Inefficiency and bureaucratic apathy agitate flood effected people in China

The inadequate and inapt flood-relief measures and the misplaced priorities of the Xi Jinping government led to a huge uproar in China as many lives were lost and houses, farms and infrastructure damaged on a large scale. The government’s decision to flood rural areas to protect Xi’s pet project in Beijing added fuel to the fire, leading Chinese people to express their opinions against the communist leadership.

Over a million people in northwest China have been displaced and at least 33 died and 18 went missing after the deluge following record rains caused havoc, destroying homes and urban infrastructure.1 Doubts have been raised over the accuracy of the information furnished by Chinese authorities.2

A carpenter named Zhu said he could not protect his house from the deluge. “We didn’t receive any information (from government),” he said.3 People expressed anger over the lack of preparedness and inefficiency of government agencies. “Difficult questions are now being raised as to why lessons from that previous storm were not learned, and why buildings and roads were not reinforced, and why this damage has happened yet again,” said local journalist Katrina Yu.4

“No one ever informed us of the flood discharge or told us to prepare to evacuate,” said a resident of Hebei’s Zhuozhou.5 In the capital city of Beijing alone, 59,000 houses collapsed while 150,000 were damaged.6 Zhuozhou resident Wang said “In other places you see leaders rushing to the front line and coordinating rescue efforts, but in Zhuozhou they disappeared.”7 Xi government released financial aid of RMB 520 million to the flood- affected areas which include Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei.8 While the state-run news media continued to praise the Xi government’s flood-aid measures, Chinese people voiced their strong opinions against inadequate

arrangments on social media.910 Victims also held protests in front of government offices, raising slogans like “Give us back our homes!”11

Chinese people however cast doubts on the aid reaching to the victims. They believed the aid would be misused or siphoned off by government officials like what had happened during the 2021 Henan floods. A government audit revealed the misappropriation of funds, which failed to be noticed by officials.12

“What an embarrassing piece of news to happen at this moment,” said one Weibo user.13 Chinese People discussed the issue of flood relief fund corruption on social media despite Chinese authorities stepping up internet censorship. Thus, many Chinese now believe that the latest fund would meet a similar fate.14 “Let’s not donate money [for relief] now because of this,” said another Weibo user.

The distressed Chinese were sent to a rage after Ni Yuefeng, a top communist leader, urged people living around Beijing to “resolutely serve as a ‘moat’ for the capital.” A Hebei resident slammed Xi’s government saying “To protect Beijing, no one cares if we in Hebei are being flooded.”15 Chinese people slammed Ni for his “really shameless” comments.16 People were furious as the flood water was diverted to rural and underdeveloped areas to protect Xi’s pet infrastructure project– Xiong’an New Area, which is going to be the second bureaucratic capital. Chinese Minister Li Guoying echoed Ni’s views to save Xiong’an and Beijing airport. This exposed the wider gap between urban and rural China and the misplaced priorities of the communist regime.

Rural areas traditionally have been neglected in China when it comes to sharing resources and undertaking development.17 “Hebei is just being used by Beijing,” wrote one user on Weibo. “Although human life is priceless, some human lives are more priceless than others,” wrote one user on Zhihu, a Reddit-like social media platform.18

Affected people are openly criticising the Xi government for the flood now. University student David Zhang said “The overwhelming frustration is towards the local government and Beijing. The flood was caused by the government’s attempt to save communities in Beijing and Xiongan because of their higher status.”19 Xi did not appear in public for weeks even though massive floods continued to ravage lives and livelihoods.20 He was rather seen attending a ceremony of the Central Military Commission when the major parts of north-west China were submerged.21 Experts believe the communist regime’s failure to protect people from disaster leads to frustration and indignation. “These are things people will eventually start to blame the party and the state for not addressing,” said Alex Wang, Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law.22

1 recovery-intl-hnk/index.html

2 but-full-picture-of-damage-unclear

3 government-response-2023-08-10/

4 recent-beijing-flooding



7 government-response-2023-08-10/ 8

9 20from%20rain%20contrary%20to%20pro%2DXi%20media%20reports,- Monday%2C%20Aug.&text=Some%20Chinese%20people%20have%20voiced,aftermath


10 has-been-strong-in-flood-response

11 in-sacrificed-areas-remain-bitter_6090864_225.html

12 pdf/Insight_GC_Aug15_V3.pdf

13 repeat-abuse-flood-relief-funds-after-it-emerges-over-us1-billion-aid-2021- was?module=perpetual_scroll_0&pgtype=article&campaign=3230301

14 pdf/Insight_GC_Aug15_V3.pdf

15 16 cities-as-moat-to-save-beijing-from-floods

17 urban-divide/

18 cities-as-moat-to-save-beijing-from-floods

19 zhuozhou-20230808-p5dus8.html

20 but-full-picture-of-damage-unclear

21 22 resilience/






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