Training Class on Concealing China Earthquake Prediction Information

May 30, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: May 30, 2008 12:00 am

CHINA—After the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, many critics have accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of concealing predictions of the earthquake. Following the quake, contrary to previous official statements, Chinese authorities said it is impossible to predict earthquakes. One report revealed that just before the quake, the authority had a training class for cadres from around the nation on how to keep earthquake information secret.

Online Notice of Secrecy Training

Before the earthquake, the Seismological Bureau of Zhejiang Province (SBZ) posted the following announcement on its official website, “Protecting earthquake information is highly important for its political and social impact…the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) Monitor and Forecast Division held a training class from April 23-26.”

The Epoch Times reported a phone contact with a staff member from SBZ on May 22, who asked to remain anonymous. The staff admitted that such a training class was held. However, the person refused to talk about the details or comment on whether the class was related to the earthquake in Sichuan.

Soon thereafter, the training class announcement on the SBZ website was deleted.

Interview with Training Center Contact

Zhong Yuyun, a staff member of the CEA Hangzhou Training Center and contact person for the training class, told Epoch Times that the class “had nothing to do with the Sichuan Earthquake. The monitoring information of earthquakes is saved in the computers. The computers are subjected to virus and hackers' attacks. [The training class] is about handling technical problems of network safety of quake information.”

When asked about whether the information in the brochures given in the training class included protecting earthquake forecasts, Zhong denied it.

When asked about what network safety has to do with “learning regulations on maintaining earthquake information secrecy” and “protecting earthquake information is highly important for its political and social impact,” which are the topics of the training class, Zhong said it could be habitual wording in governmental writing.

Zhong could not answer why the website training class announcement was removed.

About the participants in the training class, Zhong stressed they were “not officials but technical staff. About forty people from earthquake bureaus countrywide attended.”

According to the removed report, the training participants were “chairmen of analysis and forecast departments of all earthquake units.” The announcement also reported many high level officials from the earthquake system spoke or attended the training class.