News / Asia

Asia Mourns Passing of Peaceful Revolutionary: Mandela

Asia Mourns Mandelai
X
December 06, 2013 6:34 PM
Across Asia Friday, democracy advocates, political leaders and ordinary people paid tribute to Nelson Mandela as a peaceful revolutionary. Chinese authorities expressed remorse, while some pondered the question of which person in China most resembled South Africa’s freedom fighter. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing has more on the reaction from around the region.

Asia Mourns Mandela

William Ide
Across Asia Friday, democracy advocates, political leaders and ordinary people paid tribute to Nelson Mandela as a peaceful revolutionary. Chinese authorities expressed deep grief, while some pondered the question of which person in China most resembled South Africa’s freedom fighter.
 
In Asia it was Mandela’s courage and compassion that was a source of inspiration in places where people still face serious restrictions on basic rights.

From ordinary people to Nobel Laureate's, many took time to celebrate a man who become an icon for his peaceful stand for freedom.
 
FILE Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu KyiFILE Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
x
FILE Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
FILE Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Burmese opposition politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi said that South Africa’s first democratically elected president helped the world understand that no one should be punished for the color of their skin or the circumstances they were born into.

“He also made us understand that we can change the world," she noted. "We can change the world by changing attitudes, by changing perceptions. For this reason I would like to pay him tribute as a great human being who raised the standard of humanity."
 
FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai LamaFILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
x
FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, said he considered Mandela as a respected elder brother. The Dalai Lama said that he hoped that those mourning his passing would use it as inspiration. 

“This is a very sad moment for those including myself who admire that great person. Sad, just feel sad, and pray, but not much meaning. How we must develop determination or enthusiasm to carry his spirit - that's really important. Because sometimes the sadness can translate into more willpower,” he said.

FILE - Indian President Pranab MukherjeeFILE - Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
x
FILE - Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
FILE - Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
India’s President Pranab Mukherjee spoke about how the world has lost another icon of humanity or as he put it “a struggler, a fighter, a crusader against all injustice.” He compared him to India’s own founding father, Mahatma Gandhi.

In New Delhi, resident Hemant Khurana echoed that sentiment. "It's very shocking news for all the world because he was one of the grand figures in the world today," said Khurana. "And he was very much inspired by Gandhi so India has a special feeling for such a great man."

Outside South Africa’s embassies from Australia to China, some came to pay their respects. In the Chinese capital of Beijing, several young Chinese students gathered and spoke about Mandela’s influence.

The student said that Nelson Mandela fought for freedom and was a fighter his entire life. He did not give up because of temporary setbacks or because there was no progress. His spirit has infected us, the student says.
 
FILE - China's President Xi JinpingFILE - China's President Xi Jinping
x
FILE - China's President Xi Jinping
FILE - China's President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping praised Mandela as a world-renowned statesman and noted how he led the South African people in their fight against apartheid.

Xi also noted his contributions to relations with China and how Mandela was one of the founders of Beijing’s bilateral relationship with Pretoria. In 1998, South Africa switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.
 
China’s state-media heaped praise on Mandela and his passing dominated coverage for most of the day on state run television with commentators speaking openly about how he was a fighter for freedom and democracy.
 
While China's State media drew comparisons between Mandela and Mao Zedong, some noted that Singapore’s former leader Lee Kwan-yew earlier this year compared him with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Such comments, however were hotly debated and the postings quickly removed from social media sites.
 
Online, some drew comparisons to Chinese rights activists, including imprisoned Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Others wondered if China could produce an individual similar to the African statesman. Historian Zhang Lifan said that would be unlikely.
 
Zhang said many have been asking online if China could ever produce someone similar to Mandela and some say it is a cultural issue. He said he agrees and notes that the culture the Communist Party has created in Chinese society makes it very difficult to have someone like Mandela.
 
Author He Baoguo wrote on his Twitter-like Weibo site that if Mandela has been born in China he would be tortured in jail and forced to make confessions on state-run television.

Aru Pande in New Delhi and Mandarin Service's Fred Wang also contributed to this report.

Interactive Timeline: The Life of Nelson Mandela

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
December 10, 2013 10:47 AM
It is bizarre to see the Chinese Govt praise Mandela while the CCP prohibits democracy in China and engages in severe human rights violations. The CCP has created a de facto apartheid in Tibet where Tibetans are treated as second-class citizens, live apart from Han Chinese, and have no political power. Chinese-owned shops in Lhasa openly advertise that no Tibetans need apply for jobs or offerTibetans lower pay compared to Chinese workers. Discrimination against Tibetans b/c of their language, culture & religion are common by the Chinese Govt and Chinese businesses. Tibetans are fighting for the same freedom & democracy that Mandela fought for in S. Africa.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.

The Flying Greek

Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid