U.S. Offers Assistance After China Earthquake

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 29, 2008
Village Destroyed by Earthquake in China

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake centered in southwestern China killed and injured thousands, and left hundreds of thousands homeless throughout the region. Among those stranded in the temblor’s wake were hundreds of Americans living in and visiting the area. The American Embassy in Beijing and the American Consulate General in Chengdu (50 miles from the epicenter) sprang into action immediately to protect and aid American citizens caught in the earthquake’s destruction, and reassure worried family members in the U.S. that their loved ones were safe.

As news of the temblor spread back to the United States, the Department, the Embassy and Consulate General Chengdu fielded phone calls from friends and family of travelers known to be in China. Posts, with help from the Department, reviewed the records of Americans who had registered their trips to the region. With this valuable information about who they were looking for, our officers in China set out to bring our citizens to safety.

Our rescue teams traveled far into affected areas, but dangerous travel conditions kept them from reaching the epicenter. Despite the dangers, and loss of power and communications throughout the area, the teams located all known Americans in the region, all safe and sound except for one who reported a minor injury. In the effort to find one of the last missing Americans, who was stranded in mountains near the epicenter, consular staff worked tirelessly with Chinese authorities. They were unable even to contact him until the American called consulate authorities on a satellite phone that the Chinese government included in relief supplies that they airlifted to the isolated region. By phone, the American assured our consular team that he was all right and could safely remain until helicopters could evacuate him.

Along the way the consular teams helped Chinese refugees whom they encountered, sowing goodwill through humanitarian assistance at a grassroots level. During a rest break near Mianyang, the team came across Chinese refugees whose farming village had been destroyed. To tide them over until relief supplies reached them, team members left the villagers cases of water and gave them money from their pockets.

Read more about earthquake relief efforts for China.

Comments

Comments

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
May 30, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Unless we are going to use this as an opportunity to infiltrate, gain intelligence, corrupt, steal Military technology, devalue the Yen, place future construct data programs in place, Turn key personal, Turn Government officials, or even BUY SECRETS, then as Tony Soprano would say: FORGET ABOUT IT!

We have working American families living in their cars and the top 100 banking institutions are holding over 100 billion in bad bonds ...BONDS! How about taking care of America first...

I hope you do print this...I want to see what others say or their opinion on this view...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 1, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

In my blogging experience, I've often been witness to outrageous statement posted simply to illicit a desired response, or foster argument instead of expressing the empathy required of fellow forum members in matters as grave as the topic at hand on this thread.

If anything can singled out as a primary cause of the dysfunctionality in both relations among nations as well among peoples, it is sustained as manifest by the lack of empathy among individuals.

At the leadership level of nations, we can see the results of a lack of empathy of the individuals who rule Burma. China is fortunate to have a hefty response capability along with leadership who understands the moral necessity to act in the people's interest without delay.

Even so, they've gladly accepted the international help from those of good will. This actually marks a milestone along China's path to intergration with the family of nations as "responsible stakeholder" in humanity's global well being. Being that some human issues rise above the mere political.

I noted Dr. Harding's testimony in context with the overall aproach of the concept, and I think he makes a valid point that were China to be given the opportunity to help folks make the rules, they'd be less inclined to break them.

http://foreign.senate.gov/testimony/2008/HardingTestimony080515p.pdf

As for humanitarian aid and crisis management, it's what super powers do best. Keep up the good work folks.

Bob
|
Virginia, USA
June 3, 2008

Bob in Virginia writes:

Sure things may be difficult in the U.S. but they still are not as bad as what we've seen in China recently. I don't think this is a story about the U.S. vs China anyway. It's a story about people helping people.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
June 3, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

It would be nice to give good face in effort, but:

1. China is not a competitor of the U.S. or anyone to begin with. A competitor plays by the same rules and guidelines, China does not.

2. They have openly spied on the U.S. and Great Briton.

3. The only asked for Japans help AFTER Japan announced on May 21, 2008 that their Parliament passed a bill to use Space as a military platform.

