It started as is has for many years, the Olympic flame is kindled from the sun at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. Then the flame is carried by runners to the great games. However this year the Olympic torch has lit many fires of protest along the way. Not about the Olympic games, but about the bad human rights reputation of this year’s host country China. Tibet is just the tip of the iceberg as even Korea is getting into the act because of forced North Korean repatriation of defectors that often results in an execution of that defector. There certainly is a lot of discontentment to go around.
Amazingly enough the more China makes a fuss the more their true colors show. CNN has been experiencing cyber attacks because one of their more outspoken journalists called it like it is, and the Chinese government did not like it one bit. The reaction was of uncontrolled anger and attempting to repress the journalist in question if not CNN in it’s entirety. China can’t deal with it’s true face. Even as I type this China has agreed to a dialog with the Dalai Lama but still continues to attack him. This simply says this meeting is just a facade hoping to quiet the anger against China, however China has no intention of changing.
At this point even if there is no protest, the fact that all the extra police needed to guard a person running with a stick on fire says that China is losing the public opinion game. Although it may only be a few protesters, it has become a global issue.
For many years China has been trying to outweigh their dark side by being the world’s primary manufacturer of just about everything. China has actively been undercutting markets by working at a loss to put competitors out of business. Nearly everyone can say they have or they know someone who lost their job to China. You can also lay some of the blame on the cost to tank up your car on China’s glutenous apatite for oil. China is doing it’s best to outweigh it’s wrongs with cheap prices for most of what we consume.
There is an illusion here that cheap prices can only be if China can repress people. That is 100% false and it does not take long to figure that out but that is what China wants everyone to feel and believe. China also has been implementing a well crafted plan to make everyone dependent on China’s goods as goods from another source will simply be too expensive when people are living with increasingly tight budgets with much of the paycheck going into energy purchases.. This is for many like a moth being attracted to flame.
I was in China in 2000 and I do have some lasting impressions both good and bad. The bad was very simply everyone was afraid to speak their mind for fear of not knowing who is a government spy and report what was said resulting in arrest.
Like other places in the world, there are good and bad people, and I have had the chance to meet some of China’s finest when they came to perform near where I lived at the time. I was fortunate as both they and I had mutual friends and we were introduced and spent a few hours together getting to know each other. Seeing this national Shaolin Kung fu troop perform was truly amazing as it was the real deal as they go flying through the air wheedling swords. They truly are amongst the best China has to offer as well as being down to earth real people.
Seeing as the Olympics is the celebration of sports on a global scale, it does leave a person with a moral dilemma about the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Depending on where you stand you may see it differently. Do you support the Olympics thus sending the message to China saying it is OK to repress and kill people because they don’t want or agree with what you want, or do you forgo seeing the personal goals of the Olympic competitors to show your disagreement with the repression and killing of tens of thousands who chose to stand up against China. Seeing a new world record or killing people who disagree with you, such a hard moral choice. A politician or businessman may see this differently than the average person. The one thing that more than likely will set your choice is money. Whatever you choose, it will reflect on how people see you.