Letter From China: Beijing fails to deliver on promise of honesty – Howard W. French

From the International Herald Tribune:

It seemed like such a breath of fresh air when it was announced just a few weeks back that China had changed its policies regarding public information on disasters like typhoons, earthquakes and the like.

Henceforth they were to be disclosed promptly and candidly, as opposed to the time-honored practice of prettifying things or outright covering them up.

Now, in the wake of a spill of toxic benzene into a major river that flows through Harbin, one of the country’s largest cities, and onward into Russian territory, this public information breakthrough, though still recent, already seems like a distant memory. The air once so fresh now seems discomfortingly stale.


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