless, from what they said nothing contradicts with what I have understood or what has been reported by Kadfly and James Miles. I heard nothing that supports the pro-Tibetan claim of a crack down or death of protestors/demonstrators, i.e. include those who told me they love DL and they had sent their kids to India (Dha-lam-saaaala). (But my sample is small and they may be afraid to talk)

3) (Now Re: Chairman Rabbit's question)

  • I cannot answer for those in Lhasa city. I have seen both people who care about only improving his live and also a few who are DL followers. It seems (from both Tibetan and Han) that people from Kham/Chamdo area tend to be more loyal to DL. However, the caveat is that DL follower are not necessarily TYC-ideology supporters, though among the youth I suppose there is a high correlation.

  • In the rural area (and the more recent migrants from rural into Lhasa), I can pretty comfortably say that most people care only about their livelihood

  • This is hardly surprising. You get the same answer when you ask about how urban and rural people think of democracy in 1990 (as we know, % who care about propserity is much higher today)

Below are pictures related to some of my interviews.

Taxi driver who said, "[3-14] is not to be talked about". Before we talked a bit about everything, and how his car was spared of the fire/etc. Picture show we drive into 2_bridge_1_tunnel (the newly built bypass which cut through Lhasa River, Yaluzangbu River and a mountain and shortened the trip to airport by 30km.

Couple have a home under glacier. They don't speak Mandarin. They only care about selling me a small box of crytals they gathered to me for 50RMB. Very friendly people, and honest traders.

Girl under the glacier - who was eager to sell me a couple crystals, invited me into their little hut. Very friendly, and quite industrious. (in selling stuff. The way she behaved and talked was still pure and innocent, even when she was asking for money/candy you never feel the greediness you see in the businessmen in Lhasa or other Chinese cities)

Lady turning dharmawheel north of Jokhang Monastery Wall in N. Barkhorn Street. Amused at a lone tourist who ventured into thsi forbidden area.

Lady turning dharmawheel north of Jokhang Monastery

Tibetan old man (one of those in this picture) - who did not hesitate to reveal his support for DL. A lady (also in this picture) showed me a photo of her two sons, said "India". When I asked "Dhalam-s-aa"? They nodded with happy approval.

Then the old man muttered to me, "You from HK, HK also minority people"

I could only smile back.

Inside this Tuboh Tea-house in the same block of Barkhorn, the owner told me he spared his own shop and a few shops next door owned by Han people by hanging Hada (white scarf) outside. When I asked how he knew about hanging Hada he was going to join his friend, not sure he didn't hear or he pretended not to. He is one of those from rural area (Gangtze) and made a living in Lhasa. He manage the teahouse in low season, and hire waitress and let his wife manage during peak seasons, when he become a driver to make extra bucks. He is probably sympathetic to the Tuboh cause (not necessarily independent) but care more about a stable and prosperous life. He told me the latter explicitly but I suspect the former is also true.

Near the lake I also met 2 Tuboh businessmen in a brand new Volkswagen SUV. They talked to me more along the government lin and condemned the "minority rioter". It is possible that they faked because they are suspicious of me (perhaps more about my driver who stood next to me). But more likely they supported the government because they benefited from the status quo.