Election coverage and daily news update may be fun but the bread and butter of 24-hour news channels are disaster coverage. People are attracted to disasters as if they are symbols. Better yet, they are free and non-fattening.
This video shows a massive pileup on an interstate highway in China that links the two biggest cities in East China, Shanghai with 24 million people and Nanjing a comparative dwarf with only 8 million.
The stretch of highway in question is within the city of Changzhou. This chaotic pileup involving dozens of cars interspersed with vans, buses and commercial trucks may be a massive headache to commuters and authorities that day, but the fact is it presents an even bigger long-term headache to the Chinese government, specifically the Chinese National Image and Social Media Cool Factor departments.
These Chinese departments knew for certain that there would be merciless bombardment from the West aiming to perpetuate or even to prove the stereotype that Asians are terrible drivers. So they decided to blame somebody else.
While ostensibly agreeing with the World Health Organization’s statistics of over 261,000 traffic-related death in China, they launched massive campaigns pointing out that it’s only that high because China is the world’s most populous country and that the road fatalities per 100,000 residents in China is way less than the statistics in all African countries and a few South American countries.
With that masterstroke most people who were hell-bent on making fun of Chinese drivers now turn their attention instead to African and South American drivers. Mission accomplished! Although they didn’t exactly eliminate the stereotype, they successfully prevented it from getting worse.
Can you imagine getting stuck in traffic behind this? Do take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.
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