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Tears of Sichuan Province

July 9, 2009 | Newsmakers, The College of Staten Island

A year after an earthquake devastated China’s Sichuan Province, killing 87,000 including 10,000 children, many buried under the rubble of substandard school buildings, the government has still not compiled an accurate list of those who died, nor addressed accountability. None of this surprises Ming Xia, political science professor at the College of Staten Island and at the Graduate Center, who arrived shortly after the quake to help capture the despair of parents who lost children for an HBO documentary he co-produced, “China’s Unnatural Disasters: The Tears of Sichuan Province.” “The Chinese government tried to use the Sichuan earthquake as an opportunity to polish its image and to present to the global community a Chinese government that was very responsive and passionate,” said Prof. Xia, a Sichuan native who also translated for the film. “We found a different theme.”
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