Sunday, September 3, 2023

China Busy Hiding Reports of Flood Damage and Death

China Busy Hiding Reports of Flood Damage and Death

TUESDAY, AUG 15, 2023

Devastating reports of flood damage and death are trickling out of China. The country has just been hit with the largest flood it has seen in 140 years. This means the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has cranked up its propaganda machine to downplay the destruction and bury the devastating reports of damage and death. This includes fabricating stories of rescues and rapidly arriving to help the victims of the disaster. 

In some ways, this could be viewed as a "Hurricane Katrina moment" for China's leader Xi Jinping. It certainly represents an embarrassing failure of the Chinese government to protect its people. Hundreds of thousands of China's citizens have lost everything and had their lives destroyed. Still, the government is more interested in quelling the protests of victims than providing help. For the leadership this is about saving face. It is also proof that when a government "makes the news," it controls the news. This leaves the question of how bad the flooding has become.

 It also highlights the fact that China's system of damns has not tamed its rivers.   In a video, Chris Chappell of China Uncensored reported that China's northeast got some biblical-level flooding this month. Streets were turned into rivers, and rivers were turned into lakes. This unfolded so fast that most people had little or no warning. The capital was woefully unprepared for such a deluge. But what really has people angry is how the CCP handled it. China's flood waters are washing up some nasty truths. The government has put itself and saving certain cities it values above the lives of the people in other less favored areas.  

This includes creating levee breaks and discharging water to flood farmland and lesser cities to defend what the government values. China Insights claims that  On August 10, the upper reaches of the Qing River in northern China's Hebei Province had a dam break while flood levels downstream Tianjin were dropping. This has brought about speculation the authorities discharged flood water to Hebei in order to protect Tianjin. These officials led police teams and personally directed them to block the flood water exits to make sure the water stays in the farmland. 

As far as Western media being able to get this story out, we get a big fail. An example of this is a Newsweek article focusing on dogs. It reports that according to Humane Society International (HSI), hundreds of dogs and several cats were saved by animal activists during the devastating floods. The article did, to its credit, mention that dozens of people have been killed in the floods and several more are still missing. It also took the focus off the disaster in China by pointing out Typhoon Doksuri sparked heavy rainfall in parts of the Philippines, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam, causing extensive damage to homes, crops, livestock, and infrastructure in those areas as well.

China Controls Its News And What Is Seen

A BBC article placed a "climate change" spin on the flooding and how the floods have claimed more than 60 lives so far. It also threw in a more personal human tragedy twist telling how ten-year-old Miao Chunyou screamed for her mum as she disappeared into a brown torrent that had engulfed western Beijing. The strong currents ripped Miao from her father's grip as her mother, clinging to a tree branch watched helplessly. That was more than 10 days ago, and since then the couple has heard no news about their daughter.

One CNBC story focused on what this might do to the price of rice. It states global rice markets could come under further pressure as the world's leading producer China grapples with heavy rain and flooding. It noted that China is the world's largest producer of rice, and flooding hit three provinces that account for 23% of the country's rice output. Unfortunately, the article fell short of telling the extent of the true devastation suffered in much of the area. This is not simply about lower rice yields. 

On the other hand, UPI told the story the CCP propaganda machine dished out. It told of how 21 people are dead and another six are missing after heavy rain caused flooding and mudslides in China's northwestern Shaanxi Province. And followed with tales of how more than 180 people have been evacuated from mountainside villages according to China's state news agency Xinhua. It expanded on this telling how fourteen rescue teams with 980 rescuers were rapidly dispatched to lead the evacuation effort and repair infrastructure. It also reported that three heavily damaged sections of National Highway 210 have been repaired and power has been restored to more than 850 homes, the Global Times reports.

The Situation Is Worse Than Reported

The reality is that this situation is far worse than reported and a huge number of lives have been lost, and little real help has arrived in most areas. The China Observer points out in another video that as the flood water begins to recede the real pain and hardships people face will move front and center.  Besides the economic devastation, the damage to the farmland in rural areas is severe. Videos show the aftermath of the floods in Diaowo town, with most fields submerged in water, houses, and greenhouses destroyed by the floods. Everywhere field pathways are blocked by fallen trees and littered with garbage and cars washed in by the floodwaters. 

It appears the loss of life may well be in the 100's of  thousands but we will never know. Under the CCP's rule, the authorities prioritized protecting Beijing and Xiong'an, sacrificing the lives and well-being of the people of Hebei Zhuozhou. The efforts of many families spanning decades or even generations have been washed away in these floods. Sadly, many of these people know that even when the CCP states that money has been shifted to provide aid, corrupt officials have a way of stealing most of it before it reaches its destination. 

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