07/26/2012, 00.00
Send to a friend

As flood deaths increase in Beijing, so does government propaganda

The death toll from floods in the capital rises, but state media ignores the unfolding tragedy. Meanwhile, the emergency shifts to the Yangtze River: over 600 miles of levees are at risk of flooding.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - While the number of victims of the disastrous floods in Beijing continues to climb, the only government agency that seems to be working to respond to the tragedy is the Department of propaganda and censorship. Even if the government has not confirmed the news, the discovery of 10 more bodies in the Fangshan District of Beijing means the toll has risen to 47 dead. And if the break in the rain has given some respite to the capital, the national media lay all the blame with the outgoing mayor and his deputy, who yesterday resigned their office in disgrace.

Today's  People's Daily has given a vast amount of space to a forum titled "The rain returns to Beijing. Are you ready?". The answers are a total of 7, and the most provocative reads: "If it rains it is better to stay home." Meanwhile Weibo - the "Facebook of China", which has become a rallying point for popular discontent - has been blocked for "technical reasons". From the outset, however, the state media were ordered not to talk about the problems of Beijing's antiquated sewer system, or the number of deaths.

A long article in the Global Times instead reports of the edifying popular initiatives undertaken by Beijing residents to give comfort to the displaced. The story portrays individual entrepreneurs and business owners who have provided safe places, food and other basic necessities to fellow citizens: no mention of the rescue and recovery plans put together by Guo Jinlong, the former mayor, which have proved totally inadequate.

For now the weather seems to have given at least one day of respite to the capital. But the rain is falling on nearly all the north of the country, and the banks of the Yangtze River are at risk for more than 600 km. The situation has been worsened by the Three Gorges Dam, a huge hydroelectric reservoir that does not allow water to flow normally.


Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
White House to stop Beijing's "imperialist" policy in the South China Sea
24/01/2017 15:55
Church leads the way in helping Vietnam cope with its educational emergency
11/03/2016 17:00
As COVID-19 cases rise, more and more officials get sick
23/09/2020 17:15
New powerful quake in Nepal: 65 dead and at least 2,650 wounded
Drought, floods and Covid-19: Chinese agricultural production and food security at risk
17/08/2020 13:42