Photo Of The Day

When An Elderly Man Falls In China

On 26th Nov. 2013, an elderly man fell while crossing the street in Jinghua, China.

A few passersby stopped their bikes and formed a circle to prevent other riders hitting the man. The man tried to stand up by himself, but failed. People stood around looking at each other, but no one dared to help the old man stand up. They called police and ambulance, and after examination. it was found that the elderly man had no serious injuries.

Some Chinese are loath to give assistance because of incidents like the one below:

Earlier this month, two high school students helped an elderly man up from his fallen bicycle, but the man accused the two students of knocking him down and demanded they pay for his medical expenses. The parents of the students paid 1200 yuan ($200). These two students then posted an online request for witnesses. A shop owner and some customers who saw the fall went to the police to give evidence. The old man had to return the money to the two students.

China's Controversial Nomad Relocation PDF Print E-mail
Real China
Yeshi Dorje, VOA   

China says it has completed its massive relocation project of Tibetan nomads into new settlements in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The controversial project has been denounced, though, by Tibetans living in exile and by Chinese environmental activists.

Since 2006, China has been moving nomads into crowded new settlements in various places, including the Tibetan Autonomous Region [TAR] and Qinghai Province.

China's official Tibet TV website announced this week that 2.3 million people in the TAR have been moved into new houses. According to Qinghai province's five-year plan, 90 percent of the nomads living in that area are due to be relocated by the end of this year.

China is now encouraging nomadic herders  to join livestock "cooperatives."

An editorial in the state-run Qinghai Online News this month said, “Local nomads [have begun] enjoying a new modern life in their crystal-clean new homes while all of their livestock are raised in the endless grassland under a cooperative style [system]."

China has said moving nomads into permanent homes provides them with a better life and could help the fragile environment of Tibetan Plateau. Critics say the program ignores environmental realities, however, and is really a way for authorities to control the livestock and land that belonged to the nomads.

Environmental controversy

Chinese environmental activist and journalist Wang Yongchen, who has been researching environmental changes on the Tibetan Plateau, said she has found that nomadic culture has sustained the area's environment. She added that only major environmental issues, such as air pollution in China's cities, have prompted environmental scientists to examine the Tibetan nomads' culture.

“Before, the Tibetan minorities’ way was friendly to nature, but nobody cared about it," said Wang said. “But after we got into serious environmental issues, we found that ‘Oh, the Tibetan minorities, they are very friendly with the nature. So, they’ve saved the water, sky and the food.'”

Wang said her group, Green Earth Volunteers, is raising its concerns with government officials in Beijing, as well as its belief that Tibetan nomads' traditional lifestyle helps preserve the environment.

Mogru Tenpa, a member of Tibetan parliament in exile who grew up in Qinghai Province, told VOA the state takes control of nomads' land once they join a cooperative.

“They call it cooperation but they are run by government officials,” said Tenpa. “They say the government is not taking it away from people, but managing it for people. But in reality, once government takes it over, individuals can no longer use their land.”

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.

 

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