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Why I Support A Beijing Boycott.


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Riots do happen in western countries, in france and in germany last year, in Athens this year. But there were not over 100 deaths to report. International media wasnt threatened and forced to leave the place. And even more importand the riots in paris or germany or athens had a reason but not claim. Those people are asking for something. If the government of China has nothing to be afraid of why the cencorchip of media? No one blames your government for reacting in this issue. The huge problem is the way of reaction. Brutal military regulation with no objective media coverage. So dont behave like chinise government is a victim of tibetan actions. Chinise gov never asked for a dialogue, rejected the dialogue, reacts like a true communist power with brutalism and intimidation.

As for the chinise people who think they live in a democratic and free society? Just ask a German from the former DDR (East Germany). He can explain you the illusion of living in a free country!

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I haven't seen them, but I did hear about them, and yes, apparently they where quite horrid. But my question is "what drove them to that"? Bloody riots usually don't happen without reason.

I guess my answer to your question would probably won't be the same as what you perceive should be, as we likely have different exposurse of the facts and history of the issues. My other point is, really, I have empathy for people who genuinely thinks Dala Lama is a pure saint, and at least to me, the truth (and I respect you might hold different opinions) is when it comes to politics, even a saint or monks would achieve the agenda at the expense of other people's human rights as necessary. People would not agree with me, but to me some people interestingly have such a simple perpective this is a largely human right issue.

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Riots do happen in western countries, in france and in germany last year, in Athens this year. But there were not over 100 deaths to report. International media wasnt threatened and forced to leave the place. And even more importand the riots in paris or germany or athens had a reason but not claim. Those people are asking for something. If the government of China has nothing to be afraid of why the cencorchip of media? No one blames your government for reacting in this issue. The huge problem is the way of reaction. Brutal military regulation with no objective media coverage. So dont behave like chinise government is a victim of tibetan actions. Chinise gov never asked for a dialogue, rejected the dialogue, reacts like a true communist power with brutalism and intimidation.

As for the chinise people who think they live in a democratic and free society? Just ask a German from the former DDR (East Germany). He can explain you the illusion of living in a free country!

Dear Savas, I guess my prior point was not made clearly enough... no doubt China has not full freedom of speech, and it's a fact... but my point is, don't take it for granted that Western media has all the objectivity to present the issues. The issues are just projected in a different way of manipulation. I don't blame you if you have that kind of perception. I can guess why.

FYI, my government is not the Chinese govt, and I live in a country with more than bilateral coverage of the issues, both the Western and the Chinese coverage. This is how I form my judgement. Again I do not blame you for making this perceptual mistake, understandably.

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Our media may put a 'slant' on things at times but it isn't - and this is the crucial point - controlled by our government. It does not blindly follow the government's stance. The fact that you have both Chinese and Western coverage doesn't make a difference.

As Richard Dawkins said: "I have always resisted the idea that when two opposing points of view are being equally strongly expressed, the truth lies in the middle. The truth can very easily lie on one side or the other. One side can simply be wrong."

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Our media may put a 'slant' on things at times but it isn't - and this is the crucial point - controlled by our government. It does not blindly follow the government's stance. The fact that you have both Chinese and Western coverage doesn't make a difference.

As Richard Dawkins said: "I have always resisted the idea that when two opposing points of view are being equally strongly expressed, the truth lies in the middle. The truth can very easily lie on one side or the other. One side can simply be wrong."

That's a very nice quote and thanks for that... again if my point is not clear enough, when one makes a judgement call on an issue, (1) don't take it for granted you're presented all and true facts as what perception tells you (2) if you allow me to be blunter, some people are naive in thinking this is solely a human right issue.

I was really netural on this issue beforehand, but when I see the long-lasting images of Tibetan monks burning streets and beating up peoples and I don't see these images coming up in Western media, and it's been silent on how those 100 people got killed has been appalling to me. My bottomline, if my prior messages have been milder, allow me to be blunter here..I have sympathy on those people living in countries which to an extent are also controlled by unilateral and biased voices.

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True, middle ground needs to be reached, compromise is the answer to any conflict. If both parties keep on going "we are right, you are wrong", then nothing will be solved. Look at the Isreal/Palastine situation.

I don't support a boycott for the Olympic Games, because sport and politics should be kept apart (and with England out of Euro2008 I need some sport to keep me going this summer). However, I do have a nagging feeling that Politics will never be too far away from Beijing 2008 and could overshadow many of what actually happens on the track, field, sand and water.

