The IOC has voted to give the 2008 Summer Olympics to China. Reasons why this is bad:
China is an oppressive regime. I don’t care that they are Communists, but they engage in repression on the basis of race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, family size and every other category I can think of. They exploit workers, both in and out of prison. They are in occupation of Tibet and are a constant threat to Taiwan. They have a disconcerting tendency to crush democratic opposition beneath the treads of tanks.
China cheats. The AP article announcing the bid noted the IOC’s citing of China’s being a “rising power” in sports. Well, yeah, any country that pours that kind of money into state-sponsored athletic centers (which separate children from their families at extremely early ages) and pours those kinds of drugs into the veins of their athletes.
An Olympic award confers legitimacy on the tactics used by those in power to remain in power. the IOC mouths pieties about how China will be “opened up” by hosting the games. Funny, the Soviet Union wasn’t “opened up” by hosting the 1980 games. Nazi Germany wasn’t “opened up” after it hosted the games. The same “opening up” argument has also been bandied about to justify increasing trade with China, admitting China to the WTO and granting permanent MFN status. Now, most people are reinforced to continue current behaviour when rewarded for it. Why would China, after being rewarded with the games, have any inclination to “open up” or change?
First of all, I agree with you that if human rights has anything to do with being allowed to host an international sporting event, then it’s wrong to let China host the Olympics.
However, a point of yours I would like to take issue with:
Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (especially given the American boycott of the Moscow Olympics) did not allow and/or did not have the kind of foreign sponsorship and investment, nor the kind of mass-media coverage that is a staple of modern Olympics since Samaranch took over (which was in 1980). The lack of effect in those two Olympiads can not, therefore, be used as a proof that it is unlikely to work in China.
Well let’s be fair to the IOC. They don’t care about China’s stance on human rights any more then they cared about Australia, Korea, or The United States. This year Bejing won the gold medal for bribing the IOC. We’ll get 'em next time.
The analogy between Beijing in the future year of 2008 and Berlin in 1936 is quite ridiculous. If you want to make a wild generalization, at least choose an Asian regime like the one in South Korea. Oh, wait, that wouldn’t serve your purposes would it? They had their first elections to make sure the Olympics would not be paralyzed by protests, how horrible for the people, huh?
The arrogance of Americans that claim to represent the “oppressed” people of China is beyond me. People here are dancing in the streets with joy, the government has more backing than any recent US President and everyone is completely delighted with the outcome of the vote.
Bleeding hearts across the ocean will not help anyone, foreign investment and opportunities to understand the west and be understood in turn will however transform China for the better.
You folks need to come here and see for yourself that there are NO similarities between Eastern Europe and China, the cynicism and anti-government mentality is almost non-existant. The freedom of speech is increasing every day, there are corruption crackdowns going on as we speak and all Chinese prison guards will soon be trained in humane practices by the UN.
Get educated folks, we’re not out to pollute your precious bodily fluids. At least not any more
Well, I don’t agree with the OP on the basis that China has been isolated from the world since…well, since forever. They desperately want to be a part of the world community and for us to understand them – we, in no kind of contrast whatsoever, don’t have the first idea about what really makes the people of China tick. I think this is a unique opportunity to get past the politically generated clichés.
I am glad the Chinese people are going to be exposed to the oxygen of freedom, liberalisation and democracy – cos there is no way they aren’t during the Games. I hope it gives them a desire for more. I also hope that we, the West, are able to separate in our minds an aging and dated leadership from the majority of the population.
I hate the Human Rights record, I’m going to hate the sepia like quality of the regimented masses, the ‘State Sponsored’ athletism and the nationalistic fervour that will accompany these Games. But I also believe that engaging China, bringing it into the world community, is the only way to influence that society because ignoring and alienating them has only worked to the leaderships advantage.
This is the Olympics we’re talking about right? You know, the event that’s become practically synonymous with robbery and astonishingly brazen injustice? Lessee, there’s a deserving American basketball team robbed of a medal then robbed again by a loaded review panel, a Canadian swimmer who had to fight for years to get an incorrect score changed, results from an improperly set vault which destroyed several gymnasts’ routines allowed to stand without so much as a do-over, a wrestler illegally holding a singlet without being called even once, boxing decisions that make the judges in the first Bowe-Holyfield fight look like freaking Solomon, and don’t even get me started on the gymnastics judging…and that’s just the stuff I remember off the very top of my head. And with the incredibly rare exception (like the Canadian’s score), nobody ever does a freaking thing about it. Looking at it this way, China’s the PERFECT country!
