Fifty Strange Phenomenons

International Pioneer Post (国际先驱导报) created a list of 50 strange phenomenons that have recently become nearly commonplace in today’s society. The first two have been excerpted and translated by CDT:

1. Frequent mining disasters

On March 28, around 1:40 PM, a major leak burst at Wangjialing mine. At the time, 108 people exited the shaft, but 153 were left trapped inside. For a period of time, the media did its utmost to save the workers. A few days after, 115 were saved from the shaft, while 38 died.

Indeed, the Wangjialing is the mine that simply received the most attention. In the first half of this year, China’s mines carried on past widespread practices — from Jiangxi’s Xinyu City to Hunan’s Xiangtan city, from Henan’s Yichuan county to Hebei’s Chengde, from Xinjiang’s Tacheng city to Shanxi’s Jincheng, mining disasters have taken place across China. The media’s reflections have already dropped into oblivion. Upon seeing a mining disaster, worry, grief, and anger are normal human emotions. But if you see these disasters repeated over and over — what will you feel? I hope we never become numb to them, that we never become used to the never-ending sight of mining disasters.

2. Kneeling petitioners

The major of Dalian’s Zhuanghe city was likely the first official to receive kneeling villagers. On April 13, 1000 villagers from the city’s Longwangmiao village arrived at the municipal government’s gates to complain about village cadre corruption, and kneeled facing the government. Till the end, they never saw the mayor. Eleven days later, the municipal deputy secretary, mayor Sun Ming, was relieved of his position.

[...] Ten years ago, these interviews left readers with a sense of sadness. Ten years later, kneeling petitioners are no longer a rare sight at government bureaus. Is this a natural progression of our age, or has our petitioning system gone down a twisted path?

August 3, 2010 8:51 PM
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Categories: Law, Politics, Society