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Forty men sharing four quilts

By Xie Dehao ( Chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-04-20 11:04
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If I tell you this happened in quake-hit Yushu, you probably imagine the misery the people affected by the earthquake are going through. In fact, this happened to the Chinese Armed Police. In a military truck, 40 exhausted policemen had a rest with only four quilts between them. What’s more, they all had only unlined garments on. When a reporter asked why they were reduced to this, a policeman replied that they had donated all the blankets to quake survivors.

This is the Chinese police, and this is the Chinese soldier. They always come to people’s aid whenever and wherever they are needed. We can’t ignore the fact that Yushu is located on the plateau at over 4,000 meters. At such a high altitude, it is difficult to breathe, and the temperature drop at night might turn icy soon in the current season. Those policemen in the rescue team, however, have endured all difficulties and remain busy with rescue day and night.

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Technically those policemen are part of the Armed Police, but in the quake zone, they are not armed. More precisely, they are armed with rescue tools, though they use their hands most of the time. We cannot forget that in 2005, after New Orleans was struck by Hurricane Katrina, the town was in chaos with riots and robberies. What’s worse, even some policemen were involved. When the National Guard, the equivalent of the Chinese Armed Police, armed to the hilt, came to the hurricane-hit city, their first job was not to rescue the survivors but to quash the riots.

By comparison, on Monday a Public Security official said at a press conference that social order in the quake-hit zone remained stable and no criminal cases, major traffic accidents, or major security incidents had been reported. That is not unexpected for Chinese people, and this kind of stability is the result of the Chinese people’s calm and discipline passed down from generation to generation, as well as their trust in the government, the police and the army. Amid the disaster, the four shared quilts symbolize that the government and the police are standing by the people and serving them heart and soul, and in return, the people are relying on them. No one will be abandoned, that is Yushu people’s belief, and that is the overall Chinese people’s belief as well.

President Hu Jintao has come to Yushu, encouraging and comforting the rescuers and survivors. So has Premier Wen Jiabao. Along with them, aid and supplies are pouring into Yushu. Soon all the people, including the heroes, can enjoy the warmth of quilts. With Chinese leaders’ care and conduct as well as the support from the whole nation and even the international community, this disaster will be overcome. Tomorrow a new Yushu will emerge in a better image.