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True Respect for Firefighters Is Avoiding Fire Disasters in First Place

Audiences captured by viral article, which sings praises without true regard for the value of life, should come to their sense and show their true respect for firefighters, says commentator

By Xu Mouquan Updated Jan.30

As Australia’s months-long wildfire rages on, a viral piece praising China for its response to a major fire disaster 30 years ago also rages on the country’s social media.

Many took a different view to the piece, believing that a tragedy is a tragedy and should not be used as a means to draw attention and traffic. 

The WeChat public account of Beijing Firefighting Bureau posted an article titled “China Has Always Been Effective in Fight Such Disasters, but We Truly Want Our Skills Not to Come in Handy Ever.”

The May 6 Daxing'anling Wildfire in 1987 lasted for almost a month and covered about 10,000 square meters, killing 211 and injuring 266. Some 58,000 people were engaged in fighting the conflagration.

Writing in The Beijing News, She  Zongming, a staff commentator, hailed the article as speaking the truth and common sense that does not cater to any audience.

Many readers were captured by the viral piece and sang to a similar praising tune. They were thus unaware of the causes of the fire disaster and the value of life. A disaster should not be solely remembered because of heroes’ courage, but more importantly, the crucial lessons that should be drawn, the commentator wrote.

While we certainly can praise firefighters for honoring their duties to protect ordinary people from disasters, we must not use them as a means of internet consumption, She further contended. 

The true salute to them is not showing respect for fighting fires at the risk of their lives, but reducing the chances of a fire breakout as much as possible, he concluded.