China cares about Haiti, because we once endured “earthquake pain”

From Beijing News:
by Shi Jia (石嘉)

APTOPIX Haiti Earthquake

The reason China’s reaction was so fast when after Haiti earthquake struck, is perhaps due to our painful memories of the (Wenchuan) earthquake. Disasters do not happen frequently, but difficulties happen very often. Maybe if we only land a helping hand, they would not be buried; if only we help out a little, they would not be submerged.

Haiti earthquake shook far more than just the people of Haiti. On January 14 New York Times’ report on Haiti started like this:

The Associated Press reports, Help began arriving early Thursday when an Air China plane carrying a Chinese search-and-rescue team, medics and aid landed at Port-au-Prince airport, and more than 50 people in orange jumpsuits got out accompanied by trained dogs.

This I am afraid is one of few times when international media reporting on a foreign disaster, which puts actions from China into the text, and more than once.

Every major disaster is (like) a final exam. At least so far, the Chinese people’s performance passed the exams, they were even outstanding. During the Wenchuan earthquake, the whole nation united in a concerted effort of disaster rescue, and won the respect of the world. This time after the Haiti earthquake, China’s disaster relief teams and rescue supplies boarded the earliest flight to Haiti relief.

The reason China’s reaction was so fast when after Haiti earthquake struck, is perhaps due to our painful memories of the earthquakes. Whether it was Tangshan, or Wenchuan earthquake, we know that time is life, we are fighting against time for the survivors’ lives. We also know large-scaled natural disasters will hurt a society and a country deeply. A netizen posted a message on Sina micro-blog “Thought of two years ago witnessing the disaster areas in Sichuan, my heart was tightened and twisted.”

Empathy, is maybe the most important reason why we passed the exam. Disasters do not happen frequently, but difficulties happen very often. The development of Chinese society is progressive, the people in a social transformation often encounter all kinds of unexpected difficulties. A variety of security and insurance system is only provided at the institutional level to the citizens for the means of surviving. But everyone does not exist in isolation, we need support and hope in this society. China has the traditional philosophy of “helping the weak and rescuing the troubled” since the ancient times, these kind of traditional philosophy goes far beyond what was seen in the level 7 earthquake or any other storms. Maybe if we only land a helping hand, they would not be buried; if only we help out a little, they would not be submerged. These are as important as the rescue during a disaster relief.

Since the Wenchuan disaster, the Chinese society is undergoing a subtle change. If everyone in the society are able to share the feelings of other people’s problems, then at least this society is warm; if we can care for the citizens who are in different kinds of difficulties just like how we cared for the earthquake victims, then this society will have nothing to fear for; if when someone is facing hardship, our rescue comes as fast as the disaster relief, then this society will be very strong.

Facing the disaster, Chinese people’s volunteering sprit and selfless consciousness naturally floats out from the bottom of their hearts, and aspires China’s love after Wenchuan earthquake; so that in a different day of bitter cold, intense heat or rain and snow, we have a reason to rely on each other. At this time, we are listening to the voices of Haiti; we also hope at every moment, we can hear the voices from their hearts.

  1. $1 million USD donated and a rescue team – what generosity shown by the CCP. Hopefully that won’t set the country too far back.

    1. Now, now. No need to be snide.

      I’m more concerned with the question of how ordinary Chinese can donate/participate in aiding Haiti, actually. I know that was a problem with regards to the Wenchuan earthquake as well: ultimately most or all private charity was funneled into government aid channels where responsibility for the moneys tends to be opaque.

      Certainly time is of the essence, and whatever China (government or private) is willing and able to do immediately should be appreciated. This may also be a chance to see if the Chinese private charity/aid efforts have evolved since Wenchuan.

        1. mean while the yankees are locking down Port-au-Prince airport for exclusive uNited States of American usage.

          So much for that smack down.

