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Love is conditional, while compassion is boundless
China's Unsound Heroes (1)

15 May 2009

The next day of the magnitude 8 earthquake in China's Sichuan Province, a young Chinese man self-identified as New Sea (新洋) traveled to the affected areas that were still experiencing violent aftershocks, and posted his first hand photographic reports online. Surely he was not the only person to file the stories from the quake centre, but what makes this guy truly remarkable is that, firstly, he's not a professional journalist; secondly, he has almost visited every town and village effected by the quake, including the most remote settlements with the roads severely damaged which required him to risk his life to approach; thirdly, he is not just reporting the events, but helping the victims to deal with the pressing issues; and finally, in the past year he spent nearly every weekend on visiting and helping the quake survivors, and his post is being renewed almost daily, to this very date. His report in itself is a triumph out of tragedy which becomes the most complete and detailed records in history about a disaster. The following is part of the exchanges between him and the viewers of his post in an online interview conducted by

Question by Macross、心心辉映、源清

Your first set photos from the quake zone were posted on 13 May 2008, the next day of the earthquake, and you are still posting new photographic reports right now. What makes you keep going on doing this?


Answer by 新洋

Hello, every one, I'm New Sea. Currently I'm working at an electricity company, and my job is market research and sales training. Like many people here, each morning I wake up to cell phone alarm, then go to work in office. And like millions of Chinese people out there, when that horrific disaster stroke, I dashed forward to offer my hand. I feel honoured to serve as the eye of the online community who care about the rescue and recovery progress. To put this way, even if I needed to resign from my day job for the sake of my volunteer work, I would do so without hesitation. I just hope my words and photos can bring continued attention to the people effected by the quake, and the help they needed.


Question by 133HZ

I'm deeply touched by your post. In the past year, what have moved you most in your direct contact with the people in the disaster region?


Answer by 新洋

I can tell you responsibly that the quake survivors have a great confidence in the central government. Shortly after the earthquake, I drove along a road in Qingchuan to Wooden Fish Town, and saw about a hundred people crammed in three tents by the roadside. They asked me to send a message to the world outside that they urgently needed more tents and food. Only by the time of my departure, they mentioned to me, "We have two dozens of kids buried in school rubbles."

Those who suffered grave loss made no complaint and whine.

On my way to Beichuan County Town, I met an old man in his 60s. He lost most of his family members in the quake but only said this to me, "We have a big disaster here, and you traveled so far to visit us, yet we are unable to offer you a cup of tea, I'm really sorry, young man. Once we've built a new house, you must come to see us again." In Zundao Town, the quake victims would come out of their tents and organise a dance performance party as the way to express their gratitude towards revisited aid workers.

What particularly touched my heart are those little things: when a child with home ruined by the quake, the kids in the neighbourhood would do their best to cheer him/her up; when I left a temporary settlement after a brief visit, the earthquake orphans would make an effort to show me their big smile; when children lost their parents, the neighbouring adults would voluntarily look after them.

There are no records on how ordinary Chinese people went through the great tragedies 3000 years ago, 2000 years ago, 1000 years ago and 300 years ago, but from what I've encountered in the quake-affected areas, I can visualise the graceful response of our ancestors in the face of adversity. In 5000 years of history, Chinese nation has taken up all sorts of challenges with spirit of courage and generosity as I have witnessed in the past year. And I've witnessed so many touching incidents .... the true humanity can be so simple and so humble.




China's Unsound Heroes (2)


Prev: Embassy Bombing
Next: China's Unsound Heroes (2)


A Veteran Soldier
in the Disaster

This old man is a veteran of the Korean War, who's home has crumbled to ground in the quake. When asked by 新洋 if he needed any help, he grinned and declined, "No, not at all. It's a difficult time for everyone, my family can deal with the problems ourselves."

This is how he and his family deals with the problems: collecting building materials from the wreckage to rebuild their home.

(Source of photo: 新洋,

A Hopeful Outlook

Build new life over wreckage

(Source of photo: 习婆婆, a local resident in Sichuan earthquake zoon, posted on

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