He Zuoxiu, a 78 year old self-claimed Marxist is member of Chinese Academy of Science and is a science delegate to Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference that advises the Chinese legislature. He is also a crusader against supernatural and “unscientific” thinking. The following interview was published on the Southern People’s Weekly, translated by EastSouthWestNorth:
Here is the question-and-answer exchange with the photographer (via Tinya Club) (sic). This particular exchange was enough to earn him innumerable condemnations.
Photographer: Do you know how many people die in coal mines each day in China?
He: The newspapers say more than 100 people …
Photographer: Do you trust this number?
He: It is generally true …
Photographer: This is absolutely dogfart. It is ten times as much! Have you seen the movie Blind Shaft (Áõ≤‰∫ï)?”
He: I tell you that the most number of people die not in coal mines, but in vehicular accidents. 120,000 per year!
Photographer: People die in traffic accidents. It happens in other countries. It is unavoidable.
He: Why do you think that vehicular accidents are unavoidable? Why does this mean that it is not a problem! Haaa, you are right when you say that it is unavoidable! The deaths in Chinese coal mines are also unavoidable! Because the people of China are too poor.
Photographer: You think that it is poverty and not corruption.
He: It is mainly poverty, and not corruption. Why should the workers accept lower wages and more dangerous conditions? The people are not fools. They cannot help but know. Why they do accept it then? Because they can’t live wthout accepting it.
Photographer: Then they ought to accept this kind of fate?
He: (If you want to complain, then you complain that) that you should not be born in China and you should not be a Chinese. Who told you to be unfortunately born in China?
He’s comment caused a strong reaction in Chinese cyberspace and also mainstream media. See “Whose view is represented in “philosopher” He Zuoxiu’s philosophy of mine accidents?” by Gao Yifei on Zhejiang Online; and I want to ask two logical questions to His Excellency He Zuoxiu by Yan Lieshan (ÈÑ¢ÁÉàÂ±±), one of the most known social critics in China, via Duoweinews.com.