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Even the destruction is a blessing

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纵做鬼,也幸福 (zòng zuòguǐ, yě xìngfú): even the destruction is a blessing

A netizen juxtaposes Wang’s poem with images of body bags.

Line from a poem written published in the Qilu Evening News on June 6, 2008 by Wang Zhaoshan, vice chairman of the Shandong Writer’s Association, to “honor” those injured and killed in the Sichuan earthquake the month before:

A Personal Account From the Wasteland

In the midst of the wasteland, a survivor thinks about all that has transpired since the earthquake, gradually coming to this feeling of gratitude—

Spared from dying in the disaster, what complaint can I harbor?

The President beckons, the Premier calls.

The Party dearly loves the country; its voice enters the wasteland.

1.3 billion people weep together.

Even the destruction is a blessing.

Military cars arrive like silver eagles.

On the left, the military are our uncles.

On the right, the police are our aunts.

I just hope that before seeing the grave I can see a screen.

Watching the Olympics, I will call out with joy.












Wang’s poem was criticized for being insensitive to the earthquake survivors and for unabashedly currying favor with his Party superiors, with its praise of the Chairman and Premier, as well as its reference to joy at being able to watch the Beijing Olympics.

A member of the Shandong Writer’s Association, Li Zhongqing, resigned in protest over the poem. Tie Ning, chairperson of the Writer’s Association of China, condemned Wang:

At a time when the nation and people have experienced such hardship, when we are suffering so much physically and spiritually, using these kinds of words to express these emotions is totally inappropriate. It’s very regrettable.


Netizens dubbed the writer “Happy Wang” (王幸福 Wáng Xìngfú) and the “happy poet” (幸福诗人 xìngfú shīrén). Popular blogger and novelist Han Han wrote that he “was lucky that I didn’t join the Writer’s Association.”

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