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but when I see the long-lasting images of Tibetan monks burning streets and beating up peoples and I don't see these images coming up in Western media

...and we don't see Chinese state television showing their so called 'People's Army' troops gunning down student demonstrators during the Tianamen Square Massacre in 1989. You see, it's like a game of tennis, you serve, we return, it's a long drawn out rally were not point will be won, until compromise is reached by all parties.

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I'm sorry, but the notion that the BBC, Reuters etc. are twisting the truth even half as much as China's state news agency is quite frankly ridiculous: that's why I posted the Dawkins quote. And the notion that our respective media organisations are in a tennis match or a long drawn out rally that can only be ended by compromise is not right either. If we're going to get involved in sporting analogies I think cricket works rather better with China trying to bat away everything that's thrown at it.

I'll listen to your arguments but if the only source you quote is the Chinese media, I'm not going to be inclined to compromise my viewpoint.

Edited by Rob ♪
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I have to laugh at some of the posts around the internet relating to the issue, mostly regarding the assigning of the blame for awarding the Games to Beijing and suggestions to solve the problem.

My favorites:

1)Some people actually believe the decision to award the Games to Beijing was made by President Bush.

2)Some people seem to believe we can relocate the Games on 4 months notice. One poster suggested that there are "plenty of Olympic stadiums around the world," as if there is nothing to hosting an Olympics but opening the gates and holding athletic contests.

I understand not everyone understands the Olympics the way we do here, but some people come off as simple-minded idiots.

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i have also to say that western media and more specific greek and german media do report about the uprising of Tibetan people. (The freedom of greek media is so big that they almost have political influence) I would go so far to say that european media are worlds most objective and informing. Of course there are exceptions but with the variety of tv stations and newspapers you have to be a real fool not to have a relative objective impression of what is happening. We know that uprising implies riots. And everybody knows that oppression always ends with an uprising. This is not the first time. This is not a new situation for China. The great difference is that a democratic country that respects human rights does not sends military troops to controll riots. People dont get jailed or even get executed for expressing critisism. A good democracy and healthy state does not need cencorchip of media.

The behavior of the chinise gov is outragous, the situation of human rights unacceptable. Even if the Tibetans are rioting a state which has democratic values does not kill its people. Or are Tibetans not your people? What are they? Are they chinese or are they a minority? And if they are a minority dont they have the right on their own cultural and political life? And if the chinese gov dont accepts an independent Tibetan state why dont they at least seek for a reasonable solution? At least a dialogue? Nothing of that happens.. Just violence.

The IOC knew the human right problem, they knew that it is an illusion to think that the Olympic Games could make a change. Even olympic works have cost the lifes of who knows how many chinese workers. Still i am not in favour of a boycott. Because the Athletes dont deserve that and also the chinese people dont deserve it. I just wish Beijing wouldnt have not been choosen as a host city. Not after courent developments. And i hope that the chinese people will understand that one of oldest cultures of this world deserves more then to live in a big rotten cage.

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Well, you know my English is not very well, so I can't tell what I mean clearly. But I think you guys should come to China to see what the country really is. Then you'll realize your thougts about China are Ridiculous and Wrong.

What is so ridiculous and wrong about voicing one's disapproval of what is being done, let us not forget, in the name of the Chinese government? It is ludicrous for you or anyone else to try to paint China as some sort of utopian society when what we are seeing on our television screens at the moment is so different? You might be getting the state-controlled, sanitised version but we aren't.

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What is so ridiculous and wrong about voicing one's disapproval of what is being done, let us not forget, in the name of the Chinese government? It is ludicrous for you or anyone else to try to paint China as some sort of utopian society when what we are seeing on our television screens at the moment is so different? You might be getting the state-controlled, sanitised version but we aren't.

Anyway, I have been dabbling into things here lately which is very critical as per my minimum level of knowledge. But, I still think the use of Olympic to address the political turmoil that has been is not too ok for any nation. If I should say here now that it seems like a bait given the Olympic to China when everybody knows Chinese government policies so well -- this is going a long way to create distrust and cold war which might like be exhibited indirectly.

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...and we don't see Chinese state television showing their so called 'People's Army' troops gunning down student demonstrators during the Tianamen Square Massacre in 1989.

It has been confirmed by numerous sources that there was in fact no student massacre as such. There was a massacre in the area to the west of Tiananmen Square called Muxidi where the PLA opened fire on local protesters as the Army was moving towards the Square itself. The death toll has never been confirmed by the Chinese Government, but estimates range from 14 to 300 depending on who you believe.

