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Buried under rubble

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James Reynolds | 10:13 UK time, Thursday, 15 May 2008

Another late night post (I write this at 3 in the morning). Spent the day driving around Sichuan province looking at the earthquake damage.

In one city, we saw desperate family members trying to break through a police line to get news of their missing relatives. As we drove along, we saw lines of people living in tents by the side of the road.

chinadoor226.jpgOn one corner, there was a queue of people carrying empty buckets waiting to fill them up with fresh water. Soldiers turned us back from one village where rescue efforts were still going on.

At dusk we headed into the small village of Yue Jing. From the village's corn fields and cabbage patches you get a good view of the surrounding hills and mountains.

Many houses in this village are now rubble. The Fu and the Chen families share a single tent between 10 people. A little way down a lane, Fu Zhou Chen has moved his family out of the remains of their home in case it falls down.

Further on, Chen Shun Qiang and his wife Wan Xin Ping have set up camp in a small tent built on the remains of their home (they cooked their evening meal of rice porridge in the open air).

We kept walking - past a dog chained to a doorpost (the dog was still faithfully guarding his owner's home even though the house itself was now a pile of debris.)

One man walking with us pointed to a collapsed house at the end of the alleyway. He told us that the woman who lived inside the house had been killed and that her body was still trapped beneath the rubble.

I wasn't sure whether or not to believe the story (when we first got into the village, one woman told me that hundreds of people in the village had been killed. But someone else insisted that no more than three people had died).

Then, the story of the woman buried under rubble became clear. An elderly man wearing a brown overcoat several sizes too big for him walked up to the house. He was followed by a younger woman wearing a green cardigan.

chinareynolds226.jpgThe elderly man told me his name was He Si Yong (the younger woman was his daughter He Rong - she had just flown in from the coast to be with him.)

On Monday afternoon, when the earthquake happened, Mr He had been out in the nearby fields. His wife Wang Ding Fen was resting at home in their living room. After the quake, Mr He ran back to the house - but he found that everything was destroyed. His wife was underneath the rubble - there was no chance she could have survived. Their home is now her coffin.

Mr He said he'd heard that rescue workers might be able to come and dig out his wife's body in a few hours, but he wasn't sure. As he talked quietly, He Si Yong stood close to his daughter - it reminded me of the way young children stand close to their mothers for support.

We said goodbye, walked through the corn fields, and back towards the hills.

PS - a quick note. The places we've been able to get to have been reasonably accessible. Life in the areas which have been cut off is much worse.

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:42am on 15 May 2008, Newborn_Khampa wrote:

    Tragic, indeed!!! Mr. James, thank you for the post, and I would like hear more about what those locals think of the government's rescue effort so far. Coz. some news media as well as a few commentators here have already praised the Chinese government for their 'swift action' since the tragedy striked the country. Is this a media manipulation or a government tactic to provide a good image while what is happening on the ground is this; people have still been buried under the rubble for 4 days? That's not a 'swift action' for a country that has the largest armed force in the world. One thing is the government rhetoric and another is the action on the ground. This is a government lives on dissermination of the 'good words' with little substantive action. People are dying in every minute, and it has days to waste!!! Pathetic

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  • 2. At 1:37pm on 15 May 2008, feihing wrote:

    James, a lot of people are posting on various boards and asking how to donate to disaster relief in China. I'd recommend the Jet Li One Foundation set up by the movie star Li Lien Jie after the Asian Tsunami in which he was nearly killed. The One Foundation works with the Chinese Red Cross Society and has wide support and is raising significant amounts for the relief effort. Their website is at www.one-foundation.com.


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  • 3. At 2:57pm on 15 May 2008, johnnycsha wrote:

    James

    Again I see how your stories are selected for sensation and spectacle. It is no better than tabloid reporting.

    Or you have no access to sources for writing a better piece.

    BBC readers really deserve better quality reporting that shows insight and knowledge, not just spin.

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  • 4. At 4:00pm on 15 May 2008, fairreport wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 4:36pm on 15 May 2008, Jimitintin wrote:

    Dear James,
    I appreciate your work in China and your comments on different issues. However, I just want to say that, not all the Chinese are just pathetic puppets of the "communist" regime. So please, write in a more friendly and fair way.

