(Clearwisdom.net) Editors' note: Throughout history, the theme that a nation's fate is closely tied to the virtue of its leaders and people has been prevalent in both Chinese and Western culture and lore. Many wise, virtuous kings have led their nations to peace and prosperity, while conversely, moral decay in high places has led to the downfall of great empires. These articles are meant to serve as a reminder and wake-up call for those who are leading or participating in large-scale acts of violence and injustice. As Teacher Li Hongzhi said in Essentials for Further Advancement, "When people do not have virtue, natural calamities and man-made disasters will abound."

Since the beginning of the third year of the persecution against Falun Gong, Mainland China seems to have entered a period full of calamities and disasters.

Aside from the AIDS epidemic, terrible accidents are happening all too frequently. During the spring sowing season, a large area of China suffered from a rare spring drought. For three years in succession, the area south of the Changjiang River has received little or no rain in the "plum rain" season. At the same time a sand storm assaulted Beijing, while the sun disappeared and extremely hot weather remained within a twelve-day period. In addition, the recent flooding from southern China to northern China has adversely affected one hundred million people. Nature seems to be trying to warn the Chinese people of something.

Even more alarming are various strange and weird happenings, including the emergence of tens of thousands of toads in one place, a huge number of crabs and shrimp crossing the road in a city, and caterpillars congregating in a pile that was more than one meter high near a railroad in northeastern China.

Another such example is the appearance of black pine-caterpillars blanketing an area of Chongqing City, Sichuan Province. According to a report in the "Chongqing Evening News" on July 12, 2002, a plague of pine-caterpillars that once burst out on a large-scale five years ago, has staged a comeback. After eating up all the pines except for their trunks in an area of one thousand mu (Chinese unit area, 1 mu=0.1647 acre) on the Chongqing Tieshanping Mountain, caterpillars quietly invaded the local residents' houses around that area. On July 11, local residents were in a panic and asked for help from all sides. Caterpillars passed those houses and spread outward continuously, occupying some of the roads.

This year has become a boom year of pine-caterpillars on Tieshanping Mountain. Because of the continuous wet weather, those caterpillars, hidden in tree trunks and stone gaps, remained undetected until it was too late.

"Awakening, the sentient beings stand aghast at the things they see." ("The Catastrophe") One must ask, why are these disasters and strange happenings occurring in China?