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Chinese expert: aid brings people closer
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17:17, June 25, 2008

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Humanitarian aid from the international community to China after the May 12 quake has helped ease the tension between the peoples, said a Chinese expert on international studies.

Professor Jin Canrong from Renmin University --- one of the most prestigious universities in China --- shared his opinions about international aid with People's Daily Online recently.

He thinks that the natural expression of sympathy and the gratitude for that sympathy in the big disaster has on one hand moderated the "differences on national identity" which had been highlighted by political tension over the Tibet incident and the Olympic torch relay.

On the other hand, international rescue teams, volunteers and medical relief staff have direct contact with local Chinese in the quake area. Their personal emotional exchanges develop into positive feelings between them and the locals.

The media also plays an important role. The media in other countries --- particularly those from Europe and the US --- could stop criticizing China at least for a certain period of time and make some positive coverage about China. In addition, Chinese media reports about the international aid have helped to exude a good impression of other countries among the Chinese public.

"The cross-border care reflects the basic love of the human community," said Jin. "No matter where it is, any natural disaster as serious as this one in Sichuan will be a common concern." And the development of the Internet and the growing middle-class globally --- the main group in the early stage of a so-called global civil society --- have made it easy to attract global attention to a particular event - in a positive way or a negative way.

Another very important reason for the international community's massive support is the openness, accountability and self-confidence of the Chinese government. The government's quick and transparent response to the quake demonstrates its commitment to the idea of "putting people first" and proves its self-assurance.

"We also have to consider that the background of the entire thing," said Jin, "is the rise of China." Anything that happens here draws global attention.

By People's Daily Online



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