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  • 6. At 4:41pm on 15 May 2008, YiXin921 wrote:

    To 1. At 11:42 am on 15 May 2008, Newborn_Khampa

    I really do not want to say how stupid you are. If you still have a little respect to Chinese people, can you just more care about these victims??? Do not always try so hard to twist the Chinese Government.
    Give you some basic knowledge about the earthquake zone. The size of Sichuan province is bigger than twice of Britain and the size of Chongqing municipality which was a part of Sichuan before 1997 is bigger than Scotland, the total population of these two hard-hit areas is more than 110million. And also Gansu province,Yunnan province, ShanXi province and Henan provice all have reported death due to the quake, and the population of these four effected provinces are more than 200million and the size of these four province are 5 times of Britain.
    And another important fact is that as a common knowledge the geographical environment of Sichuan province is extremely difficult for rescue. In China there is a very famous ancient poetry, written by the famous poet Li Bai about 1300 years ago, said that the ways to Sichuan are more difficult than to heaven.(Excuse my poor translation ) Anyway, anyone who have ever been Sichuan all know that even without nature disaster it is still very difficult to travel in this area.
    There are really many many people in western countrise who have a strong prejudice with Chinese government because of the propaganda of west media. But please just think about why so many Chinese students studying abroad who also have many knowledges about west governments give their strong support to Chinese government. Some people in west may were surprised by the swift reactions of Chinese government in this earthquake. What I can tell you is that most Chinese people were not surprised, because whatever disaster happened the Chinese government always mobilized the whole country very soon and send troops to the most dangerous places as soon as possible such as the flood in 1998, the snowstorm this year and so on.
    So now I can give you a answer for why Chinese oversea students support the government so strongly, it is because that we know once our country and countrymen are in dangers, the only one who can unite 1.4 billion people and protect them is the Chinese government. Also, lets talk about the human rights, everytime when Chinese people were in disasters the Chinese government always did it's best for people, and at the same time in the other hand those westners who always say they concern the human rights in China did nothing to help Chinese people and again and again criticise the Chinese government.
    Just because those so-called human right activists just care about their political interests and even if all 1.4 Chinese people died, it is not their business.

    One more fact that soldiers enjoy a very high reputation and respect in China and every year lots of young people want to join the army, because soldiers always protect people in the most dangerous places. For example, this time airborne troops who voluntarily go to the earthquake area all left their letters for their families in case they would never come back.

    In this difficult time, as a Chinese student studying abroad I just would like to entreat everyone that please drop your political views just for few days and give more concerns to those victims.

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  • 7. At 4:47pm on 15 May 2008, lifeYing wrote:

    Newborn_Khampa's doubt of the Chinese government' s 'swift action' because of the fact that people are still buried under the rubble for 4 days shows how ignorant he/she is of the situation of Sichuan, China and earthquake. Much of such ignorance originated from terribly biased reports from western journalists.
    I'm a local, studying in London now and is going back after the Phd. Almost all my relatives are in Sichuan. The first hand and second-hand accounts I've heard from them give me a clear picture of how the government is trying the best and how united, movingly selfless people are. When I'm saying this I wonder how many readers here are going to say I'm a brainwashed cog of the propaganda machine of the government. Well, believe what you want to. Only hope James can see through your politicized spectacles to bring some insights into the people and the country. China is no longer the regime of the 70's. Let's start from this.

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  • 8. At 4:58pm on 15 May 2008, YiXin921 wrote:

    Btw, British should study some experiences from China. Look at the bulidings in London, most of them were built without reinforcing steel bar. If this earthquake happened in Britain, can not imagine how many people would die. And look the actions of fire-fighters, every time when the fire were jangling it's a good time to see the slow-action performances.

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  • 9. At 5:25pm on 15 May 2008, radio-one wrote:

    Please send our regards to the Chinese people and the army/rescuers, our thoughts are with them.

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  • 10. At 5:54pm on 15 May 2008, zijiechen wrote:

    Mr. James:

    As a Chinese oversea student, I would like to say `Thank you` to you for all your achievement on introduce China to the world. I am doing a Law degree in Bath, the kindness and friendly local people make me very comfortable to stay and studying here. My teacher asked me about my family and friends in China. Are they safe and etc.

    I noticed that the media has big influence on leading people`s opinion. As a reporter, I hope you can be justice and study more background knowledge before you make your report.