4. They have a closed fiscal system which has put more Americans without work, increased Japans suicide rate, helped create a rift with South Korea due to work lost that America gave to China...

5. They never wanted anyone's help and have a one party system which is geared only toward productivity of State with nominal recognition of individual freedoms and using the same ploy as Russia with free enterprise for the few.

6. They are Godless in any form of Faith. Lest we forget. Is this the world domination we all want?

7. Due to the progress of the one party system, their people, including the youth are 100% behind their government as a whole. Recent reviews of their blogging shows the relevancy of this fact and as in Russia. The people have been lead throughout their history.

8...They can take care of themselves. Why does the Golden Rule not apply to China? We are not going to change anything by going there, only show our weakness, not strength. Their culture will view it as us bowing to their needs, not as charity.

Forget about it..Unless unless we can plant some intelligence seeds. The poor foget from meal to meal who feeds them, but they never forget who rules them.

Katie
|
Canada
June 4, 2008

Katie in Canada writes:

@ Joe in Tennesse -- Joe:

Honestly, we have only ourselves to blame for the fact that Americans are living in their cars and for the mortgage crisis. Americans are lousy at saving--we blow our money on big tvs, big cars, and big homes.

Our fiscal irresponsibility has nothing to do with Chinese quake victims, though. When people--human beings experiencing grief and loss--are in desperate need, then we must throw out the us vs them mentality. We are all part of the human race and must treat our brothers and sisters with kindness.

Sitting at home in TN, it's easy for you to be callous. But, would you really turn your back on such suffering if you passed the quake victims on the road?

Hooray U.S. diplomats serving in China for showing such great compassion!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 5, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Katie in Canada -- Hooray for Canada! What she said.

U.S.-n-Them be laid to rest, lest we all be , eh?

But Katie, I have to tell you that from a sociological perspective, all those "toys" you mentioned we blow our money on are just part of our ritual materialistic courtship and mating rituals. C'mon now, give us a break!

And I'm sure status symbols of one's hard work exist in all culture's economic reality.

Now you may not be familiar with my neck of the woods, (neither did the Canadian border patrol who wanted to see my green card when I visited once...LOL!)

But it's slap inbetween John McCain's Arizona, and George Bush's Texas.

Our brand of "compassionate conservatism" is best defined in a philosophy of free speech manifest when one is bound and determined to hang themselves with their own words, we New Mexican's generally feel obliged to hand them the rope.

I'm scatching my head right now trying to recall anyone in history who has -- in 20 words or less -- managed to ever publicly personly deliver grave insult to over a billion individuals simultaneously.

Joe from Tennessee wrote:

"6. They are Godless in any form of Faith. Lest we forget. Is this the world domination we all want?"

As an American Buddhist, one intolerant of intolerance, and bigotry in all its forms, I strongly object to Joe from Tennessee. Not sure if that's moonshine talking, or whether Joe's speaking as a member of the David Duke fan club. What a piece of work.

So to those it concerns and to our friends from China blogging here, I say Americans have not forgotten that Chinese labour helped build our nation, and so it may only be fitting that we help China recover and rebuild.

Spy vs. Spy till we all die? I don't think so....

Ronald
|
New York, USA
June 8, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

U.S.A. and China...

Natural disasters cut through political and ideologic barriers ...sure we should help China ...and Myanmar ...and Darfur ...and on and on ...after all we are all on the same planet and in the same human condition ...if we can't respond as humans ...fuggetaboutit!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 9, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Ron, I think humanity is still trying to define itself as human, and how this is to best become manifest, since we tend to create our own reality on this planet.

I'm afraid that what may be considered a "human response" is often expressed in terms of "forgetaboutit" like it doesn't concern us. Like it's someone else's problem perhaps. That is the false comfort of deniability.

"Today there is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. I feel that we've got to look at this total thing anew and recognize that we must live together. That the whole world now it is one--not only geographically but it has to become one in terms of brotherly concern. Whether we live in America or Asia or Africa we are all tied in a single garment of destiny and whatever effects one directly, effects one in-directly."
-MLK, 1967

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