China Reacts to Japan Disaster

Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami has generated an incredible outpouring of relief support and donations from the international community, including China. The Chinese government has offered their sympathy and sent relief materials and a rescue team to help ease the disaster’s impact, a neighborly gesture that has not gone unnoticed in foreign media.

Chinese Rescue Workers

It appears, however, that Chinese netizens are conflicted about the aid; the majority sympathizes with Japan and is reminded of their speedy response to China’s own tragic earthquake in 2008, but others base their opinions on historical resentment. Nevertheless, the overall sentiment on the web and street seems to be of amazement and compassion. Chinese bloggers and friends discuss the event with admiration for Japan’s orderly and calm response to the disaster; some even compare it to China’s handling of the Sichuan earthquake.

Also, Chinese media are releasing surprisingly graphic footage of the earthquake and tsunami, a striking contrast to American media who cut out before the viewer can even imagine what will happen to the displayed victims. I have to admit, although the bombardment is emotionally overwhelming, it offers a beneficial vantage point.

If you want to check out some netizen responses from the People’s Republic for yourself, go to chinaSmack and the Ministry of Tofu for translated posts and comments.

Our hearts go out to those in Japan.

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