There is plenty of room to criticize China’s shoddy construction of to-fu buildings that lead to the collapse of so many buildings in Sichuan. This is representative of an issue of China’s attitude towards construction in general. However, this is not just China’s issue. Cutting corners on construction and infrastructure has actually been rampant in all of Asia, but since countries like the Four Dragons (Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, TaiWan), they got a head start on their development, and whatever shoddy buildings were made decades ago, are constantly being taken down, with newer buildings built on top, with stricter laws, and better enforcement.
Does this mean China should be let off the hook? Definately not. Because all of these places have high-speed rail for mass transit, and none of them have had issues like China has. If there was any sort of shoddy construction, I’m pretty sure it’s been fixed. In fact, of all the countries with large public transit high-speed rail (Japan’s 新幹線, France’s TGV, and Germany’s ICE), no one has had an accident on a scale this big as China’s. All the accidents that did happen were due to derailing, not because of one train hitting another, as pointed out in 蕭若元‘s program 風也蕭蕭. He criticizes China for what they called “A unique emergency system discovered in China”, in which a train that has stopped for any reason, would alert the train behind it to stop. However, if that train’s systems fail, how is it supposed to signal the guy behind him?
Uber-emo 寒寒, has pretty much summed up most everyone in China’s feeling about the development in China, in his deleted post “Derailed Country”. However, that blog post was deleted, and like his post, there’s a lot of media control over what’s being reported on this incident.
But what’s most incredulous are the authorities’ comments after the event, in which they simply took a Donald Rumsfeld approach in answering reporters who were criticizing them for merely burying the trains without doing a thorough search for any survivors, even after finding a surviving 2-year-old. The authorities only said, “It’s a miracle.”
It’s incidents like this, and the way China handles them, that are then used for fodder by the rest of the world, to laugh at China for any reason. So to Megan McArdie, I only have one word to give you: