The year 2008 in China will be never forgotten for all that they are going through, and they will have to rewrite the history books of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ that has befallen them.
At the beginning of the year, the Chinese government, made a huge investment in London totaling 676 hundred million pounds ($1.023b) and Freedom of Religion came into force. (Good)
Then came the winter disaster in the south and west of China that rocked the country deeply, but they were able to withstand the pressure and it cost the central government billions of Yuan. (Bad)
After enduring such natural disaster, all eyes were now on the Olympic Torch relay in Match. All the planning went well and the people of China were ready to celebrate when the Dalai Lama and his supporters from the West launched the Lhasa riot to paint China black. The Torch journey encountered lost of ugly situation from London to Paris, from San Francisco to Canberra and from Seoul to Nagano. (Ugly)
They almost succeeded, but the determination and strength of the government and people, they were able to rebuild their image.
The torch came home amidst cheers and happiness and was taken to Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world and the journey in the mainland started with lots of dances and celebration when the unexpected happen again.
Again, it was the southwest of China to be affected when an earthquake of 8.0 magnitudes struck Wenchuan in Sichuan province 5 : 12 exactly 14:28 hours.
This ongoing disaster is now putting China to the test if they would be able to overcome it or fail in the eyes of the critics.
The first impression created by the leaders of the Communist Party has really been exemplary because within hours of the quake the Premier was their directing and comforting soldiers and victims.
This act was enough to push every citizen around the country to act; indeed they spontaneous reacted by organizing relief supplies, donating monies and volunteering to go and help out.
This problem has proved to the world that the strength of China is in their political system. Many critics still believes that this quake can disintegrate the great nation and we are all waiting to see.
In 1979, the Indochina war, the same happened and the opinion from the west was that was the end of China, instead, it was the beginning of the rise of the next super power.
Only when you are in trouble would you be able to assess your strength and weaknesses, this is what is going on now in China. The economical and human strength have seen them rising above the problem and for once, China has been applauded by the West for such a wonderful effort made by the government and the people.
This quake have shown how united China is, within six days, the donations coming from the people and organization within amounted to more than 11 billion Yuan, and still people are donating by the hour.
The press coverage was very open and the government was ready to accept help from any quarters without restrictions. This was again the sign of many things to come.
Everybody within the country want to identify himself with the problem and military and police personnel had to be appealing to volunteers to wait and not go as the province is still receiving after shocks.
The Christian faith believes that ‘every disappointment to man is an appointment to God’. If this is true for china, then they will rise from this shackles three fold than expected, because the government has already in planning to start the rebuilding once the rescue and clearing has been done.
In any society or government, the leadership is very important, if the leadership is good, there will be progress, but if the leadership is nothing to write home about, then poverty and sickness will prevail.
This is the problem Africa is facing, bad governance, poor leadership and poverty stricken people. With all the wealth in Africa, most of the countries are languishing in abject poverty.
If the African leaders had the vision of the late Deng Shao Peng of China 30 years ago, Africa would be better off, but instead they joined the west in laughing at China saying all Chinese people had the same face and always wear uniforms.
Today China is a force to reckon with and they are now helping Africa even though they all have the same face.
The year 2008 would continue to be memorable because after sorrow and grief will come joy and happiness. Now we are all mourning the loss of thousands of people, but come the second half of the year, we will welcome joy and happiness as China will be celebrating the 30 years of economic reform and the Olympics.
I personally believe that the unity of the Chinese people will lead them through every peril and they will always over come because the preparedness of the government will always carry them through.
I may not be a Chinese, but staying and studying in China at this time of grief gives me the plenty to think about. A united country will be had to fall, a strong leadership will carry its people through thick and thin and a develop nation will overcome every barrier.
As the Chinese people mourn this great loss, may they mourn with hope and may they see the bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Sichuan province is the heart of the earthquake, the heart of the story and the heart of China. Once again, I wish to extend my condolences to all Chinese at home and abroad for this great tragedy.
May the coming Olympics bring smiles to the faces of the Chinese people and may the unity in them continue to strengthen them in the bond of peace, love and harmony.
By Austin Thomas in China