How fortunate for leaders that men do not think? Foreign journalists were very much impressed by the overwhelming calm demonstrated by Japanese people after the triple stuck of earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear meltdown.
On the contract, consumers swiped out everything even close to the word 'salt' in China, as idolized slat is believed to help protect in case of nuclear fallout.
Actually, Chinese people had largely kept their cool until the government started its propaganda machine with officials, professors and researchers to assure Chinese people there was nothing to worry. The call for calmness triggered immediate panic. People cleared out shelfs in all coastal cities, including Beijing and Tianjin in a matter of hours. When there was no slat whatsoever, they turned to anything salty, for example soy sauce. The only public trading salt producer Yunnan Salt Chemical's share raised so fast that trading was suspended. So Chinese people do not trust the communist regime from dozens of years of survival training to read message between lines. Are they simply paranoid? After all, all government across the world are assuring people there was not much to worry. Obviously this is not a second Chernobyl, where a reactor exploded in full operation mode. But is it so?
In the case of Chernobyl, the radioactive cloud drifted over the Europe, to the north, south, and east, but bypassed the only major nuclear powered country France (according to France government) on its way to claim Britain Islands. Can you believe that?
In China, minor nuclear incidents were never announced, even though everyone knows they did happen.
While Japan's technology and professionalism had been admired by the world, the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, the center of the nuclear meltdown, was not designed to withstand neither earthquake nor tsunami, two things you accept as life norm in Japan. The same plant was found to not only hide, but also altered data log dozens of times. So how should people be shocked when it finally happened, for real?
In the US, nuclear power plants were cited numerous for violations. Operators were warned, criticized, or fined. But is that enough? With violations of this scale, can the US government still cheer nuclear to be the safest source for energy production? Shouldn't people know more?
You can still buy salt in the supermarkets in the US. It's laughable to use iodized salt to fight against a nuclear fallout. But Chinese people survived the communist regime, so far. American people might not, if put in similar situation.