Thursday, 7 August 2008

China and the Olympics

Normally, for each Olympic Games, I am a rabid and avid fan of the Canadian team.

Not this year. Not because the Canadian team isn't worthy.

Nope, its because of this

Yu Jie, a soft-spoken 35-year-old author, stands on a street on the southern outskirts of Beijing. Noisy tree insects called Chan buzz in the heat. He points to the lobby of his apartment building where national security officers are stationed 24 hours a day.
Yu has been put under surveillance during every national holiday since 2004. That's when he was arrested for planning to write a book about China's jail dissidents.

But at the end of July when the surveillance teams arrived in advance of the Olympics, they added a new demand. While Yu is able to wander the neighbourhood he can't leave unless he's driven by his watchers.

And this

But in Yunnan province more than a hundred people were arrested for protesting against pollution

And this

Chinese paramilitary police beat two Japanese journalists Monday night in the border city of Kashgar

And this

As China's human rights record worsens, the Beijing Olympics are becoming a byword for
Beijing's brutality, says Steven W. Mosher, an internationally recognized China expert.

Far from being the grand "coming-out party" that the Chinese regime hoped for, Mosher contends that the Olympic Games have actually fueled abuses.

The Chinese have turned me off of the Olympics. I am a small lonely voice, and it isn't much of a protest, but I will not watch these games.

They say that the Olympics is about sports, and that the games shouldn't be politicized. Tell that to China, who is using these games to fuel their propaganda machine. Their blatant attempts to use the Olympics to project a modern, progressive society contrast with their brutal subjugation of anyone that doesn't buy into the message.

Now if only we would stop importing all of our goods from them.....


M@ said...

It's not as lonely a protest as you might think. I was interviewed by a Globe reporter on the subject today because I'm personally boycotting the games too. She told me she was surprised to find that a lot of people are boycotting these games, and that she was almost unable to find any conflicting views. It seems everyone either isn't watching, or supports the idea.

It won't have an impact, but it's the right moral choice, so it's not an insignificant act.

Catelli said...

China won't notice though.

What bugs me is that my tax dollars were spent by the CBC for broadcasting rights.

Which means China is laughing all the way to the bank.

But yeah, non participation on my part still seems the right thing to do. I've even paid for that privilege.

(I'm not blaming the CBC, if I'm going to blame anyone, its the IOC for granting the games to China in the first place. Are they going to punish China for breaking the promises it made to get the games? Don't hold your breath.)

M@ said...

What bugs me is that my tax dollars were spent by the CBC for broadcasting rights.

Don't worry -- they'll make a lot more than they invested on the olympics.

I'm going to blame [...] the IOC for granting the games to China in the first place.

That's exactly where the blame lies. The idea that granting China the games would push them towards more justice and human rights was absurd on its face, and seems even more absurd given the events of this year.

China won't notice though.

That's not the point. As you say, it's the right thing to do. The effect on others is secondary to the effect on oneself.

Raphael Alexander said...

I agree absolutely. I have always been a casual fan of the Olympics, but I will not watch a single event. I do not think it would be too much to say that honouring these Olympics would be like honouring them under Mugabe or Hussein or Stalin, or dare I say it, Hitler.