Whether you believe it or not, I do
From China Digital Space
至于你们信不信，由你，我反正是信了 (zhì yú nǐ men xìn bú xìn, yóu nǐ, wǒ fǎn zhèng shì xìn le): Whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you, but I do anyway.
During a press conference held by China Railways Ministry on July 24th, 2011, a reporter asked why the government had attempted to bury portions of the high speed train that had crashed in Wenzhou killing forty passengers. Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping gave the following response (as translated by the China Geeks Blog).
Why was the train car buried? Actually, when I got off the plane today, the comrade who picked me up from the airport said that he already saw this kind of news online. I was on the plane so I didn’t have a good handle on things. I wanted to ask him, “Why would there be such a foolish question? Can an event that the whole world knows about really be buried?” He told me, “It’s not being buried. Truthfully, this news cannot be buried.” We have already tried though countless ways to broadcast this information to society.
But about burying [the train car], [the people who picked me up from the airport] gave this explanation. Because the scene of the rescue was very complicated. Below was a quagmire. It was very hard to perform rescue operations. So they buried the head of the car underneath, covered it with dirt, mainly to facilitate rescue efforts. Right now, this is his explanation. Whether or not you believe it; either way, I believe it.
George Ding of China Geeks offers this commentary:
Wang delivers the last line with a satisfied nod of the head and a swing of his right hand (animated GIF here), as if to emphasize the important thing is that he has deluded himself. Whether or not the Chinese people can delude themselves is their problem. An utter lack of curiosity or a desire to know the truth permeates his response. There is no indignation, no second-guessing, no doubt—just gleeful ignorance.
Wang’s statement: “whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you, but I do anyway” has become an extremely popular expression on cyberspace. This statement has been translated literally from Chinese to English as “I negative positive believe,” which may imply the fact that many Chinese citizens have no choice but to believe what the authorities claim--positively or negatively.
A picture created by Chinese netizens using Wang’s likeness and quote.
Below are some parodies of Mr. Wang’s comments:
Housing price must be raised until they reach reasonable levels. Whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you, but I do anyway.
The Railways Ministry claimed that several hundred people were picked up by a UFO. Whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you, but I do anyway. [There has been doubt on the official number of those injured and killed because the number contradicts earlier news reports.]
This crash was a drill! No one has died! Whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you, but I do anyway.
All the recent accidents--bridge collapses, power outages on high-speed trains, the Wenzhou bullet train crash--are all because of the new released Transformer 3! Whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you, but I do anyway.