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China Crisis

Other than being the world's most populated country, China is also the world's third largest country by area with Beijing as its capital. It's official name is the People's Republic of China. Their republic was proclaimed on October 1, 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party, which set for itself the awesome task of uniting and mobilizing a population impoverished and exhausted by 37 years of domestic chaos, war and foreign invasion in the construction of a modern industrial socialist society and the achievement of great power status.

Imperial China had been a civilization, technologically sophisticated, economically and culturally self-sufficient, living in self-imposed isolation from the rest of the world. Chinese culture is an integral part of Chinese society acclaiming it as an important achievement of the Chinese civilization and its national identity.

But came the 21st century, China marked global records of catastrophe dating from year 2000 up to present breaking world news.

Year 2000
Let's start with a domestic disaster where 309 people died on a Christmas Day blaze tore through a commercial building in Luoyang, Central China.
News from CNN.com dated December 26, 2000

Year 2001

In May 20 on CNN.com, Hongkong puts lid on bird flu or avian influenza. Its cause and origin remained unknown. Thousand of birds were killed in more than 130 markets. Buddhist monks in the territory prayed for the lost souls of the killed in a mass slaughter.

Year 2002
BBC News dated August 22, more than 1000 families have been evacuated. Almost a million people worked together to stop China's freshwater lake from flooding. Some 850,000 civilians and soldiers have mobilised to shore up dykes and embankments of Lake Dongting, in the southern province of Hunan.

Year 2003

This is the year when SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome became a global epidemic which was believed to be originated in southern Guandong, China. it killed 800 people around the world; 350 in China alone including 44 in Toronto.

SARS scare

Year 2004
Typhoon Rananim hit the city of Wenling on the coast of Zhejiang province. The death toll rose to 115 and more than 1,800 people were reportedly injured. It also killed 31,000 heads of livestock.

Year 2005
A 5.5-magnitude quake struck eastern China killing at least 17 people and injuring hundreds of others. The epicenter was on the Hubei-Jiangxi provincial border. China's government rushed in 1,000 tents to house those left homeless by the temblor.

Year 2006
Another storm flooded the streets of southern China killing at least 188 people while homes and crops were destroyed by landslides.

BBC News dated May 22, 2006 reported a flooded mine in the northern province of Shanxi where estimated 57 coalminers were trapped underground. The accident happened when the mine was hit by a sudden surge of floodwater.

Year 2007
Typhoon Wipha slammed into the coast south of Shanghai as authorities moved 2 million people following forecasts it would be the most powerful storm to hit eastern China in a decade. Shanghai closed schools, delayed or postponed flights, ferry crossings and other transport links.

Year 2008
Nearly 50,000 may have died in 7.9-magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern China when thousands of children were in class. Chinese authorities have confirmed that at least several hundred children died in schools in one town alone. Aftershocks at times forced rescuers to evacuate fallen buildings, leaving crowd frustrated at knowing the fate of loved ones. The quake left 5 million homeless.

And then, the Melamine scare. Three babies were reportedly died and 6,200 more now known to be ill. China's largest producer of milk, Mengniu Dairy Group announced the recall of three batches of formula made in January after tests showed that they were contaminated with melamine. Though it should not be added to food ingredients, suppliers in China sometimes put in food to make the product appear to be protein rich.

Melamine has Nitrogen, and standard tests for protein in bulk food ingredients measures level of Nitrogen. More than 1,300 infants were hospitalized with illnesses including malnutrition -->, kidney stones and acute renal failure.

The issue has affected most countries like the US and the Philippines as well and this food safety scandal prompted China agricultural officials to start a nationwide inspection of its dairy industry.

China has the richest culture of all humanity but their tainted contribution to global economy should be properly investigated for consumers' safety and protection.

(Images from the web)



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