      1. while time is of the essence, it’s important to remember that aid needs to be going to Haiti long after it leaves the front page of the newspapers. This blog has a link to just a few of the many efforts for fund raising happening in Beijing over the next few weeks:

        The money raised from these efforts will be sent to two different NGOs: one of which is for immediate relief, the other deals with psychological care for children long in the long term.

    2. Better than sending troops to occupy the land before any kind of aid arive. China is half the world away, yet, she is the first to arrive. The US troops were the first to arive, not to rescue but to secue what it claimed, Haiti, as its territory. How pathetic? The USA handle Haiti’s disaster the way it handle Katrina disaster. Sending military to conquor it’s own citizen. How long had it been since Katrina, 6 years, was it? And still nothing much done for the Katrina victims. That’s how great the US of A is to it’s citizen, let along to the Haitians.

      1. The USA’s troops were sent to Haiti to help with security – which is absolutely crucial in a country with no functioning government, widespread poverty, and rampant violence which has just been hit by an earthquake.

        Maybe not everyone was happy to see the troops, and no rescue or aid mission is perfect. It is worth pointing out that UN troops are also in Haiti, and the USA is operating under the guidelines of the Haitian government. They will leave Haiti once the danger is over, but they will stay as long as they are needed — as will the many other people there helping from ALL OVER THE WORLD.

        Of course, it is wonderful that China has donated its money, manpower, and time to the Haitians in this time of dire need. But it is self-centered and self-serving to report on one’s own good deeds in this fashion. Everyone is helping. Anyone could get hit with an earthquake. Please stop turning natural disasters into a chance for more nationalist propaganda.

  2. As an overseas Chinese I am happy of the Chinese Government speedy reaction to the Haiti situation. I too read that a female peace keeping force of the Chinese Contingent stationed there was one of the first on scene and rescued a man. In more ways than one, China is on the right track to set an example to the world for peace and humanity

    1. oh course it is. peace and humanity…. a harmonius society. minus human rights activists being berated, sent to prison, or killed in some back street… please, let’s keep talking about china’s opaqueness when dealin with human rights issues.

      1. I thought this is about humanitarian aids. Are you more about China bashing
        than concerning about the victims of the quake? Where is your heart?
        Show some humanity and have some heart to the victim, would ya?

  3. Good luck to the rescue teams. Haiti is a country in chaos now as well as before the quake and it’s probably only a matter of hours before the mass killings and a civil war breaks out. Haitians aren’t exactly known for their tolerance, humanity, liberties and state of civilization. Not trying to be a smartass here,, just telling it as it is and the only thing that can save Haiti and the Haitians now is a massive US intervention, not least militarily (is that even a word?). I wish Haiti the best but now the time has come to save the people there from themselves and not from the quake.

    1. From what I heard is that, the US is planning to take over Haiti to make it a US territery.
      Talking about taking advantage of small defenseless nation. Yep, wait till it become
      weak then send the troops and set up a US government there.

      1. You are now officially an idiot “Peace Lover” and fxxx off with inventing stuff, claiming “from what I’ve heard,,,”. Get lost.

      2. Yeah right, now go ahead and explain WHY the U.S. would want to take over Haiti…..
        You need to re-take propoganda 101 cuz you’re pretty bad at it.

  4. 1 million USD from the CCP..that’s a joke…how many did the CCP personnel sent to Haiti?

    US gov’t and IMF each gave a billion for the effort…

    I guess if they ain’t chinese, China won’t do much to help (business as usual)…

    1. $1 million from the CCP stretch very far, whereas $100 million from the USA will
      eventually lose it’s own nation. A million can build a few buildings, 100 million will
      rob a nation of it’s whole country in return. You heartless mack!!

    2. hey that’s an improvement – PRC only offered US $ 100,000 to Taiwan after its big earthquake in 1999. China claims Taiwan as a province but the US is always doing more the people of Taiwan…

  5. US sent 5000 troops plus an aircraft carrier AND a hospital ship…that’s not accounting to non-gov’t aid agencies sending their people and supplies…

    what the CCP did so far is a joke…

    1. Yes, 5000 troops to take over the country. What a joke!!! how kind of the USA trying to take advantage over those victims while they are in a state of turmoil.

