China: epidemics and emergency situations

Night fire, car accident, air crash, explosion in a mine – usually, all these are characterized as “accidents” or “tragic coincidences.” However, the fact that the Beijing mayor ordered a stop to the functioning of all Internet-cafes after the event on Saturday that caused 24 deaths signifies that this was not an accident, but rather a regularity.

Let us look through a short chronical of May of this year based on newspaper reports.

May 7, in Dalyanya area, a Chinese airliner crashes; 112 people die.

May 8, passenger bus falls from the bridge in Sichuan province; four people die, and 15 are missing.

May 18, car accident in Shansi province; 17 people die.

May 20, landslide in a mine in Sinziang-Uygur autonomous region; nine people die.

May 23, accident in Shunyashan; 17 people die.

May 28, a bus crashes into an abyss in Sychuang province; 16 people die.

May 30, accident in a private mine in Badun, in the north-east of the country; 15 people die.

The conclusion is that mercantilism prevails over public interests, which came to China together with the reforms. To get as much profit as possible, both private and state works neglect the interests of safe labour in mines and secure air flights of the civil aviation. The most massive “killer” in china is car transport: during 2001, 760 car accidents took place in China, which killed 100,600 people.

This is, according to many Chinese, also the reason for the fire in the Internet-cafe. Such cafes are very profitable now, taking into account today’s Internet-boom in China. As a rule, they work round the clock, and often illegally (avoiding tax payments and without special internal equipment). It turned out that 2,200 of the 2,400 Beijing Internet-cafes were illegal. The cafe where the Saturday tragedy took place was of the same kind.

Andrei Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing


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