In 1976 there was a worse earthquake in China, in terms of loss of human life. In the middle of the night, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck a city in the northeast. More than 250,000 people died. The Chinese government at that time was working under the idea of self-sufficiency and so refused all foreign offers of aid and assistance. The magnitude of the tragedy was downplayed domestically and as a result the nation sat on its hands while their people suffered and the world watched helplessly.
In the face of this most recent catastrophe in Sichuan, I think the Chinese people are showing the world their true grit. In 30 years, China has dedicated itself to improving the lives of its people and I would argue that China is achieving its goals. The nation is coming together to raise billions of RMB, supplies, and blood donations. Chinese people overseas are also pitching in and sending collective donations. The CCTV state TV stations’ broadcasts are clear and continuous. The full extent of the disaster, as best can be discovered, is available for everyone to witness. As a result, Japan and Russia are sending disaster aid teams to the area, and many nations are contributing welcomed funds and supplies for the rescue and recovery effort.