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English>>China Society

Irrational voices against charities upsetting

(Global Times)

09:36, July 26, 2012

Disaster-relief work is underway in Beijing's Fangshan district. Four days after the weekend's devastating downpour, the local government's credibility is still under the spotlight. The exact death toll and the details of donations have been questioned by online opinion leaders.

Since the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the situation concerning disaster relief has become further complicated. Coupled with the upgrading of infrastructure is a diverse range of public opinion. Right now, when disaster hits, society can no longer put its attention only on disaster relief. It is an opportunity to advance both the government's ability to prevent disasters and push forward social reform.

The deep doubts surrounding disaster response capability and post-disaster efforts are regular topics on the Internet. It is difficult to tell whether sharp questions on the subject are good or bad.

We hope these doubts, fostered in a public opinion environment that is opening up, can help move the country forward and create social cohesion, not deplete precious social trust.

The doubts reflect the embarrassing situation of government credibility. Official departments are facing all-round criticism. In today's China, it is possible to make a living by criticizing the government.

Problems in civil affairs departments and State-led charity organizations are inevitable. There are plenty of reasons to criticize them. But these are not excuses for boycotting these agencies. For example, a donation collection was sponsored by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs, one of the most professional charity organizations in the country due to its advantage in acquiring information. Despite public doubts, it is irreplaceable in the current situation. But common sense has been twisted. Instead of asking for thorough supervision of official charity agencies, some are calling for them to be boycotted. Attacks have also been extended to individuals and entities that made the donations. This irrational mood is permeating, and seems to be gaining legitimacy.

There is no quick cure to this problem. It requires the rebuilding of government credibility and citizens' confidence acquired through the country's continuing progress.

Officials' empty speeches have often been mocked because they are of no help in solving actual problems. It is worth considering whether empty chanting is developed and encouraged in cyber space. It occupies the moral high ground, but brings no real solution.

What the country needs is concrete criticism that can push the government to make changes, and can also bring the country hope and optimism.

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