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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Gov't spokesmen trained for emergency response

(Xinhua)

20:06, November 25, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Spokesmen from China's central and provincial governments finished a three-day training program on Friday that was designed to teach them how to cope with emergencies.

The program, organized by the State Council Information Office, aimed to improve the way government spokesmen handle news releases in times of emergencies, according to Wang Guoqing, the deputy head of the office.

During the program, the spokesmen discussed experiences and lessons learned from recent cases and worked out suggestions for improving government publicity work, Wang said.

Although most government departments have released news promptly during past emergencies, some departments have not performed well in interacting with the media and releasing news, Wang said.

Just days after two high-speed trains collided near east China's city of Wenzhou on July 23, leaving 40 people dead and 191 injured, Wang Yongping, then spokesman for the Ministry of Railways, triggered a torrent of public criticism for his remarks at a press conference.

When reporters asked why search and rescue operations ended early, with a toddler found alive in the wreckage of the trains just hours after rescue work was called off, Wang Yongping responded "that is the miracle of life."

When asked about the controversial burying of the damaged carriages, Wang said the move was to facilitate rescue work, and added "whether you believe it or not, I believe it anyway," and that particular choice of words angered many.

Wang Yongping was later dismissed from his post.

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