  6. Here is a post from

    我想一个很重要的原因是中国人对海地这个国家的不熟悉, 印度洋海啸中国民间(不包
    括政府)捐了6.1亿, 由于对海地的生疏,也可能造成了舆论的不关心。 如果因此得出
    结论中国人没有同情心, 包括你所表现出的“厌恶”之情, 我想是不公平的。 中国
    作为一个第三世界国家, 在捐款方面本来就不能和发达国家用一个标准要求。

    这次在海地捐款的事情上我发现中国被单独拿出来攻击, 我想也是时代的特色。 首先
    我请你看一个foxnews 报道(,2933,583461,00.html):

    Top economies like Japan and China, meanwhile, have donated $5.3 million and
    $4.4 million, respectively, or roughly 1 percent of the nearly $400 million
    donated. Germany, according to U.N. documents, has donated more than $6
    million, easily surpassing donations from the Russian Federation, which
    provided $700,000 and one cargo aircraft with two helicopters.

    Some oil-producing countries might be donating indirectly. On Jan. 15, the
    Arab Gulf Program for United Nations Development Organizations announced a $
    100,000 to support relief efforts, and the OPEC Fund for International
    Development announced a grant of $500,000 for emergency operations. Neither
    donation has been listed in U.N. documents.

    A United Arab Emirates charity has pledged over $1 million in aid and the
    federation’s Red Crescent, the private humanitarian organization, has
    donated roughly $430,000 and housing materials.

    Kuwait’s ruler has donated $1 million through the Red Crescent, and Qatar
    plans to send another $100,000 on top of aid airlifts.

    Venezuela, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, hasn’t made a withdrawal at the ATM
    machine, but it has provided 616 tons of emergency relief materials and 116
    tons of special machinery for reconstruction.

    我想以国家的富裕程度讲, 如果要拿出来批判,也轮不到中国。 但为什么中国被
    singled out 呢? 因为中国是the new guy on the block, nobody likes us. We are
    here to share the cake…..

    从海地的国力来看, 这次除了美国, 其它国家, 包括中国的支持太少, 我们应该呼
    吁更多的捐款。 但把这个当成一次发泄各位西方“现今世界秩序既得利益者”们对中
    国的愤恨之情的话, 只不过再一次说明了西方对于中国始终是一个负面的因素。

    1. ustcbbs thanks for the good info and analysis as always. “The West always has a negetive view of China” I would have to agree for many people it is true, but I think it is changing for the better. I am optimistic that their views will change as when they get to know China better.

  7. I pray for those people who have been injured in Haiti. the earthquake in Haiti is one of the word disasters this year. I just hope that they would be able to recover soon.

  8. Wow, I hope this is not true.

    2010年01月22日01:40:49 [新闻大杂烩]







    根据报告,美国1997年启动的“高频活动极光研究计划” (HAARP)可能也与秘密武器试验有关。反美政治家和各国科学家认为,该计划是为研制地球物理或电离层武器。这种武器具育制造异常天气、引起水灾、干旱和飓风的能力。







    1. Chavez also accused the Netherlands of secretly cooperating with the US to plan an invasion of Venezuela from Curacau (Dutch Antilles). If this nutcase is considered to be a reliable source, I can think of a few more.

  9. Organizers for last week’s “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, backed by George Clooney and Haiti-born rapper Wyclef Jean, on Monday raised the estimated amount of money to more than $61 million, to date. (A similar action in a tiny country like the Netherlands raised more than $100 million).

  10. i have several relatives who were also vicitimized by the earthquake in Haiti. thank God that they were not seriously hurt. i hope and pray that Haiti would be able to recover soon from this disaster.

  11. some of my friends who work in haiti were also victimized by that terrible earthquake., i was very thankful that they only suffered minor scratches.

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