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Briefings - 1154. page

Party Leaders Denied the Request for Earthquake Alert

Experts at China’s State Seismological Bureau successfully predicted the Sichuan earthquake but the request to issue a public alert was denied by Communist Party leaders, an unnamed expert from China’s State Seismological Bureau revealed. The forecasting was accurate in indicating the site and time of the earthquake but missed the magnitude. It predicted a 6-point earthquake, instead of the 7.9 one that took place. According to the source, one of the Communist Party’s top leaders denied the request to issue a public alert citing the Olympics and national social stability.

Source: Reminbao, May 20, 2008

State TV: Government Body Is Responsible for the Earthquake

On May 14, 2008, on an English Channel of the State’s China Central TV (CCTV9), the host (Yang Ri) interviewed over the telephone Mr. Chen Yiwen from the State’s China Geophysical Society Natural Disaster Forecast Committee. The interview was broadcast live. Mr. Chen said in English that the China Seismological Bureau bears “unshirkable responsibility” for the casualties of the earthquake. He stated that on May 3, 2008 he himself sent a document to the China Seismological Bureau forecasting a major earthquake in the Wenchuan region. He further stated that in the past three years, his Natural Disaster Forecast Committee had issued three mid-term forecasts to the China Seismological Bureau predicting major earthquakes in the Wenchuan region. Predictions of Chinese earthquake experts were accurate on the timing and location but missed the magnitude.

Source: Boxun, May 21, 2008

Party Members Urged to Lead by Example in Earthquake Relief

Members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are called to take the lead in earthquake relieving efforts to demonstrate the party’s superiority by leading the people to win the battle against the disaster, according to a new announcement released today (May 20) by the Central Party Organization Department. All basic level party organs damaged by the earthquake must be quickly restored and temporary party organs should be established in all displacement centers. All party leaders need to be at the frontline of the relief work so their images and voices can be heard at all times. Their performance will be the basis for future appointments and promotion. Individuals with heroic and consistent performances should be actively recruited into the party. The party cadres are encouraged to donate for the disaster relief through "special party membership dues". All propaganda departments should heavily promote the exemplary deeds demonstrated by all level of the party organs, leaders and members during the earthquake relief.

Souce: Xinhua, May 20, 2008

Xinhua Tightens Reporting on Victims of School Collapse In Earthquake

Xinhua has banned reports about kids who were buried in classrooms that collapsed during the earthquake. According to a Xinhua correspondent, three internal directives were issued over the past two days. The first asked correspondents to write more articles with details about the emotional moment when a child was found alive among the debris. The second that came on May 19 and ordered that no reports should be published about those children who died in schools during the earthquake or about their heartbroken parents. The latest May 20 directive bans any reports related to schools in the earthquake stricken regions. Apparently a large number of casualties of the earthquake were children who were attending classes.

Source: Boxun, May 20, 2008

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

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