I’ve been a bit remiss in not covering the aftermath of the Wenzhou train crash which has apparently seen an unprecedented pile on of the relevant orgs by pretty much the full spectrum of media with the exception of directly Party owned newspapers, an experience which said organs are not handling very well. There’s a good roundup here. This seems to be reported as dissent rather than complaint in some quarters, mainly because a lot of media are ignoring censorship restrictions, but that’s probably taking things too far.
The other big story attendant on the crash concerns Wen Jiabao, the premier, who makes a point of turning up at disasters looking concerned, to the point where there’s been unkind speculation that showing up at catastrophes with a constipated expression and a zip up geezer jacket is, in fact, his job. This time he was a little late on the scene. Xinhua reported that he’d been in bed on doctor’s orders, but it it turned out that he’d received a Japanese trade delegation when he was supposed to be ill.
It seems that the Xinhua report may have misquoted Wen. But what’s interesting is the response to Beijing’s consoler in chief among the public, which from this distance is quite reminiscent of responses to the royal family here in the week after Diana died. I have no idea what that says about regime/population dynamics.