    Chinese government and our military are really doing their best to save their people. As a Chinese, I am proud of them.

    Good luck for your life in China and take care!

    zijie chen

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  • 11. At 6:05pm on 15 May 2008, YiXin921 wrote:

    I am just wondering why BBC did not mention that these countise which are near the epicenter are all parts of the Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.Most population of this area are Tibetans and Qiang people. In the other words many Chinese troops and ordinary Chinese people paid their live to save those Tibetans and Qiang people who live in remote areas.

    This is a the really reflection of the relationship between diffierent ethnic groups in China. We are compatriots and if there is only one chance to survive we would like to give the chance to others.

    Bless all Chinese people effected by the quake, Han, Tibetans,Qiang and all people of 56 ethnic groups.

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  • 12. At 6:37pm on 15 May 2008, otherchinese wrote:

    I hope by the time we read this blog, the rescue workers had reached Mr He’s area.

    Newborn_Khampa asked a good question on the comparisons of the media speedy rescue and the actual rescue on the ground. We should ask hard questions with the intention to make the rescue work going better.

    I hope you, me, and other people don’t just stop at asking questions. I hope we do not draw our conclusions already simply based on a single case from the reporter’s encounter at a single point of time in this blog. Please also bear in mind of the massiveness of the quake and the chaos it may bring, the difficulties the rescue effort is facing. I hope we don’t stop at one media source (e.g. this blog) to find out our answers.

    There are other non-Chinese (if you prefer) news media you can go to and get an idea about how the Chinese government, people (Chinese or non-Chinese) affected or not affected by the quake respond and cope with the quake. For example http://www.npr.org/blogs/chengdu/

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  • 13. At 6:39pm on 15 May 2008, SoCalLui wrote:

    James, why is your photo in this report? Is this about you or the victims of the quake? I have to say great photo, very heroic, like you're directing the peasants in the resuce effort. I also want to say thanks for not linking your report to the Olympics.

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  • 14. At 6:41pm on 15 May 2008, zhangchi36 wrote:

    James, it's good to have a critical eye when you reporting, but please do it with compassion too, please do check how your fellow journalist did a wonderful job, Jane Macartney from Times, Tania Branigan from Guardins, thanks for your hard work and indepeth coverage.

    I m quite fed up with Jame's reporting style, is there any chance we can make a petition to ask him to get out of our motherland, and send someone more like a human?

    surely we have the rights to show the door to an unwelcome guest

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  • 15. At 7:32pm on 15 May 2008, taobo33 wrote:

    Newborn_Khampa let me tell you something
    There are billons of billons people living in Sichuan province alone and it is very easy for journalist with a criticise mind like James Reynolds to find one family who still got some member been buried under the rubble.

    I am not saying criticising is not good actually it is good because people can know people still need help in a massive scale despite the huge effert Chinese government has made so far.

    Giving the scale of this disaster it is very amusing to see people like you started to barking at Chinese government without evaluating the overall situation because James Reynolds pointed out people still need help like the family of He Si Yong.
    It's always easy to criticise but next time before you do please think twice.

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  • 16. At 8:41pm on 15 May 2008, tigerSiming wrote:

    Mr. James,

    I am very disappointed at and agonized by your sarcastic tone in your report. Being a reporter in China, you should have the basic knowledge of the geopgraphy of this China. You will then understand how hard it is to be "swift" in bringing rescue troops to the mountainous and remote earthquake stiken areas.

    Considering the vast area and population affected by the earthquake, it is hard for any governement to cover it completely. Take also consideration of the broken roads that does not allow rescue machines to move in to start the rescue work. Priority also given to the areas that involves high death toll and casualties.

    There will always be people complaining because it is impossible to get every one treated when the destruction degree is so severe and high.

    You are neat, clean in the pictures. Besides blah blah blah blah and criticizing the Chinese government, you have done nothing so far to help, only producing biased and twisterd image of the government that is trying its best to deal with the situation.

    Where is your conscience and professional ethics?





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  • 17. At 01:04am on 16 May 2008, snsgenius wrote:

    One ignorant guy named Newborn_Khampa said earlier that s/he still has doubts as to whether Chinese govertnment is trying its best to rescue those people in the hard-hit areas in Sichuan Province.

