PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 April, 2013, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Not giving up on a single life! says PLA as photo of pig rescue circulates


Patrick Boehler has published on China and Southeast Asia in four languages for publications in the US, Europe and Asia. After stints with Austria's ministries of defence and foreign affairs in Vienna and Beijing, he began his reporting career in Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian online news portal Malaysiakini and, later, The Irrawaddy Magazine, a Myanmar exile publication in Thailand. He holds a doctorate in political science and has taught journalism at the University of Hong Kong. Follow him on Twitter: @mrbaopanrui

"Not giving up on a single life!", the People's Liberation Army Chengdu military region wrote in a propaganda microblog it has set up to praise its troops' rescue efforts during the Sichuan earthquake.

The post includes a picture of PLA corps of engineers carrying an astonished-looking pig to safety. It has been shared some 40,000 times since it was posted on Thursday evening.

The post has drawn praise for the soldier's hard work, but also derision that they were carrying a pig to safety amid reports of food shortages in the earthquake-struck zone.

Pigs have been much in the news in China since last month, when some 16,000 dead pigs appeared floating on the Huangpu river into Shanghai. An investigation found that the carcass flotilla had been caused by overcrowding at upriver pig farms.

The Chengdu military region had already received a fair share of criticism on Wednesday when it donated 10 million yuan (HK$12.6 million) in funds in addition to food and tents for the rescue efforts.

"How is this possible?" asked one netizen, condemning the military region for portraying itself as generous. "Some countries' official organs seem not to have understood whose money they are spending in the first place." Many similar posts have since been deleted. 


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