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Confirmed Death Toll Reaching 40,000 in Sichuan Earthquake

According to China’s official news agency, the confirmed death toll in Sichuan Province following the Wenchuan earthquake reached 39,577, and another 236,359 people were injured. Li Chengyun, vice governor of Sichuan Province revealed the number at a news conference.

Source: Xinhua, May20,2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-05/20/content_8215239.htm

News Media Urged to Praise Party’s Image and Socialist Superiority in Earthquake Coverage

During his visit to Xinhua and CCTV on May 16, Li Changchun, member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Party praised the media for reporting on the “courageous national spirit in fighting against the earthquake in Sichuan”, showing the "vast superiority of the socialist system” as well as “the glorious image of the party for its humanity and caring about its people”.

Li said that in the upcoming critical disaster relief phase, the news media around the country should loudly promote the main theme that the entire society is united in battling the earthquake disaster with courageous spirit. "The media need to focus on reporting all major policies and rescue efforts of the central government, and those touching examples of the PLA soldiers, military police and public security officers who are heroically sacrificing in leading the rescue efforts".

Source: Xinhua, May 17, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-05/17/content_8192346.htm

China Assures Nuclear Base in Sichuan Safe

In a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on May 18, Ma Jian, Major General of the Air Force assured that the nuclear bases in Sichuan province were safe. Ma added that “the military base in Sichuan only suffered minor damage. More military forces have been added to guard the region.”

Source: Xinhua, May 19, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2008-05/19/content_8203735.htm

17 Internet “Rumormongers” Investigated and Dealt with By Chinese Police

According to Xinhua (May 15), the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said that so far there have been 17 internet "rumormongers" following the Sichuan earthquake who have been investigated and dealt with. Police found those rumormongers spreading fake information aimed to cause social instability. Public security in eleven provinces and cities including Hebei, Liaoning and Anhui have investigated more than 40 cases of rumors. So far, seventeen people have been dealt with – two were detained, two agreed to sign repentance statements and the other thirteen have been criticized and asked not to do this again.

Source: Xinhua, May 15, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-05/15/content_8178783.htm

Congo-China Mining Deal Questioned

A huge mining deal between the Democratic Republic of Congo and China is getting extra scrutiny as critics say it does not provide enough benefits for ordinary Congolese. But the government says it is crucial to the country’s development. The $9 billion deals call for China to loan $6 billion for infrastructure development and $3 billion for helping revamp the mining sector in exchange for access to mining interests, including cobalt and copper fields. Opposition leaders from the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo say the Congolese government’s contract with China is not a good deal. Congo’s Deputy Minister of Mines Victor Kasongo says "The Western world did not have all that level of money to do that, so now we got the assistance coming from the Asian country."

Source: Voice of America, May 16, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-05-16-voa2.cfm

Internet Users: Put the Earthquake Efforts before the Olympics

Southern Weekend published at its home page excerpts of several blog postings on the Sichuan earthquake and the Olympics on May 13, 2008.  One posting is titled “With this major earthquake, forget the Olympics.” It says, “Love the Olympics. Love China. Feel free to love anything. But please love us ourselves first. And love humanity and treat humanity as part of our life.”

Another, with the title “At this moment, we need the country to mourn,” states, “For once, let’s lower our national flag for the dignity of life. For once, let’s put the dignity of life first before the Olympic torch. Show to the world by actions. [Life] is part of our national flag and of our country.”

Source: Southern Weekend, May 13, 2008
http://www.infzm.com/