Chinese Reactions to Government’s Handling of Wenzhou Train Accident

2011 July 23 Wenzhou high-speed rail accident.

2011 July 23 Wenzhou high-speed rail accident.

From Liba:

Today’s New York Times headline

The New York Times headline quoted a Weibo [microblog] message: “China, please stop your flying pace, wait for your people, wait for your soul, wait for your morality, wait for your conscience! Don’t let the train run out off track [derail], don’t let the bridges collapse, don’t let the roads become traps, don’t let houses become ruins. Walk slowly, allowing every life to have freedom and dignity. No one should be left behind by our era.”

New York Times screenshot: Train Wreck in China Raises Questions of Safety.

The original has already been deleted, but is reprinted here: This morning, the higher-ups issued directives to CCTV and the media: “Newest requirements regarding Wenzhou accident reporting: 1. Use death and casualty numbers issued by authoritative departments; 2. Reporting should not be too frequent; 3. Report more moving stories, such as people donating blood, taxis drivers not taking fares, etc.; 4. Don’t investigate the cause of the accident, use information issued by authoritative departments; 5. Don’t do reflections or commentary [on the accident/issues].

Comments from Liba:


If we say food safety can all be problems with evil or unscrupulous businesses

Then if the railways, trains, highways, the things that are funded by the country like are all like this, how are we expected to continue trusting this government?


Reported the feelings in the hearts of 1.3 billion Chinese people.


Seeing this, I suddenly want to cry.


What people do, heaven watches, please don’t treat us like idiots.


The whole world is laughing at us.


Why is it that we can’t be allowed to know the truth, and not allowed to speak it it even when we know the truth? I still remember the political textbooks in middle school and high school! So it turns out they were are bullshit! Fuck, so infuriating!


No wonder the even Southeast Asian countries have begun to bully China. Now the entire world knows this kind of state of affairs in China.


It was written by a Chinese person, @童大焕

Even Guo Meimei has made headlines on the New York times, but didn’t that too end up being unresolved?

They simply have it in them, to not see or hear, to pretend to be crazy, to pretend to be stupid, pretend to be helpless, pretend to be innocent…shameless.


Although I don’t feel very helpless about the current situation, I find it really annoying when Americans prattle on about this or that. No matter how bad our country is, we still have relatively peaceful lives to live. I sure don’t want my country to be ruined like Yugoslavia and Iraq.


Qie,, its all the same, okay? Whenever something happens in America, doesn’t our media also make a big deal about it? When have you seen our media talk about other people’s good things…?


No mourning, no flying the flag at half-mast~
Just speed and overtaking developed countries~
Trampling on the hearts of the Chinese people~

2011 July 23 Wenzhou High Speed Train Collision.

From KDS (1 & 2):

Domestic journalists are already used to receiving this kind of garbage/junk text messages

Government instructions sent via text message regarding Wenzhou high speed train crash reporting.

Translation of the text in the above photograph:

Propaganda notice: The Wenzhou train accident will be uniformly referred to as the “7.23 Yong-Wen Line Exceptionally Serious Railway Accident”.

The Wenzhou train accident from now on will be reported with “great love in the face of great disaster” as the main theme. Don’t question, don’t expand, don’t associate, and don’t repost [about the matter] on individual/personal microblogs! Appropriate service [charity/volunteer] information may be provided during television programs, but be careful of the atmosphere created by music selection!

Comments from KDS:


5 mao come in and explain this, what is this about~~~~~~


That finger isn’t bad! This kind of garbage text message is one I often see!


When journalists aren’t independent and the media isn’t strong, the Heavenly Kingdom has no hope.

The problem is with the journalists and media today, where 99.99% are lacking calcium and lacking xinc [lacking backbone and heart].


When God wants to destroy someone, he will first make them crazy.


Freedom of speech is the most basic of rights.


That finger, a young, sexy reporter.

This text message must’ve been sent by a reactionary force. The Heavenly Kingdom‘s news is the most free.


I really want to see the junk text messages for Guo Meimei and Da Vinci.


Control public opinion! However, in today’s internet age, is this method of any use? Everyone can guess in their hearts, and the more they try controlling public opinion this way, the more the people become suspicious in their hearts.


It’s been 2 days now, but its still the same two images/footage that is being shown over and over on the news, whereas the stories of moving deeds are constantly playing and constantly changing.

Local villages and rescue workers working throughout the night to rescue people from the Wenzhou high speed train accident.

From KDS:

Weibo exposes officials going to Wenzhou’s most luxurious hotels/restaurants even in this time, reposted from Weibo

@天佑中华A[Resharing one photo] At noon I posted a microblog update, asking the Railway Ministry whether or not the Railway Ministry officials will be eating boxed meals, and now this photograph proves that not only are they not eating boxed meals, they are not only dining in Wenzhou’s best hotel, they may also be drinking Maotai. This is what the Railway Ministry is like, this is what China’s politicians lives are like. Ma Ying-jeou can eat over 700 boxed meals a year, but the Railway Ministry officials must eat the very best even in this kind of situation.
Conscientious moderators don’t delete [this post]. It has already been reposted millions of times on Weibo.

Shangri-La Hotel sign indicating where Beijing, provincial, and city government officials will eat versus where regular workers will eat.

The following is supposed to be a microblog update made by Sina Weibo user @小狮子mymylion but the update can no longer be found on her profile page. Copies on Tianya or Baidu Tieba discussion forums have also been deleted, while there are still some copies on some smaller forums. It refers to the press conference held by the Railway Ministry last night involving spokesperson Wang Yongpin (pictured). He was criticized by many for some of his responses to reporters’ questions. For example, he infamously responded that to the effect that whether or not the people believe his explanations was up to them, but either way he believes them. Many netizens also commented that he needed a translator because his Putonghua [Mandarin] was so poor.

@小狮子mymylionLatest development: At the press conference, the head of the Railway Ministry slipped away through the side door, causing public outrage. Reporters swarmed and then a large fight broke out, hand to hand combat!!!

Details: It was because this person first tried to slip away that caused public outrange and then the reporters rushed the guards. I don’t know whether or not that old man got hit in the end. There’s a [sound] recording but I don’t know if anyone else has video to share.

Railway Ministry Spokesperson Wang Yongping at a press conference following the 2011 July 23 Wenzhou high speed train collision.

Railway Ministry Spokesperson Wang Yongping at a press conference following the 2011 July 23 Wenzhou high speed train collision.

See also: “Latest on the Wenzhou high-speed rail collision” (Shanghaiist)


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


Leave a Reply

4 Pings & Trackbacks

  1. Pingback:

  2. Pingback:

  3. Pingback:

  4. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.