International ties

Facing disasters, we are all human

By Ouping (
Updated: 2011-03-16 15:20
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What‘s happening now in neighboring Japan is both unfamiliar and familiar to us: We are definitely not familiar with the 10-meter wave that a tsunami could incur and we are not familiar with the formidable power that a nuclear plant could release in an instant.

Yet we do instantly recognize the helpless eyes, the strong desire to live and the longing for a little warmth.

Indeed, we have experienced similar disasters ourselves, in the Sichuan earthquake and in the Zhouqu landslide. It is always said the values and spirit of an individual or a nation usually are put to the test on special occasions like these. We have suffered terrible losses, but our compassion for the lives of fellow human beings has been awakened like never before.

To a certain extent, the tsunami in Japan is yet another, albeit different, test put before us. Bearing our recent history in mind, we often view each other with ambivalent attitudes, to say the least. But the candles lit, the vigils held and the tears shed for the ordinary lives have told a totally different, yet not unexpected, story, which is particularly comforting.

The Chinese government has also acted promptly in the most appropriate manner, sending out millions of dollars in emergency aid and a rescue team to help with Japan’s quake relief efforts. More is on the way.

Abraham Lincoln was once believed to have said that a nation harboring long-term hatred or admiration for anther would always be plagued by an inferiority complex. For China to move beyond historical emotions and show real compassion for ordinary lives in Japan is a measure of how it has matured over the years. After all, the most important thing throughout human history has always been and will always be the pursuit of happiness and the desire to live a full life.

For us, there are no permanent enemies. If anything, there is perhaps only one: natural disasters. In times like these, no matter who you are and no matter what you are, there is only helplessness. In times like these, because of that, nothing is more significant and more precious than a human life.