China donates school buses to Macedonia, sparks public anger
November 28, 2011Jing Gao7 CommentsChinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Empress Dowager Cixi, Macedonia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Sugar Daddies, Qing Dynasty, Republic of Macedonia, school bus, schoolchildren, traffic fatalities, vanity projects
Ten days after a fatal accident in northwest China killed 19 preschoolers and brought the nation’s attention to substandard school buses coupled with the rampant problem of overloading, Chinese government donated 23 school buses to the Republic of Macedonia. The news came as a bombshell to Chinese people, who had just finished lamenting the loss of 19 young lives and bombarding governments at all levels for ignoring people’s welfare, and rebounded heavily on China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
An announcement on the official website of the government of the Republic of Macedonia said, “People’s Republic of China has donated 23 school buses to the Republic of Macedonia, used for transport of pupils in elementary and secondary schools, primarily in rural areas.” The website of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a similar announcement yesterday, but it was later deleted probably for ducking the massive public denouncement.
A viral comment reposted by thousands of netizens says, “Even if we are poor, we won’t deprive Macedonian children of education. Even if we have to suffer, we won’t let Macedonian children suffer,” a wordplay on the political slogan employed by the Chinese government: “Even if we are poor, we won’t deprive our children of education. Even if we have to suffer, we won’t let our children suffer.”(“再穷不能穷教育，再苦不能苦孩子”)
China’s ambassador to Macedonia Cui Zhiwei and Macedonian Vice Premier Teuta Arifi
An Internet user who goes by the name “News Bro” used charted data to illustrate the disparities in living standards between Macedonia and China. Ministry of Tofu translated his chart to English.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo
救赎Shawshank：Ordinary countries have their own school buses. Artistic countries are equipped with school buses that can wreck Hummer. Idiotic countries, while over 60 of its children are crammed into one poor minivan, donate state-of-the-art school buses to other countries… (Read: The Ordinary, the Artistic and the Idiotic (Putong, Wenyi and Erbi) – the hottest Internet meme happening now in China)
赵普 ：Macedonia is a small European country. It is not wealthy, but the social welfare its people enjoy and the wealth its people possess are still better than those of our own people. Currying favor with it by donating school buses to it would have not been a big deal, as our country has already done plenty of things that are tantamount to throwing good money after bad. But, can’t they (Chinese government) consider the timing? Can’t they take our countrymen’s feeling into account? Can’t they stop making children in the nether world curse us? They did not even have the opportunity to learn profanity!
童童小朋友找朋友：We are worth less than those foreigners.
王克勤 ：[Mourning the 19 preschoolers riding Chinese school buses whose remains are scarcely cold yet] At about 9 a.m. on November 16, #a school bus crash in Zhengning, Gansu province# killed 19 kindergartners on their way to school. Their average age was only 5. Today is the 11th day after the crash. However, yesterday, China donated yellow-colored school buses, which are way better than the 9-seat minivan that the 64 were crammed into, to Macedonia. I feel very unfair on your behalf, because your name is “Chinese children”, or specifically, children from impoverished rural villages.
新星火：“We will put together resources and offer whatever China can manage to supply. We will try to satisfy foreign nations’ desires and make them happy.” (Jing: This is one of the most notorious statements made by Empress Dowager Cixi, then actual ruler of China, after the signing of the Boxer Protocol, an unequal treaty. The statement is viewed by Chinese as a national disgrace in that the Qing Dynasty kowtowed to foreign invaders in all respects.)
国民01：They share the same ugly features of Empress Dowager Cixi – would rather give away anything the foreign allies demanded than give it to her own slaves (her countryman) (Jing: It was another statement made by Empress Dowager during the siege of Peking by the Eight Nation Alliance. Because the Qing emperors’ ancestors was a nomadic tribe, there was only two social classes in China: master and slave.You are either a master,or a slave.So the Qing rulers called their subjects “slaves”.
夜了那个黑：If the country does not show solicitude for its people, how can the people love the country?
旷子华律师：Chinese ordinary people have always shown the greatest restraint and tolerance. This act is pushing Chinese people’s boundary of tolerance and patience!
TV8何家琪：How unsafe is a Macedonian school bus? They need our aid?
PM-China李建忠: Maddening as it sounds, it is logical: children of Chinese officials have all emigrated to foreign countries, therefore, making foreign school buses safe is in line with most officials’ interests.
手机用户1875776347：Are what they donated school buses? No! They are children’s tears, blood and lives!
乌鸦Ranger：I strongly recommend that we change the name of Ministry of Foreign Affairs into Ministry of Sugar Daddies (Enjo). (Jing: Enjo in Japanese and Chinese means compensated dating/relationship, in which a rich man, or a sugar daddy, offers money or gifts to a younger person in return for companionship or sexual favors)