The news of a Chinese government donation of 23 school buses to the Republic of Macedonia on 25 November, 2011, has outraged Chinese netizens, who are mourning for the death of 19 preschool kids in a car accident in Gansu province on 16 November, 2011.
The Gansu school bus accident
The so-called “school bus” in the Gansu car crash is a minivan originally consisting of 9 seats but modified to accommodate 64 kids. In the accident, the van collided with a truck causing the death of 2 adults and 19 kindergarten kids.
This is not a random accident as the overloading of school buses has been a long-standing issue in China. Below is a music video, ‘Blood Stained School Buses’, uploaded by Youtube user Angelcat1921 soon after the Gansu accident:
Chinese netizens’ reactions on the crash have been recorded and translated by Jing Gao from the Ministry of Tofu:
畅游山海间：In China, 99.9% of children who take a school bus to school are kids of ordinary people. Kids of politicians and party cadres always have government-owned cars or specialty cars to ride and are very safe. This is the “greatness, glory and correctness” of our party. And the advantage of the socialism with Chinese characteristics.
晚霞中的骊歌: Ensuring safety of little children is the bottom line of a country, a society and a government that protect its people. If this bottom line cannot be met, I am not sure if this country, this society and this government still deserve to be there. Huh huh!
高劲涛: A country with money to burn cannot even protect little children. What is its point of launching manned spaceships? Child car seats, let alone school buses, remain still unregulated. Our country has become the world champion in automobile production! This microblog post is getting disturbing.
School buses donated to Macedonia
While people are still angry about the government's inability to protect the country's future generation, the propaganda of the strong middle kingdom handing over 23 well-equipped school buses to Macedonia has added oil to the fire.
Weibo user Wu Shuping struggles with the Sina censor and keeps re-posting [zh] his angry message:
Christopher Jing further interprets the government's logic [zh] for its action:
克里斯托夫-金：宁赠友邦，勿与家奴，惊闻中国昨天向欧洲富国马其顿捐赠2百辆豪华校车，要改善其学习环境，崔大使送车上门，奴颜卑膝啊，自己裸露还要赠衣，贫富巨差还要慷慨解囊，不可理喻，有这么多金色校车，为何不接济自己的穷学校苦孩子？为何眼睁睁中国孩子在运牲口的破校车里担惊受怕？Shame on you!奇耻大辱！
Even a host of state-controlled media television, Zhao Pu, points out [zh] that the government has chosen the wrong timing for the donation handover event:
In order to pacify people's anger, the Propaganda Department asked media outlets to withdraw the news, but it was too late. Han Zhiguo points out [zh]:
韩志国：【 处理公共事件不能掩盖真相 】 向马其顿无偿赠送23辆校车,不在数量,而在取向：中国政府对外国中小学生的关爱超过本国孩子。甘肃校车事件灼痛国人之心,赠车事件此时发布,其愚蠢显而易见。面对公众不满,＂有关部门＂又故伎重演：所有的赠车新闻一瞬间在网站上消失。微博时代,民众岂能如此被骗？