    To be frank, as a Chinese national, I was shocked and deeply angered by his irresponsible words.

    Maybe he should have checked some related facts about this devastating earthquake first. Maybe he simply has no idea how vast and populated Sichuan Province is. Just don't expect a Chinese province to be as small as England or France in terms of sheer area.

    We do have the largest army in the world, but remember they are called "the army of people's sons and brothers" among the Chinese. Every time there happens a natural disaster in the country like the heavy floods in 1998 and the snow disaster early this year, they would certainly be fighting on the frontline, saving lives and protecting properties.

    What are American and British soldiers are doing these days? Policing the whole world? Occupying Iraq under a false claim of restoring "democracy and peace"? I suggest Newborn_Khampa should review some photos of the American soldiers taken after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

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  • 18. At 01:54am on 16 May 2008, Mr Zou wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 19. At 03:29am on 16 May 2008, wingchau wrote:

    Newborn_Khamp: There was a programme aired in Ifeng satellite TV station after the publication of the book "The CIA's Secret War in Tibet", written by the CIA operators involved with the Tibet 'rebellion' containing interesting informative on the histroy of Tibetian 'rebellion. During the interview in that programme, the guy directly involved with the CIA operation said "No one is going to war for Tibet. All we want is to create an open sore in China, to keep them occupied" And when Nixon wanted to establish dipolmatic relationship with China, the CIA abruptly stopped supporting the armed rebels, and allowed Nepal to kick them out of the country.
    I am afraid your people has been a victim of American deceit. They encouraged you to rebel against the Chinese nation when it suited their purpose. When you have out lived your usefullness, your people are discarded, just like many others before you. Its time to wake up and face teh reality.

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  • 20. At 05:50am on 16 May 2008, tkbutt wrote:

    Lets not politicise the disaster in the responses. This article is purely about the tragedy and its impact on the people. I understand the emotional impact this has on all Chinese, but I found nothing wrong with this post from James Reynold. He captured the feeling and atmosphere well and wrote objectively.

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  • 21. At 06:50am on 16 May 2008, TheMiddlePath wrote:

    Just how powerful was the Wenchuan Quake ?
    Magnitute 10X more powerful then 1995 Kobe quake.
    Lasted 9X longer 3mins VS 20secs
    Half as shallow. 11km VS 22km
    Total Kobe fatalities were 5500.

    Furthermore some townships like Beichuan and YingXiu were litterary swept away by landslide due to the mountainous area. They did not stand a chance.

    And I am suprised that BBC has not transfer James Reynold out of China. Everytime I see his face it reminds me of how he call all Chinese Ostriches.

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  • 22. At 09:36am on 16 May 2008, tommywang wrote:

    also, why do you have to take advantage of the people who lost their beloved?!

    why cant you focus a bit more on how normal Chinese are volunteering to help!? giving blood, money, shipping supply etc...

    oh... not of your interests huh? makes want to see your contract!

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  • 23. At 09:44am on 16 May 2008, tommywang wrote:

    i just tried to post a long comment, somehow it isn't going through... will try again tonight!

    james, disappointment after disappointment!

    piority now is to save life, bring supply to the alive. i hope you appreciate the fact that many of these rescuers walked tens of hours with equipments on their shoulder (unlike you) and as far as i understand, heavy lifting isn't the easiest job on earth after many hours of marching through mountains!

    just realised your blog title...

    indeed, it is YOUR China, not mine, not Chinese people's.

    GET OUT

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  • 24. At 11:04am on 16 May 2008, wikct2 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 1:44pm on 16 May 2008, njust97 wrote:

    China,go your own way,let others talk~
    sb bbc

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  • 26. At 2:18pm on 16 May 2008, lizmoore wrote:

    James Reynolds has no heart.

    He sees China through tinted glass, simply his mind has been contaminated. When most of us express our sympathies to earthquake sufferers, he has other things in his agenda. He trains his focus on things trivial and negative. He has super ability to find negativities.

    James Reynolds is sick. All his work only shows how petty and small mind he has.

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  • 27. At 2:28pm on 16 May 2008, born_in_Osmanthus wrote:

    Shouldn't those who complain about James Reynolds reporting about the earthquake from within the disaster struck area (e.g. tommywang) appreciate the following facts: (1) a reporter is doing his job; (2) a reported is allowed to do his job.

