May 23, 2008
The transparent way in which Beijing handled the earthquake tragedy has quickly paid off with the European Parliament, a regular critic of China.
In the debate in Strasbourg on 21 May, China was praised for way it had reacted to the 12 May quake in Sichuan province and its willingness to accept international aid. Many MEPs expressed condolences to the Chinese people. Louis Michel said the EU has funded Red Cross blankets, tents, food and drinking water. All groups praised the transparency of Beijing and the willingness to allow media access. The spokesperson for the Socialist group said that the EU should help China with reconstruction.
This experience may encourage Beijing to extend transparency to other areas, such as Tibet and the military budget.Author : Stanley Crossick