The actual Square itself (and this has been confirmed by Amnesty) was cleared at approximately 4:00am on the night of June 4, 1989 with no blood shed. Many, many students were rounded up and jailed for excessive periods of time, and a small number were killed in street battles later that day. There was no Tiananmen Square massacre - but there was a massive crackdown in Beijing.

I am ready to vilify the Chinese for their atrocious human rights abuses - but lets make sure we get angry at ones that have actually occured. As with all media reports - in and out of China - they are all biased one way or another.

I personally use the 70-30 rule. 70% truth, 30% bullshit. The truth always lies somewhere in the middle.

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I still think the use of Olympic to address the political turmoil that has been is not too ok for any nation. If I should say here now that it seems like a bait given the Olympic to China when everybody knows Chinese government policies so well -- this is going a long way to create distrust and cold war which might like be exhibited indirectly.

We may not like what is going on at the present moment, but it was surely always inevitable that groups would seek to use the Beijing Games to make political points. Unfortunately, there are times when sport and politics do collide and this is one of them. My fear is that these sorts of incidents will become more frequent the closer we get to August.

And now the French president is talking about the possibility of some form of boycott.

Sarkozy threat to Olympic opening

I have to say I don't think we've seen anything yet.

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Very interesting piece from BBC Sports Editor Mihir Bose on the current issue. I thought the most telling line was that of the 'senior British politician' which said "If there is a repeat of Tiananmen Square then all bets are off." Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Anyway, it's a fascinating piece, particularly the IOC people trying to argue that this actually shows the merit of giving Beijing the Games. Not sure I quite subscribe to that view, but there you go.

Protests threaten to overshadow torch relay

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A nice comment piece I agree a lot with:

Andrew Bolt

March 26, 2008 12:00am

NO, don't. Let's not boycott the Beijing Olympics. Letting them go ahead is hurting China much, much more.

How desperately China wanted these Games so it could announce the dawn of the Chinese century.

But, after spending a reported $40 billion to show off its glittering new might, China is startled to find it's showing off its pimples instead.

Its propaganda showpiece risks turning into a huge flop, and people like me - who figure we're safer if our neighbours are democrats, too - couldn't be happier.

China's troubles started last month with Steven Spielberg, the world's most famous film director, who quit as the Beijing Games' artistic adviser in protest at China's support of Sudan's genocidal regime.

The Chinese regime was furious, denouncing the walkout as "unreasonable, irresponsible and unfair", but the damage was done.

Millions more people had suddenly learned that China, to secure Sudan's oil for its own booming rise, had sold the country's Islamist regime the very gunships, planes and guns it was using to slaughter countless civilians in Darfur.

Many learned, too, that China had even blocked attempts to get the United Nations to stop this genocide.

On Monday came another propaganda disaster, when protesters for Tibet's independence burst into a ceremony at ancient Olympia being held to light the Olympic torch for the Beijing Games.

Chinese state television immediately cut its broadcast, and screened pre-recorded footage instead to avoid showing a torch ceremony for China turning into a torching of China. But again the damage was done - and the censorship made it worse, not better.

The damage was not to the regime's power at home. After all, few Chinese will be allowed to hear of the protests that will buffet the torch relay for the 130 days it will take to reach Beijing.

The damage was instead to China's image around the rest of the world - in countries whose people have not yet yet considered what this Chinese century will mean for them. And a lot of those people are sure to get nervous.

No wonder. Those two Tibetan protesters were drawing attention to the bottom line of China's power. This is a regime built not on democracy, but on force. The killings of Tibetan monks and protesters today are just the most vivid illustration of this truth.

But more worrying for those of us who aren't Chinese is that China is now exporting its anti-democracy to the world. China's Communist Party doesn't just bully its own people, but helps other autocrats bully their own.

Most obviously, of course, China, with a veto power in the United Nations Security Council, has blocked attempts by the West to get UN approval to topple the deadly regimes of Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, as well as to curb Sudan.

You see, China figures that if the UN gets the taste for tackling tyrannies, it might one day decide to tackle the one in Beijing, too.

So it's red-hot for promoting its principle of "non-interference" -- which it also uses to justify propping up a gaggle of corrupt and tyrannical leaders in Africa in particular.

Our own protesters like to scream abuse at the West, but at least Western countries and institutions insist that when they give money to foreign nations it's in exchange for promises to be less corrupt and more democratic.

But China gives no-strings loans and aid to any leader, no matter how corrupt or tyrannical, as long as they can do it a favour in return.

