It may seem that China's lost the mandate of heaven. Let's look at the year 1976, for example. In that year Mao died, but his death was a sign of heaven's disfavour. A severe earthquake caused severe damange to northeast China. It signalled the end of the rule of the Gang of 4, and the rale of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. 2008 has begun badly for Beijing. One the quiet protests in Lhasa denegerated owing to the ironfirst of China's imperial rule of Tibet, into violence and death and a spreading of the protest and rise in Tibetan nationalist feeling within neighbouring provinces with large Tibetan communities. China then suffered vilification in the world press and condmenation by world leaders and a call for the boycott of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, which China was showcasing as a window on a dynamic China with a human face. That image is gone for good now. Its support of Sudan in its non ending warfare in Dafur which strong voices in the world community have dubbed 'genocide', has earned the Chinese authorities friends. Rising oil and food prices are stirring opinion globally, rightfully or wrongly, against China for its gargantuan appetite for oil and food. Now, yesterday, in Sichuan province's capital Chungking a powerful earthquake has caused great damage. Readers of cow bones will surely see in these events following one on the other, cause for great concern and a portent that heaven is not right with the Chinese government.
On that tack, China's full support of the Burmese generals is also troubling given the way the Burmese junta is dealing with the dire aftermath of the cyclone which has hit Myunmar's tidal basin leaving hundreds of thousands death and millions injured, uncared for, and homeless. China's other friend Sudan has seen this past week that the Dafur rebels have brought Sudan's war to Khartoum. A 24 hour curfew obtains, since the Sudanese government fears infilitration of a 5 column who will stir up trouble within its our ranks. Despite China's us$9bn concession it got from the Congolese government, it might find that it has bit off more than it can chew in its unsatiable hunger for raw materials. So overall 2008 has not brought Beijing much comfort nor peace of mind. Is it an omen of near future catastrophes? Time will tell, and the 2008 Olympic Summer Games will look more like a prison lockdown than an example of peace and friendship.