Chinese PM Wen Jiabao at train crash site: I’ve been ill in bed for 11 days. Or has he?
After a deadly bullet train crash in Wenzhou, southern Zhejiang took place on the evening of July 23, the Chinese government and the Communist Party came under public opprobrium for their previous confidence in Chinese railway system, which now proves to be problematic and even dangerous, and their rescue and investigation effort, or lack thereof, after the accident.
On the morning of July 29, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived at the crash site and apologized on the government’s behalf to the families of the 39 victims, according to the official account. Right there, he answered a number of questions raised by Chinese and foreign press, including one as to why he did not come to the crash site until five days later.
Premier Wen Jiabao bowed down to families of the victims.
“I’ve been ill in bed for 11 days. The doctor only today reluctantly allowed me to go out of hospital.”
The sharing of his state of health has won back quite a lot of support and sympathy from the public that had been clamoring vehemently against the government, as is seen on Sina Weibo, a microblogging service.
However, critics of the government, unconvinced, have dug out the electronic versions of People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, published within the past 11 days, where news stories of Wen’s work were splashed across front pages.
The following are snapshots of People’s Daily’s front pages on July 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 25, and pictures of a few hand shakes taken by Xinhua News Agency. To Wen’s supporters’ great relief, he has not been too ill to get out of his bed.
Wen shakes hands with Iraqi PM on July 18.
Wen Jiabao meets with President of Cameroon on July 22.
Wen Jiabao shakes hands with Kono Yohei, head of Japanese Trade Delegation on July 24.