Cyber Candles for Two Tragedies

Yesterday marked two tragedies in China: the third day of floods in the nation’s capital and the one-year anniversary of the high-speed train crash in Wenzhou. Connecting the two events, especially by lighting commemorative cyber candles, is a provocative move in China’s tightly controlled media space. Despite admitting to error and firing Railway Ministry officials, authorities have still barred reporters from visiting the site of the Wenzhou crash, and independent reporting on the anniversary was forbidden. Even journalists working for state-run media were chastised for criticizing the response to the disaster. Citizens are braced for cosmetic responses to the floods. Braced, but not complacent.