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article imageWhen Tragedy Strikes, Unity and Patriotism Follows For China, Burma Is Another Story

By Can Tran     Jun 10, 2008 in World
With the Sichuan earthquake, one moral has held true: When tragedy strikes, unity follows afterwards. Unfortunately, it is not the same with Burma.
Within a matter of days, China and Burma were hit by natural disasters. China was rocked by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that had caused death and destruction to the residents of Sichuan. Burma was struck by Cyclone Nargis that had caused death and destruction to most parts such as the Irrawaddy Delta.
Both countries have questionable records of human rights practices. The two of them are in the same boat with each other. However, Burma and China are different due to the governments’ responses to such incidents. The international community immediately rushed to help both the victims of Cyclone Nargis and the Sichuan Earthquake.
Burma has been under criticism for forcing the people to vote for a referendum to keep them in power. China has been under criticism for the treatment of the pro-Tibet independence protesters.
China was quick to accept the aid and even worked forth to help pay for its recovery. Burma is a different story. In the case of China, when tragedy had struck, unity had come afterwards. But, it is not the case for Burma as many are still awaiting food and aid. The unwillingness by Burma’s junta has caused many problems.
In the case of the Sichuan earthquake, it seemed that the country has unified to help each other out. Zhang Qiyu, who attends an elite university in the Chinese capital, volunteered her time to help those affected by the Sichuan earthquake. From a dormitory, Zhang would live in a tent to work at the refugee camp.
Zhang was joined by hundred of thousands other volunteers. They were joined by just as many Chinese soldiers and construction workers. This is something that was not present in Burma. In the case of Burma, the victims were treated like garbage. The junta allegedly forced the victims to do labor in exchange for food.
Zhang’s parents had exhibited pride in her.
In the case of China, there is a newborn sense of patriotism. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Burma. In China, there is renewed sense of unity and patriotism. But, it is not the same as Burma.
More about Burma, China, Sichuan
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