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Tianjin's leader builds trust

Updated: 2015-08-21 07:30
(China Daily)

At a news conference on Wednesday, the mayor and acting Party chief of Tianjin municipality, Huang Xingguo, admitted his "inescapable responsibility" for the deadly explosions that claimed the lives of more than 100 people and injured hundreds more.

His words have been welcomed by the public, and his accepting of responsibility has to some extent acted as a pressure valve relieving some of the negative sentiment that had been building up because of the accumulation of unanswered questions about the cause of the blasts at a warehouse storing chemicals.

Huang's attitude and earnest official response seem to have reassured people a credible investigation is being conducted.

Suspicions and speculation have emerged about the disaster and the background of the enterprise involved, as a result of the public's questions remaining unanswered in the aftermath of the blasts. And the lack of information has amplified the public anger at the huge loss of life.

The authorities are gradually regaining the trust of the public, as the official response has at last provided credible and authoritative information to counter the rumors and speculation. For example, the denial by the authorities that a nerve gas was being stored at the site has calmed people's fears.

Nevertheless, the simmering negative sentiments as a result of the delayed official information following the incident have underscored the importance of timely official responses to public queries during an emergency.

The above is an abridgement of a Global Times article on Thursday.

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