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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid