China Digital Space

How were you so unfortunate as to be born in China?

From China Digital Space

Jump to: navigation, search
谁叫你不幸生在中国了? (Shéi jiào nǐ búxìng shēng zài Zhōngguó le): How were you so unfortunate as to be born in China?
He Zuoxiu: “How were you so unfortunate as to be born in China?”

This question was posed by He Zuoxiu, a 78 year-old professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in a heated exchange with a reporter. The reporter asked about deaths in coal mines, alleging that more than one hundred people die daily in China’s coal mines. He Zuoxiu countered that a much greater number died in car accidents. When pressed by the reporter as to whether the coal mine deaths were the avoidable results of government corruption, Mr. He denied this and claimed instead that the deaths were necessary byproducts of poverty. He then asked, “How were you so unfortunate as to be born in China?” (谁叫你不幸生在中国了) and added, “In the process of development some sacrifices are unavoidable” (发展过程中的牺牲是不可免的).

Mr. He’s comments were seen to symbolize the sort of emotional detachment with which the government single-mindedly pursues its overarching goal of developments. His comments also became a critique against the Hu Jintao administration’s mantra of “scientific development.”

The original exchange between He Zuoxiu and the reporter is below:

摄影师:中国煤矿每天死多少人您知道吗?
Reporter: Do you know how many people die in China's coal mines each day?
何祚庥:报纸上说100多人……
He Zuoxiu: The newspaper says more than 100 people...
摄影师:您相信这个数字?
Reporter: Do you believe that number?
何祚庥:大体上是真实的……
He: Overall it seems realistic...
摄影师:您看过《盲井》(注:一部反映小煤矿死人的电影)吗……
Reporter: Have you seen the movie “Blind Shaft”?
何祚庥:我告诉你中国死人最多的不在煤矿,在小轿车(交通事故),每年12万!
He: I'll tell you, the largest cause of death in China is not coal mines, it's car accidents, 120,000 deaths each year!
摄影师:交通事故死人,其他国家也是一样,是没法避免的……
reporter: Car accidents kill people in every country. It's unavoidable...
何祚庥 :你为什么认为小轿车(死人)是没法避免呢?为什么这就不是问题?哈,你这话就对了,没法避免!中国煤矿死人也没法避免!因为中国的老百姓太穷了。
He: How do you figure that traffic-related deaths are unavoidable? Why isn't that a problem? Ha, you are absolutely right that it's unavoidable! Deaths in coal mines are also unavoidable! Because the common people of China are too poor.
摄影师:您认为是穷而不是腐败吗?
Reporter: So, you think it's poverty and not corruption?
何祚庥:主要是穷,而不是腐败。为什么工人能接受较低的工资、较危险的条件?老百姓不是傻子,他们不是不知道啊。那为什么还接受?因为不接受活不下去。
He: Mainly poverty and not corruption. Why must workers take low wages for more dangerous work conditions? They aren't idiots, it's not that they don't know any better. So why do they accept it? Because if they don't it's impossible to make a living.
摄影师:那他们就该接受这样的命运吗?
Reporter: So they ought to accept this as their fate?
何祚庥:(怨就怨)谁叫你不幸生在中国了?
He: (You're complaining about) How were you so unfortunate as to be born in China?
摄影师:但不应该死无辜者,有些是可以避免的……
Reporter: But the innocent shouldn't have to die, this can be avoided.
何祚庥:谁是无辜的?谁是可以避免的?它有一个概率分布。何祚庥也不希望死人,但有时候发展过程中的牺牲是不可免的。你希望没一点牺牲,是很不切实际的想法。
He: Who is innocent? Who can prevent this? It has a probability distribution. I also don't want people to die, but in the process of development some sacrifices are unavoidable. You wish there isn't even a bit of sacrifice; that is an unrealistic way of thinking.

A Coal Miner’s Dilemma Mirrors China’s

6 March 2014, by josh rudolph

China’s Coal Reserves To Outweigh Human Population

26 August 2013, by Cindy

Sacrificing the Environment to Save the Coal Industry

23 August 2013, by Cindy

Guangxi River Pollution Highlights Broader Issues

11 July 2013, by Samuel Wade

Political Connections Linked to Higher Worker Death Rates

31 January 2013, by Samuel Wade

Views
Personal tools
Support CDT - Buy a Grass Mud Horse T-shirt!