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China, school violence and official reaction

I wrote yesterday about growing questions in China about the differences between the U.S. reaction to the tragedy in Newtown and that of the tragedy in Henan Province, where, on the same say as the shooting in Connecticut, a man stabbed and slashed 23 students at a primary school. (All survived in Henan, where the weapon was a knife, not an AR-15.)

As a commentary piece in the state-controlled Global Times noted: “The Chinese public has focused on the slow official response and the level of social reflection. Many are furious that while the Americans have started mourning nationwide, the Chinese appear insensitive to the Henan case.”

Another story today, carried by China Daily, caught my attention. It describes an example of how profoundly off-key propaganda can be here, and the anger that can sometimes spark:

"Xinyang Daily, an official newspaper of the Communist Party of China Xinyang municipal committee, apologized on Tuesday on its front page for a report praising educational achievements after a knifeman's attack on a school in the city.

Twenty-three students were injured during the incident on Friday at an elementary school in Guangshan county of Xinyang city in Central China's Henan province.

Most of the students sustained head injuries or cuts to their fingers or ears, and required immediate surgery.

Two days later, Xinyang Daily published a report on its front page titled 'Guangshan: striving to build sound education satisfying people's needs.'

'Great achievements have been made in Guangshan's education sector,' the report said. 'Education has become a banner, a window and a name card of the county.'

The report has aroused massive criticism in Chinese cyberspace, with critics calling the journalists insensitive."

The full story can be found by clicking here and is worth a look.




Postcard from a snowy Beijing

The smell of roasting sweet potatoes in a city covered with snow put me in the mood to take a detour on my walk to work today  ...







"China Rises" is written by Tom Lasseter, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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