China Fears the Power of Its Society

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

The elder brother, Luo Shi Hong, said it was too soon to assess what effect this new co-operation between and government officials would have on Chinese power structures. “But my instinct is that the earthquake is influencing these kinds of structures … I think it will be better but it’s just a question of how much it will change things,” he said.

“Some in government want to close the door on NGOs now the emergency is passing … some say this is an opportunity for civil society to play a role in China.”

One thing that stands out in his mind is the head of Mianzhu county’s civic affairs bureau telling him she needed assistance to manage the massive rescue and relief operation and she did not care where it came from.

“Normally government officials insist they can do everything. This time a top head of government admits she needs help, not just money or materials, but organisational, managerial help.”

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