    Point (1) is important although many people take it for granted, so let's leave it at that for the moment. Point (2) - it's great that China is opening up itself for scrutinising by not just state media, but also foreign media. He wasn't chaperoned, no one try to stop James from talking to the He family. This is v commendable treatment of foreign media by the Chinese govt.

    Although the rescue effort of the Chinese govt is making SEEMS slow, it appears to me to be very well organised given the difficulties and the areas (thus populations) affected. They first sent in the troops to ensure order is maintained, before they invite in the foreign aids.

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  • 28. At 2:35pm on 16 May 2008, ravenblk wrote:

    Just how powerful was the Wenchuan Quake ?
    Magnitute 10X more powerful then 1995 Kobe quake.
    Lasted 9X longer 3mins VS 20secs
    Half as shallow. 11km VS 22km
    Total Kobe fatalities were 5500.

    =========================

    You might want to add one thing:

    The power of this earthquake = 400 neuclear bombs exploring at the same time.

    So think, how much damage it can do.

    Sichuan is a province with mountains one after another - no, not like the ones in scotland, REAL mountains. The roads are simply one way in and out. The rescue work is delayed as the roads were down and there are massive landside despite the twist of the road by the quake itself.

    Could someone please at least learn a little bit of geography and chemistry before he comes up and barks around??

    Oh, I forgot, the someone must be very proud of his ignorance because he is not as 'brain-washed' as ALL the chinese. He should probably save his last word for himeself.

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  • 29. At 3:15pm on 16 May 2008, revilogo wrote:

    People like Newborn_Khampa and his/her ilk, who seek political capital and schadenfreude out of human tragedy makes me want to physically retch from disgust and anger.

    Having visited China and Tibet on numerous occasions and seen first hand China's development and the changing nature of its society and government, I am having increasingly diminishing sympathy for the Tibetan cause.

    I find the Tibetan cause borders on becoming an industry and its devotees extremely naive, simplistic, ignorant, full of hyperboles, exagerations and ultimately selfish, narrowminded and prejudicial if not actually racist.

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  • 30. At 8:20pm on 16 May 2008, maggiehao wrote:

    Thanks James for the report. I understand it is quite difficult to report in such a vast area with the harsh condition and so many sad stories going on.
    However it really confuses me why this report has generated so many overwhelmingly negative feelings in most of the comments.
    I wonder when people asked James to report fairly, shouldn't they also control their prejudice themselves? I feel that somehow they reacted this way solely because this post is written by James.

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  • 31. At 03:23am on 17 May 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    James:

    It is ok to write at 3.00am in the morning....

    It is very sad to see towns in China buried...

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  • 32. At 07:17am on 17 May 2008, masabimulawa wrote:

    I'd like to comment on what YiXin921 wrote yesterday:

    You posted a long and heartfelt comment on the current situation in China and on westerners and the western media response. I can appreciate what you say.

    I think it may be true of others what is true of myself: we in the west tend to still think of China and its government as the tyranical an deluded oppresors they were before, during and even after Cultural Revolution. China's political realities have changed; but western views may not be keeping, still, with those changes.

    Also, we westerns do commit the grievous sin of judging other cultures by the values, standards and assumptions of our own. This is an error oftentimes leading to unfair assessments. While in the west we value, indeed prize, democratic freedoms and personal liberties and base our life on their daily reality and exercise, and while these are often interpreted and defined differently, or undervalued, or highly curtailed in other countries; we need to realize that cultural history, economic and social conditions in other countries are not as in the west, and that political, economic and social changes within a culture must be generated from within that culture and in keeping with its needs and its growth and never imposed from without. What is good for the goose is not necessarily good for gander! A truism we in the west need to keep in mind and honor.

    At your end, please keep in mind that in the west even as much as you do in the east, we grieve for the suffering of others when disasters happen; we grieve when we learn of oppression and tyranny imposed by any government on its people. And we yearn to alleviate the suffering and eliminate tyranny in any form.

    In your hour of need and grief, do know that the hearts and prayers of people here are with you even if not always as cleanly as they ought, and even if we cannot be of greater comfort.