Angola is a perfect example of how China's diplomacy is white-anting efforts to spread "Western" values such as good government.

Angola is said by Human Rights Watch to have "lost" $4 billion of oil revenues between 1997 and 2004, and in 2004 the International Monetary Fund got it to agree to manage that income more transparently.

But just before the big signing of this deal, the Angolans told the IMF it could keep its cash and leave town: China had just offered it a $2 billion loan, no questions asked.

It's the same story all over Africa. The President of corruption-plagued Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, gloated: "China's approach to our needs is simply better adapted than the slow and sometimes patronising post-colonialising approach of European investors . . ."

Which means Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, shunned by the West, can instead buy his arms and radio-jammers from China, greedy for his platinum, nickel and copper. Hell, China even accepted eight tonnes of his elephant ivory as payment.

Human rights - let alone elephants' rights - just isn't on China's agenda. As a recent US Council of Foreign Relations report said: "China doesn't have the same human rights concerns as the United States and European countries, experts say, so it will sell military hardware and weapons to nearly anyone."

With methods such as that, China has grown rapidly to become the third-biggest trader in sub-Saharan Africa - after the US and France - and may soon outstrip even them.

And with its trade, arms and aid, it's won plenty of friends in bodies that vote on decisions affecting even us.

Nowhere is that clearer than in the United Nations General Assembly, where the influence of the greatest democracy is falling as the influence of the greatest autocracy is rising.

In 1995, the US won 60 per cent of the votes on arms control, and 81 per cent on human rights. By 2006, it won just 30 and 28 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, China, says leading foreign policy analyst Mark Leonard, went from winning 43 per cent of the UN votes on human rights to 82 per cent. China a human rights paragon at the UN. Who'd have thought?

Indeed, it is even on the UN's Human Rights Council, along with such champions of rights as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Egypt and Angola. But the US is not.

The world is changing fast, and those you may have counted on to protect you are growing weaker.

China has been counting on that, in fact, and especially on the weakness of Western leaders, hungry for its trade.

Until now it seems to have counted rightly. The lure of China's gold has had Western leaders mute their criticisms of its human rights abuses.

Our own Mandarin-speaking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, for instance, can furiously vow to do "everything within our power" to stop Japan's "slaughter" of whales, but dares only murmur that China should "exercise restraint" in slaughtering Tibetans.

As with the politicians, so with the International Olympic Committee, which awarded Beijing the 2008 Games with the excuse that this would encourage China to adopt more Western values, such as free speech.

But instead of getting China to adopt Western values, Olympic committees have tried to get Western athletes to adopt Chinese ones, demanding they sign agreements curbing their freedom to speak in Beijing.

Even Australia's athletes need their team managers' permission to talk politics in China.

Now IOC power broker Kevan Gosper is even telling the rest of us not to protest near the torch relay. How chuffed China would be by his efforts.

But none of this feebleness on which China has relied will work. If there's one thing that pricks our politicians sharper than Chinese gold, it's the rage of voters, activists and celebrities.

As the torch relay wends through Western democracies, more people will finally confront a question they've never even been asked.

Is it really the United States that's the biggest threat to human rights? Or should we worry more about Chinese oppression?

Sure, the US will remain the Left's pet bogey. But China has now advertised itself as a target, and built a multi-billion-dollar platform for a demonstration, complete with a torch relay whose bobbing light will drag in thousands of protesters in capitals around the world.

With showbiz causes such as Tibet to push, protesters will make appeasing China a political no-no. The pressure will also go on torch-bearers such as pediatrician Fiona Stanley and humanitarian Gillian Hicks to pull out from the Canberra leg - whether in support of democracy, Tibet, the Falun Gong, Darfur or so many other casualties of China's autocrats.

Through 20 countries this torch will run, and each will have this debate. China will come under a scrutiny it's never had before, and not before time.

What a marvellously subversive idea it's turned out to be, after all, giving the Games to Beijing. Let's make the very most of it.

Join Andrew on blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt

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A fascinating viewpoint, and one that is actually quite delicious when you think about it. And the fact is that this speculation, this clamour, this outrage is only going to grow and grow and grow.

Oh yes, I agree, a deliciously ironic and subversive viewpoint. To think, they've just flushed $40 billion trying to build international respectability down their (squat) toilets!

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My interest in the Beijing Olympics have really taken a serious hit now. I predict this will be the most politicized summer Olympics throughout in recent memory, if not ever. I wonder will there will be stealth protests during competitions from athletes at the venues. Will the flagbearers carry IOC flags in protest ala Moscow 1980?

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