But seriously…I’m not concerned at all about China’s human-rights record (and I remind one and all that even America is hardly pristine in this regard). The Olympics, is a world showcase; it should be held all over the world. While I liked how our contingent did in '96, there really was no reason it should have been held in Atlanta. And China has pushed very hard for this. I’m not expecting a cultural revolution, but I’m not about to begrudge a deserving country the honor, either.
That is, if you can call the MOST CORRUPT SPORTS EVENT IN THE WORLD an honor…
It would be easier to object if it weren’t for that fact that China constitutes ** one fifth of the human race **, and we just cant keep holding the Olympics in Western Europe, North America, Australia, South Korea and Japan forever.
Certainly the Chinese Communist leadership is having a ball at the news of their Olympic victory, but it really should be about the Chinese people, and the city of Beijing, not Jiang Zemin’s ego.
COutside of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and a few other cities, China is still very much a third world, emerging country. No developing country, even if it is “democratic” like India, Brazil, Mexico, or South Africa, is free from gross repression, appalling human rights abuses, and grinding social inequality. Its a fact of life most Americans and Westerners would rather forget.
I do not trust an opinion poll in a country where opposing opinions are illegal.
I wonder how many Tibetans have been asked how much they support the government and the Olympic bid?
Frankly, China doesn’t deserve to be awarded honours that claim to advance the causes of peace and harmony. So, ironically, it’s the perfect place for the Olympics, which is a travelling con job. They should hold it in China every year.
Just wanna point out to G.Raven that of course we here in the U.S. only hear the bad news from China. We are not privileged to see news clips of jubilant Chinese dancing in the streets, and we don’t hear much about freedom of speech increasing every day. This sort of thing is not tasty enough for CNN, ABC, et al ad nauseum. All we hear about is 13 Falun Gong members “committing suicide” in their cells. You can do a real exciting standup in front of the Chinese embassy on this.
It’s the same way that your media over there probably doesn’t spend much time covering the good news from the imperialist running dog Yankees, just the bad stuff.
C’est la guerre du ratings, eh?
[and hey, guys, look how much the Sydney Olympics opened up Australia. Why, they’ll be joining us at the Table of Civilized Nations any time now! ]
Oh, come on. There are more bad umpiring calls in a single Major League Baseball game than this. All sports have their share of gray areas where the judges – all human, all fallable – have to make close calls. There’s no way they’re going to get all those calls right. And there’s certainly no way all those calls are going to be popular with the spectators.
Look at it this way: How many sports are there in the whole Olympics? And in what percentage of those sports were controversial judgements rendered, like those you list above? And in those sports where questionable calls were made, how many such calls per sport were there on average?
I’ll bet the figures are a lot lower in the Olympics than they are for most other sporting events.
I agree with you that the Nazi analogy is an incorrect one, but why pick on us Americans. We are hardly the only ones objecting to China’s human rights record.
I think the Olympics going to China is a good thing. At worst it simply influences China to behave politely for the next eight years. An invasion of Taiwan now would result in a massive boycott of the Olympics and an unsuccessful games would cause China to lose face. Hopefully the incredible amount of international attention that the games will generate will influence China to improve its human rights record for the games and perhaps it will be difficult to go back to their old ways once the games have finished.
You are joking right? What are those phrases “Let he who has no sin cast the first stone”? “When you’re pointing one finger at them 4 are pointing back at you”? I wonder what China’s newspapers say about us. Let’s see: An immigrant was just awarded $8.5 million because a policeman rammed a broom handle up his ass, racial profiling in NJ, racial profiling in immigration, metal detectors in schools, last president lied about blow job, this president…, Communist party illegal (why is that anyway?).
I have heard of Falun Gong and I am no fan of oppression, but maybe their headlines said the same thing about us and the Branch Davidians. If the Olympic games were to be held in a perfect country they wouldn’t be held at all.
If we only held the Olympics in countries with squeaky-clean records, then we might as well cancel the whole thing all together.
I mean, it wouldn’t be a stretch for someone to stand before the IOC and say, “It is intolerable to have the Olympics in the United States because of their totalitarian and barbaric government. Why, this is a country that tries and convicts juveniles as if they were adults, where the private lives of politicians are regularly held up for public humiliation, and where the execution of mentally-retarded people is considered acceptable. And do I even need to point out the glaring hypocrisy of a so-called ‘democracy’ where the last presidential election was decided by five blatantly-biased judges, nullifying over fifty million votes in a virtual coup d’etat?”
(Yeah, I know, the United States wasn’t in the running for 2008, but you get the point)
Yeah, the Chinese government is a repressive mess, but for Americans to whine about the IOC decision on the basis of the government alone strikes me as pot-calling-kettle time.