China Braces For End Of World

With the apocalypse now less than ten days away, China has been joining in the global festival of panic, resignation and denial at the imminent extinction of humanity. At China Real Time Report, Chao Deng described some Chinese preparations for the end of the country’s 5,000-year history: Local residents in Shuangliu and Longchang, two counties located in southwest China’s Sichuan province, have almost cleared shops there of candles and matches after speculation spread online that there would be three straight days of darkness starting Dec. 21, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. Vendors in both places are also selling supply packages and self-help manuals, according to the report. […] Worries about the world coming to an end are driving the Chinese to other drastic measures, including getting married. Xinhua reported that marriage registry offices in Xi’an, Hefei, Guangzhou and Shanghai have already maxed out their quota for approving marriages on Dec. 21. […] Surprising as it may be, the apocalypse panic in Sichuan pales in comparison to a salt-buying panic in 2011, triggered by more reasonable (though ultimately unfounded) fears over nuclear radiation spilling from Japan’s quake-damaged reactors. Chinese authorities arrested a 31-year old Internet user for “spreading salt rumors” via an online posting that urged people to stock up because radiation from Japan had polluted the sea off of China’s coast. Some Chinese citizens even demand refunds for their salt after finding themselves with more than they could use. Both spates of hysteria have roots in more general anxieties, according to Peking University sociologist Lu Jiehua, who told Global Times that “this panic buying not only shows people’s fear of an upcoming apocalypse, but also reflects their sense of uncertainty toward life and society.” Many other retailers have also seen commercial potential in mankind’s looming destruction, to the despair ...
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