Skip to comments.China donates bus fleet to Macedonia, sparking anger at home
Posted on 12/02/2011 5:47:50 AM PST by Cardhu
The commute to and from school can be a harrowing experience in many parts of China. As rush hour begins, children are piled into makeshift buses with complete disregard for safety regulations.
The controversy began in Macedonias capital Skopje on Friday, November 25 after Chinas ambassador gifted the country a fleet of 23 sleek, double-decker school buses. Built by the Chinese manufacturer Yutong, the buses hold 35 and are fitted with automatic doors, fire extinguishers and seatbelts. They will be used primarily for transporting students in Macedonias rural areas.
The gesture might have been favourably viewed were it not for the notoriety of Chinas own catastrophic school transport system. There have been several recent accidents involving school buses, including one on the morning of November 16, when a truck slammed into a packed bus in Chinas northwestern Gansu province. According to local media, the bus, which had space for nine, was carrying 64 passengers. Twenty people were killed in the incident, including one teacher and the bus driver. Two months before that, police stopped a similar minibus with 66 students on board. Twelve police vehicles were needed to shuttle the children back to their homes.
At this point, hundreds of thousands of Chinese Internet users have interpreted their country's gift to Macedonia as a form of betrayal. Some even carried their online campaign to a musical level, taking popular Chinese songs and reworking the lyrics. Here, for example, the refrain Where is the spring? has become Where are our school buses?
Other Internet users posted hundreds of caricatures poking fun at Chinas government and what it views as its priorities, suggesting that in addition to concerns over safety, their outrage is directed at growing inequalities in the country.
(Excerpt) Read more at observers.france24.com ...
The Chinese have a sense 0f humor.
Macedonia is only in Greece not this former yougoslav republic.
either way, makes you wonder what the real political mission is.
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