In the days of rigid communist rule in China, a disaster was anything but a topic to be publicly discussed. The ordinary response, as in the famous Soviet Union nuclear disaster, was to hush things up and allow people impacted by the calamity to suffer in silence. The current Chinese Communist leadership has taken an aggressive and open stance to the horrible earthquake which devastated Sichuan Province. Within twenty-four hours, 20,000 troops had been sent in to help dig out those trapped in debris. The world immediately knew what was going on so that other nations could assist relief efforts. Premier Jen Jiabao flew to the area and became actively engaged in making certain relief efforts proceeded. Within a few days, about 100,000 troops were engaged in helping deal with the disaster.
The timely disclosure of information during the earthquake has not only lent a strong hand to those working in the stricken areas, but it sent a mesage to the world that China was taking steps to become an open society. Chinese government efforts will help restore its prestige to the world. If the Chinese government can now enter into productive discussions with the Dalai Lama, the public relations disaster of Tibet will shortly be forgotten.