Oh, come on, China. Get over it.
A meeting between Indian and Chinese diplomats has been cancelled after Beijing objected to a scheduled speech in New Delhi by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, officials said on Sunday.
A senior Indian foreign ministry official, who declined to be named, said talks on long-standing border issues that were slated to begin in New Delhi on Monday had been called off.
‘Beijing wanted Delhi to cancel the Buddhist meeting where his holiness the Dalai Lama will be speaking on Wednesday,’ the official told AFP.
‘India refused to accept China’s demand as the leader is free to speak on spiritual matters.’
What does his holiness have to do with border disputes?
Anyway, you have bigger things to worry about:
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday pledged central and local government funds to improve and provide school bus service to schools in the wake of a traffic accident that killed 18 pre-school children and sparked outrage across the country.
That’s sad, even a tragedy. But how does it reflect on the government?
A school van with nine seats but crammed with 62 children and two adults crashed head-on into a coal truck in western Gansu province after the van swerved into oncoming traffic, television and other media reports said.
The two adults on board also died in the crash and 44 people were injured.
The tragedy prompted a swell of comments on the Internet and in the press calling for an overhaul of China’s badly managed and underserviced school transportation system. Rural areas in particular are known for unsafe transportation for children in aging, badly maintained vans and trucks.
If you have no choice but to put your kid on a school bus, you have a right to expect—and the government has a responsibility to provide—safe transportation. A bus carrying seven times the number of pre-school students it was supposed to does not qualify.
Flush with cash, China is buying up mineral and energy rights around the world. Smart, very smart. But you’d think they could throw a few extra yuan toward this problem.
And words do not even begin to describe grief exuded by this story:
The red ink marking the spot where the tragedy took place has grown so faint it is barely visible. The police have stopped coming by to question witnesses. The media throng has disappeared.
More than a month after toddler Wang Yue died after being hit by not one but two vehicles here in an incident that shocked China, much of Guangfo Hardware Market has regained a semblance of normalcy.
But probe a little deeper and the shopkeepers of this sprawling wholesale centre are still struggling to shed their collective cloaks of shame. Many Chinese pointed fingers at the people in this industrial market, accusing them of being cold and apathetic.
The belief was that the 18 passers-by who ignored the dying two-year-old nicknamed Little Yue Yue, before a rag-and-bone collector picked her up and called for help, were from the market.
In many ways, China resembles industrialized Britain and America: the heartless brutality of Dickens, the individual pluck of Alger. That only a “rag-and-bone” collector came to her rescue is a detail almost too contrived to believe. I’m not sure a fiction editor would let it pass.