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Spokesperson of the UN: " I wouldn't allow you saying that!"
2008/05/19

" I wouldn't allow you saying that!"--UN spokeswoman Ms. Mary Erzse seriously refuted a western journalist's attack on China's earthquake disaster relief on the excuse of "media freedom".

China has been the focus of the world after a massive earthquake hit Wenchuan in China. The prompt and effective measures of the Chinese government in earthquake disaster relief have won recognition and appreciation from the world. Many media acclaimed that "China has impressed the world".

However, at the critical moment in China's unwavering effort to disaster relief, some western journalists linked the disaster relief work in China with so called "media freedom" on their own will in the News Conference held by the European Office of UN in Geneva, which courted serious refutation from the Spokesperson of the UN and of various UN organizations, who had highly valued China's disaster relief work.

In the News Conference on the morning of May 16th, various organizations of the UN introduced in detail the disaster relief work in China and the coordination of between UN and China in the process first. Just before the ending of the conference, a western journalist said in his question that the Chinese government wouldn't allow western journalists to cover in the earthquake-hit area, which is against "media freedom". His statement caused strong reaction. Instead of her usual modesty and gentility, UN spokesperson Ms. Erzse replied earnestly:"I wouldn't allow you saying that!". She introduced on specific terms the cooperation and coordination between UN and China. She emphasized that earthquake disaster relief was to save lives. It is prompt humanitarian aid, which cannot be linked to other irrelevant matter.

Tears in her eyes, spokeswoman of the UN Humanitarian Aid Program Ms. Isabella Bierce trembles:" Disaster relief is to compete with time, the earlier the rescue personnel reaches the disaster-stricken area, the more lives can be saved. The priority after the disaster is to rescue lives buried under the debris. The Chinese rescue arrived at the disaster area on foot and saved the people by their bare hands due to the fact that the transportation is heavily blocked and heavy machine cannot get into the area, which can move you to praises and tears." She emphasized the cooperation between the UN Humanitarian Aid Program and China had been smooth from the beginning and the principle was to guarantee the Chinese rescue team promptly reach the disaster-stricken area and conduct immediate relief, China never refused international aid. Spokesperson of other UN programs all expressed their opinion that the media should be objective and fair and humanitarian aid should not be linked to other issues. They would try their best to help China in its disaster relief and reconstruction.

Hearing these remarks of justice, as a Chinese journalist in the journalist seat, I couldn't help volunteer to make a speech. After permission, in front of hundreds of journalists, I tried to calm down and speak in a balanced speed:"I want to give this ignorant inquirer a lecture on "geography and ethics"! The size of China is larger than that of whole Europe and the disaster-stricken area is in remote mountainous region of southwest China. Under such massive destruction and bad whether, even the Chinese rescue team cannot reach the epicenter area at the first time. Due to the poor transportation and communication and to the fact that people on the verge of death need to be saved urgently, how could China allow western journalists, who know nothing about the local environment and language, to get into the earthquake-stricken area first? How could the western media, who has always been glorifying 'life is the most valuable', disrupt our effort to save lives on the excuse of so-called "media freedom"? Silence fell in the audience.(Guangming Daily, May 16th, Liujun, Geneva)

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