Cancellation not ultimate answer for safety in large gatherings




People vistis the test show of a lantern festival held at Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai

on January 16, 2014.   Photo by Guo Changyao







not ultimate answer

for safety in large gatherings



By Wang Jian, Gui Tao, Cao Ting and Zhong Quansheng



As China recovers from the shadow of Shanghai’s deadly New Year Eve stampede, a series of large-scale events have been canceled recently, provoking questions of the proper response to such tragedy.

Last week, Shanghai canceled the Lantern Festival light show at Yuyuan Garden in downtown area with the purpose of avoiding large gathering and ensuring public safety. At the same time, local media reported that such activities will also be canceled at the city’s Guyi Garden and Fangta Garden.

The organizing committee for Shanghai Automotive Exhibition announced last week female models in revealing dresses may be banned from this year’s show. This move has been interpreted by some observers as a way to reduce the number of visitors and avoid safety concerns.

In Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province, a pop singer’s concert, which was due to be held this Saturday, was canceled last Friday. The organizers said the cancellation was made after the local public security department raised safety standards for large-scale events under the influence of the Shanghai stampede.

It is understandable local authorities want to make such decisions in fear of any repetition of the tragedy. However, although avoidance may help prevent such incidents from happening in the short run, it by no means is the ultimate cure for a safety crisis.

If the local governments are taking the cancellation as a short-term strategy to gain enough time to reflect on and mend the safety loopholes of the public places, the move is tolerable.

What we should worry about is the possibility local authorities taking cancellation as a cure-all without pondering how to improve safety in the long run. If the cancellations are made in this view, what the local governments have demonstrated is a lack of confidence and lazy governance, since no mistake can be made if nothing is done.

Worse still, it could be seen as a shift of responsibility for the authorities to ensure safety by means of depriving the public of their right to enjoy festivities.

Take the Lantern Festival for example. The light show at the Yuyuan Garden, which has been held for 20 consecutive years, has already been taken by many residents as an important part of their New Year celebration. It should be an obligation for the city’s managers to provide the residents with the chance to enjoy such activities and ensure their safety during the events.

Many expect the light show will not be permanently canceled and the local government is ordering the cancellation to gain enough time to improve governance and prepare for a safer light show next year.

Cancellation is, of course, not the ultimate answer for safety concerns. It is of greater significance for local governments to reflect on crowd management and control, seek ways to improve emergency response in large-scale events and make more adequate preparation for such occasions.

Rather than being warned to stay away from large crowds, the public should be educated to be more aware of safety issues and be better behaved in large gatherings.

As the most populous country in the world, it is of primary importance for China to develop mature risk prevention and management for public gatherings, which also conforms to the country’s goal to achieve the fifth modernization.

The fifth modernization, raised during the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee in 2013, stresses the improvement of the country’s governance system and capability.

Hopefully in the future, large-scale events will be taken by the local governments as golden opportunities to show their improved crowd management ability.









  1. Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say
    I really enjoy reading your posts. Can you suggest any
    other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Thanks for your time!

  2. When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new
    comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get
    four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you
    can remove me from that service? Kudos!

  3. continuously i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as well clear
    their motive, and that is also happening with this post which
    I am reading at this time.

  4. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Safari.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility
    but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though!
    Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Cheers

  5. Quality articles is the crucial to attract the users to pay a quick visit the website, that’s what this web page is

  6. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine
    Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m
    not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share.

  7. Hi there to all, because I am truly eager of reading this
    webpage’s post to be updated daily. It carries pleasant stuff.

    Take a look at my web site – cialis from canada

  8. website wrote:

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your
    stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it.
    You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it
    sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really
    a great web site.

  9. You really make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really one thing which I feel I might by no means understand. It seems too complex and very vast for me. I’m looking ahead in your next submit, I will try to get the hold of it!

  10. If I preserve the ایمپلنت dongle iin permanently, that halvves the connectivity of
    my laptop computer.

  11. Excellent post but I was wondering if you
    could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if
    you could elaborate a little bit more. Appreciate it!

Leave a Reply