A three minute silence was observed today at 2.28pm Beijing Time (6.28 GMT), one week after the terrible earthquake in Sichuan. This was accompanied by three minutes of noise by drivers of cars, ship and trains blasted their horns for three minutes of noise.
Here you can see a CCTV report which includes coverage of the three minutes from across China:
You may have noticed national flags at half-mast in this footage. This is one of the steps taken by the Chinese government to follow the wishes of China’s huge netizen population. CDT tells: “For the first time in PRC’s history, the government has lowered flags to half-mast in honor of civilians instead of national leaders”.
There has also been pressure from within China’s online communities to scale back the Olympic celebrations. It is likely that this democratic voice has been influential in prompting the decision to pause the Olympic torch relay for three days.
Yesterday the Olympic torch passed by Hangzhou’s famous West Lake (left), and crowds of thousands showing their support for the earthquake victims.
“Beside the Games’ slogans like “One World, One Dream”, they held up banners bearing “One Home, One Concern” and other self-created slogans in support of rescue efforts in Sichuan.”
From Hangzhou the torch is set to head to Shanghai, but it will not be relayed there until Wednesday.
In Shanghai support is being shown in other ways, including a candlelight vigil that has probably finished by the time of posting this.
Image thief also points out how the sombre sentiment in the country has articulated through the television, with non-news international channels suspended and little but quake news coverage on the domestic channels.