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Monday, February 4, 2008

China's Storm - Portent of Change

LA Times has an article about a subject I thought about, but did not blog.

Devastating snow evokes China's stormy history Millions of Chinese are trying to return home in time for Chinese New Year celebrations this week. Natural disasters have helped fell dynasties in centuries past, which may weigh on leaders' minds in the ongoing crisis.

Key Points:
1. Historically, natural disasters are seen as omens that a dynasty (ruling class) is not doing a good job, since they are no longer in Heaven's favor.

2. Local government is not as responsive (often incompetent) since they are appointed, not elected. Federal government has limited power domestically due to decentralization (Emperor is far away).

3. This natural disaster won't be enough by itself to be a threat to the stability of the government by itself. But by happening during Chinese New Years, the most important holiday of the year and the only time many people visit their families it is high profile.

Related Information:
- Previous Post on Ice Storms in China
- Half the Sky is sending updates on the Storm's impact on orphanages in China. If you can donate to help them, it would be great!

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