採訪/白梅 編輯/尚燕 後製/君卓
Has Beijing Learned Its Lesson from Concealing the SARS Death Toll?
After the storm on the 21st, Beijing reported,
on the 22nd, that 37 were killed, but there have been no updates since then.
The public is asking for a name list of the deceased.
Beijing News Office invited foreign media on the 24th,
saying after SARS, the government does not hide any death tolls.
However, some journalists said that under
the current system, it is difficult to accomplish that.
Forbeschina.com’s micro-blog post on the 25th
stated the death doll from the storm is rising.
Wang Xiaochuan’s micro-blog stated,"Shocked,
when learning the death toll, can’t speak for 10 seconds.
Beyond my perception, or imagination.
The authority will announce new number. I dare not to say it."
A micro-blog from People’s Daily on the 22nd
said the number is heartbreaking.
Evidence shows that the authority knows of
a much larger number, but has not released it.
Netizens asked for a official name list of the 37
deceased. Some netizens said, “Don’t forget SARS.
Hide the number, you will pay the consequence."
Chief Editor of cckz1933.cn, Jia Yuanliang said
that it is a necessary to release the name list.
It shall be a humanitarian tradition,
a practice of Beijing Spirit.
Jia Yuanliang:"According to official information,
37 died. They know the identities of 25.
They shall release them.
The delay is no good for them.
Announcing their names is showing respect to them.
It is part of Chinese traditional culture."
Beijing said they have confirmed the identity of 22.
Among them, only 3 officials’names were announced,
including head officer of a police station, a mayor of a town, and one deputy mayor.
The authority said they died during their public duty.
Apple Daily in HK said authorities shouldn’t
be selective regarding the name list.
Every time, when there is disaster, mainland media
will first release the name of deceased officials,
or those who give out the instructions,
or the officials who visited the site.
It reflects a notion of officials before the people.
There is no respect for the victims, which is ignorant of life.
Former journalist Zhu Xinxin from Hebei Radio
said the regime controlled the news.
Zhu Xinxin: “They are actually misleading the news,
by saying the officials are working hard and are helping.
They are propagating for the regime. The core is
their concept of officials before the people."
Pressured by public criticism, Beijing held news
conference on the 24th.
The news officer said that drawing on lessons
from the SARS incident, Beijing won’t hide any death toll.
Zhu Xinxin: “I think it is very difficult to announce
Once there is disaster, the authority’s first priority
is themselves, which benefits them first, not the people.
It is a result from the current system. The authority’s
power is the core interest, the highest interest."
After the storm, Beijing mayor Guo Jinlong
visited Fangshan on the 22nd,
asking local officials to report the real death toll
and release it timely.
However, the same day, he said the focus of
current work switched to “maintaining stability and
welcoming the 18th Party Congress with
The mayor changed from caring about the people
to maintaining stability. Netizens said,"My heart felt cold."
Wednesday, Xinhuanet.com reported
that Guo has resigned his mayor’s position.
Most online posts about his resignation
due to being blamed were deleted.
German Voice said his resign is just a show,
because he was appointed as the Party Secretary of Beijing on July 4th. His resignation is a step forward in his political career.
An Editorial from Apple Daily stated the CCP has
chanted many years about putting the people first and about political reform.
If they are serious, why didn’t they start with a small
thing like releasing the name list or reducing their high officials news coverage?