"practice a frugal lifestyle to support the reconstruction"

Posted by: Dexter Roberts on May 22, 2008

Even as Chinese officials put out the plea for help, including by donating tents, in a massive effort to house an estimated five million people left without homes in the Sichuan earthquake, Beijing also has announced a massive financial package. Some $10 billion has been pledged for reconstruction and $3.6 billion for relief, premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday.

The sum is large enough to require a five percent cut in the central governments budget for this year and will necessitate some tightening of belts. According to the May 21st Xinhua report: Wen “ordered government organizations and public institutions at all levels to decrease their spending on meetings and business travel and freeze the approval of any new office buildings for government bodies. He called on the public to practice a frugal lifestyle to support the reconstruction of quake-stricken areas.”

At the same time, China announced that donations from home and abroad (yes, from overseas too with more than $200 million pledged so far despite some online criticism that foreign companies haven’t dug deeply enough into their wallets yet), have reached $3 billion. Much more will be needed.

Reader Comments

William

May 23, 2008 4:08 PM

I really admire the Chinese leadership. Some in the west have argued that the government of China needs this action to legitimize itself. If it had failed it would certainly meet its downfall. Really? These same westerners also claim that despite the current US govt failure in handling the aftermath of hurricane Katrina the US system still stayed in tact and thus "proves" its staying power. I would argue that the Chinese "system" is better since it puts a government's capability and unselfish service to the people at the forefront, and not ideology and their own financial well- being like the US'. The Chinese leadership's pragmatism and humility are two qualities the US leaders should look into and perhaps be humble enough to learn from for the benefit of the American people.

Andy

May 26, 2008 3:28 AM

So this is the "goons and thugs" according to Jack "The Lunatic" Cafferty. I think Mr. Cafferty is out of touch with reality already.

David A

May 27, 2008 1:53 PM

Can somebody tell me where I can donate money that will get to the people who need it? It's the only thing I can do and I want to help somehow. I really feel sad for all those people in the earthquake.

Dave
Arlington, Virginia

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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