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Earthquake in China

Published May 15, 2008 9:34 PM

As a working-class newspaper inside the United States, Workers World would like to express its solidarity with the Chinese people and especially those in southwest Sichuan province. These sisters and brothers have experienced a harsh natural calamity that has already claimed the lives of 15,000 people as of May 15. The powerful earthquake, without warning, shook a vast area that is home to tens of millions of people.

Natural calamities have a social and political component. The Chinese government’s ability to minimize what are sure to be enormous casualties will impact on the world scene. U.S. imperialism and the other imperialist states lurk nearby like jackals seeking signs of weakness they can capitalize on. Meanwhile, the Chinese, with Premier Wen Jiabao directing efforts in the area, have already mobilized 130,000 troops, police and rescue workers in Sichuan.

One alert: beware the role of the imperialist media. They look at a natural calamity as an opportunity to weaken a country like China, which only 59 years ago threw off its colonial shackles with a glorious social revolution. If force can’t be used effectively, the corporate media will try lies. As we follow the rescue efforts on the other side of the world, we’ll check all reports against Chinese sources where possible.