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  • 33. At 07:29am on 17 May 2008, masabimulawa wrote:

    Within a span of ten days, the world has experienced a killer cyclone in Burma, killer tornadoes in the American midwest, a monstrous earthquake in China, and a volcanic eruption in Bolivia, South America. Thousands have died, thousands more left homeless. To my thinking, it is perhaps the dead who are the more fortunate. For it is those of us left behind who bear the greater burden of grief, loss and uncertainty. And the prospect of a future that grows forever darker and more foreboding. Truncated young lives--the hurt of their loss reaches deeply and will not soon be healed, but they have been spared a future that bodes ills greater than mankind has ever known. The human race needs set its house in order...

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  • 34. At 7:42pm on 18 May 2008, Newborn_Khampa wrote:

    My heart and prayer goes to the victims of the earthquake.

    To my emotionally charged critics ( YiXin921, snsgenius,wingchau, taobo33 and others), all I have said in my comments is that the government's rescue effort might not be as 'swift' as we might have been informed lately by the media. This is why I request Mr. James to give voice to the locals instead people like you, making judgement out from your narrow nationalistic sentiment which makes you blind of your ability to make distinction between the Chinese government and China or the Chinese. I can tell you that I have stated my comments with at least my basic knowledge of Sichuan's geographical conditions ( for your information, I lived and travelled widely in Sichuan before moving to Beijing, and a great fun of Sichuanese food and people). So, you can spare your basic knowledge about Sichuan for some unwired and unconnected people in the world, whom you may never be able to find anyway.
    Don't tell me it is because Sichuan is remote and mountainous, coz. the remoteness of the province is partially true, only the Northwest and Southwest of the province are 'remote' in the sense that they are quite mountainous. The rest of the province, on the other hand, is flat plain with big metropolises such as Chengdu and Chongqing which was administratively separated from the province a few years ago. The 'remote' areas are too well-built in terms of transportation infrastructures i.e. road, rail and airplane. If used, there is always a 'way' here to provide better asistance to needy people on the ground. One of you, to prove how remote and mountainous Sichuan province is, and stated a poem composed by the ancient poet, Li Bai some 1300 years ago. What a joke? We are in the 21st century not in 8th century AD when there was no car, planes and modern equippments. You seems to love to mention the size of the province comparing it to European countries. It is big? so what? it is still a small province of China. It is hugely populated? well, it is still a fraction of 1.3 billion people. It may not be easy for the government, but this is a government very good at cracking down political dissent with its fast military deployment while not so good at saving lives from the quake. I am not saying the government hasn't done anything about the quake, but it can do much more than what it is doing right now given its capability in terms of providing materials and military. I criticise the government coz. I don't have sympathy for the government, only its victims. Its failure to be a responsible government is a fact no one can deny. If you think every time when somebody criticizes the government, s/he is doing so on behalf of CIA or Western 'ati-China forces', then you are in denial of factual reality. Khampas or Tibetans in general may have been used by CIA during the Tibetan resistance movement in 1950s, but Tibetans, who were in that operation, were well aware of the fact they were used for their own liberation or freedom from China, that was, for them, worth the price they were to pay. CIA might have their own agenda and the Tibetans had theirs as well. By the way, the war, for Tibetans, was not between the CIA and China, but it was between Tibet and China as a result of Chinese occupation. So, you better wake up yourself. China may force us even to bring NATO into Tibet in the future if all the efforts of dialogue fail. The rationale is if we were to choose between national death and survival, then we would choose survival by any means...

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  • 35. At 06:50am on 19 May 2008, ding0ding wrote:

    just heard that Qingchuan county is going to haunt down most of the dogs in the region out of fear that they will risk the lives of survivors. all the creatures in the region have suffered a lot. It's really sad to hear this news after reading your post about the loyal dog protecting his/her destroyed home.

    http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-05/19/content_8205429.htm

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  • 36. At 10:45am on 21 May 2008, weihongli wrote:

    I agree with Maggie. Through all of these comments, I wonder if anyone can point to a place in the article where James is actually criticizing anyone. It seems to be fairly objective reporting from my view. Also, people criticize James for not reporting more on some of the miraculous stories of hope, but from reading many sources, unfortunately it seems that such stories are very few and possibly James has not encountered any. It is a disaster ie. most of the related news is bad news.

