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Old 05-19-08, 01:53 AM   #1
gbcb
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3 minutes' silence

All of China had three minutes of silence today at 2:28pm (all of China is officially on Beijing time), exactly a week after the Sichuan earthquake that some reports are now saying may have killed 50,000 people. I walked to the park opposite my office building a few minutes before so I could see the official broadcast on a big screen that usually blasts ads for luxury products and the Shanghai 2010 World Expo. For three minutes, traffic completely stopped and people stood still. Interestingly, the official call for the three minutes' silence asked that drivers sound their horns, so for three minutes the city echoed with the wailing of car horns and police, fire and air raid sirens. A really unearthly sound. Flags across China are at half-mast today.

It's been pointed out in some places (such as here) that this is the first time in history that China has lowered its flags to half-mast for ordinary civilians.

It was a very moving three minutes... definitely had a lump in my throat. Back to work now.
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Old 05-19-08, 06:06 AM   #2
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A definite tragedy...

It is strange that they had everyone sound their horns for the moment of silence, but I guess in a way it would remind someone not paying attention to the time to take a moment and stop what they are doing in rememberance.
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Old 05-19-08, 06:59 AM   #3
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Honestly, its all a PR stunt, especially after the mess in Tibet. They're trying to make the world believe they aren't as bad as they really are, and while my heart does go out to those effected by this great natural disaster, if not for the Olympics, there wouldn't have been a flag-lowering/3 minutes of silence.
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Old 05-19-08, 07:16 AM   #4
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Honestly, its all a PR stunt, especially after the mess in Tibet. They're trying to make the world believe they aren't as bad as they really are, and while my heart does go out to those effected by this great natural disaster, if not for the Olympics, there wouldn't have been a flag-lowering/3 minutes of silence.
Show some respect, and if you can't manage that, take it to P&R where it belongs.
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Old 05-19-08, 12:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TitaniuMerlin View Post
Honestly, its all a PR stunt, especially after the mess in Tibet. They're trying to make the world believe they aren't as bad as they really are, and while my heart does go out to those effected by this great natural disaster, if not for the Olympics, there wouldn't have been a flag-lowering/3 minutes of silence.
What a sick minded individual you are. You're hate for chinese people has driven out all sense of compassion for fellow human beings. How can you play the china hate politics with such a tragedy. Chinese people are still people you know.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:00 AM   #6
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Honestly, its all a PR stunt, especially after the mess in Tibet. They're trying to make the world believe they aren't as bad as they really are, and while my heart does go out to those effected by this great natural disaster, if not for the Olympics, there wouldn't have been a flag-lowering/3 minutes of silence.
In addition to what's been said already, you're making the common mistake of overestimating how much Chinese people care about what the rest of the world thinks. This was not done for the rest of the world. If the rest of the world thinks better of China as a result, they're hardly going to complain, but this was (and, to a large extent, the Olympics will be) for a domestic audience.

If you look at the numbers as a percentage of total population, 50,000 deaths in China is equivalent to more than 11,500 deaths in the US. That's almost four 9/11s. This was a tragedy any way you look at it. To belittle the public mourning as a PR stunt is beyond distasteful.

Little Darwin, it also seemed a bit odd to me, having never witnessed (or heard) anything like it. But different cultures have different ways of honouring their dead, and this could not have been mistaken for anything else than three minutes of absolute respect.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:41 AM   #7
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if not for the Olympics, there wouldn't have been a flag-lowering/3 minutes of silence.
While Communist China may have their issues, it is my understanding from people that have been in the region that refugees from North Korea kiss the ground in gratitude if they can make it across the border into China... The oppression is all a matter of perspective.
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Old 05-20-08, 03:17 PM   #8
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Honestly, its all a PR stunt, especially after the mess in Tibet. They're trying to make the world believe they aren't as bad as they really are, and while my heart does go out to those effected by this great natural disaster, if not for the Olympics, there wouldn't have been a flag-lowering/3 minutes of silence.
Some time has passed since my initial reply to this post.

Since then, I've thought about it once or twice. In the meantime some 200 people were covered in a mudslide, while trying to rescue victims of the earthquake. God knows how many more people died, trapped under a building, or of crush wounds in a hospital.

So, it's with those thoughts, bouncing around in my head, that I write this wee retort to you TitaniuMerlin: you sir, are an idiot.

A mindless, and heartless one at that.

Shame on you.
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Old 05-21-08, 04:40 AM   #9
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Some time has passed since my initial reply to this post.

Since then, I've thought about it once or twice. In the meantime some 200 people were covered in a mudslide, while trying to rescue victims of the earthquake. God knows how many more people died, trapped under a building, or of crush wounds in a hospital.

So, it's with those thoughts, bouncing around in my head, that I write this wee retort to you TitaniuMerlin: you sir, are an idiot.

A mindless, and heartless one at that.

Shame on you.

What an exellent post botto. I thought you only did one word comments but I see for important matters you are moved to make such an articulate statement.

My original retort was simply an immediate angry response at such callousness. Check out this article to understand the horrific ongoing tragedy.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asi...ic/7410166.stm
With those missing likely to be dead the death toll could be well over 70,000. I read elsewhere that over 10 million people have been directly affected, the population of the capital city alone is 11 million and the province is 87 million (compare that with the UK's entire population of c60million), the size of the area affected is as large as France. This is an unimaginable tragedy.

I'm going to donate to the aid effort and I urge others to do so.

To TitaniuMerlin and other callous people: your response disgusted me just as much as when I saw people in the middle east celebrating in the streets when 9/11 happened. They too said they felt sorry for the people .. but they were happy it happened to the usa. Let's hope anti-usa sentiment does not rear it's ugly head when the next natural disaster stikes america. Florida is not exactly immune from hurricanes and california will at some point get hit by earthquake.
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