Chinese Regime Scorned for School Bus Donation to Macedonia 29 11 2011
A diplomatic gesture by the Chinese regime has sparked uproar back home. Authorities donated 23 school buses to Macedonia last Friday, but the generosity has failed to earn applause from the Chinese public. They're still angry over the appalling state of domestic school transportation, which claimed the lives of 19 children earlier this month.
The Chinese regime has been heavily criticized after it donated school buses to the small European nation of Macedonia last Friday. It comes less than two weeks after 19 pre-school children died when an overcrowded van they were traveling in crashed in northwest China.
In a ceremony at Macedonia's capital city, the Chinese Embassy gave away 23 school buses. According to Ambassador Cui Ziwei, the gesture is to show how Chinese authorities, "attach great value to the Sino-Macedonia relationship."
But these school buses for children in Macedonia's rural areas are a far cry from what rural children in China are used to. It has sparked public outrage. Many are condemning the Chinese regime and its leaders for neglecting the needs of the Chinese public.
[Ren Jinping, Chinese Dissident]
"Why is this? None of the kids who died in the school bus were theirs. The kids who died as a result of shoddy school construction also weren't theirs. The [Communist Party elites] have sent their kids overseas. The domestic school buses are rife with problems, yet they ignore it and give aid overseas."
Due to underfunding, many of China's schools use makeshift school buses. They're often overcrowded, and have poor safety records. Earlier this month, a nine-seat minivan was packed with 62 children when it crashed in Gansu Province, killing 19 children.
Chinese netizens have also scoffed at the school bus donation. Hundreds of thousands have chimed in on microblogs, with this one saying: "Speechless, I am beyond angry."
These comments may have jittered Chinese authorities who are eager to quash dissent. The page on the Foreign Ministry's website about the donations has been removed, although news about it could still be seen on the website for the Embassy in Macedonia.