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  • 37. At 03:26am on 22 May 2008, wingchau wrote:

    Newborn_Khampa:
    You try to politicise an immense tragedy where tens of thousand were killed and millions of lost their home in a natural disaster. You behaviour has exceeded the bounds of human decency. You are a biological miracle: a creature that inhibited the earth without a heart and a brain

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  • 38. At 06:37am on 22 May 2008, Christine_Liang wrote:

    I respect you as a foreign reporter that went into the frontline chaotic epicenter to provide first hand information to the world, and I also have great respect for the troops, the police, the fire fighters, the doctors, nurses and volunteers from each part of China for rescue.

    Everyday since the earthquake, we watched the 24 hour non stop broadcast on TVs and it is hard not to be moved into tears, not only because of the suffering people, the lost homes, the survivors, but also because of the fearless and efficient rescue teams. However, it is very inspiring to see that the Chinese people in mainland, in Hong Kong, Macau and even Taiwan and the overseas Chinese, the corporations are motivated to generous donations either money or bloods, or expertise, or time and energy. I didn't find much news coverage on foreign media though about how Chinese are join hand in hand to the disaster.

    As to Newborn_Khampa's doubt about the Chinese government, we have to make it clear that we highly praise the Chinese government's quick and organized action, and the penetrated public media release this time. Compared to the chaos in Paris and the Lhasa in March, the Chinese government did have improvement greatly. We do hope this open attitude could continue.

    We are Chinese, We love China and we are proud of being a Chinese. China might lack of human rights in your eyes, but humanity, true love, family bond, sacrifices for others are in its bloods and bones. If being a foreigner you can't understand, please at least respect.

    As Chinese, cheer up, we will not beg for respect from rest of the world, we gain it!

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  • 39. At 07:46am on 24 May 2008, dumbscoopie wrote:

    Newborn_Khampa's mention of NATO into Tibet really makes me laugh. China was living under constant external threats in the last century. At one point it was enemy of both Russia and the US. Its people is VERY tough and so is its arm forces. You saw them in this earth quake disaster - these are the real Chinese reaction, not movies. Who are you fooling around with the veiled threat of by all means ... China has all means. Human fresh bomb? Didn't some extreme Tibetan groups mentioned that already hope you are not part of the it. You are still living in the fantacy that there is a Chinese government on one side and the Chinese people on the other. Wrong, that was 20 years ago. China has changed, the system, the government and the people are all very different than 20 years ago. People who demonstrated against the government in 1989 are working with government on how to deal with the rest of the world. China now has the brain, the weath, the will, and is united. What can you do about it? Someone tried to knock out the Olympics flames, that makes China more determined to go her own way. The elementary school math predicts China becomes No 1 economically by mid-century. My prediction is within the next 15 years, even without the purchase power parity adjustment, with the earth quake and the Olympics this year. Why do I know, I travel between China and US every few weeks. My heart can't help but beats faster when I stay in China.

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  • 40. At 06:19am on 28 May 2008, chinayan wrote:

    Newborn_Khampa,

    I partially agree with what you said about' better work' could have been done to rescue. Yes, the PLA could have done better, and so do I, and so do you. The PLA soldiers, officers, they are not superman. they fear, they shrink and they expect reward for risking their lives. But, as a Chinese citizen, I have differentd stand from you. I know they are by no means perfect but the most important is they are there, and they are the only force that will do something to help the people suffering. Perhaps the Japanese, or US, or Isareal government, or the God, the Budda, would be more efficient, but they are not there. what they have done, they are doing, might be critised, but not yet, not when they are there starving and risking their lives, while we are here sitting in front of the computer.

    I am not a nationalist and I am not naive. recently I began to understand the issue of a nation, is something. I was in Erope when the Spain railway bombing occured, I could remembered mourning for the victims for one minute. That moment was obviously not as grieving as the three minutes mourning in May 19. I would be sympathetic, but not heartbroken, for the victims in Burma, or any other countries. I realize that I need self-reflexion and perhaps so do you.
    I do learned a lot from the earthquake, and the torch. when i realize that indifference, bias, prejudice and misunderstanding hurts, I decide to try not to do the same thing to other nation, or other people.

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  • 41. At 8:49pm on 26 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    james:
    there is no problems writing your dispatches at 3.00am in the morning; because, you was covering the story...which was more important to do....

    --Dennis Junior--

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