Reporters Without Borders gives its Gold Medal to China

This speaks for itself.

As the Athens Olympic Games enter their final days and approach the closing ceremony, at which the Olympic flag will be handed over to the mayor of Beijing, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) today awarded China an additional gold medal – one for human rights violations.

China’s repression of dissidents, including journalists and cyber-dissidents, has not let up during these games. The People’s Republic of China is the world’s biggest prison for the press. Twenty-seven journalists and more than 60 Internet users are detained for crimes of opinion.

The leading journalist Cheng Yizhong has been detained without trial for the past five months for reporting a suspected case of SARS and the death of student while being tortured in a police station in Guangzhou. Two of his colleagues have been sentenced to six and eight years in prison for the same reason.

Journalists with the foreign media are always viewed with suspicion by the Chinese authorities and are sometimes the target of threats and violence. Police hit an Associated Press photographer and manhandled one of his colleagues from Agence France-Presse on 7 August while they were covering the xenophobic rioting that followed the Asia Cup soccer final in Beijing.

Moreover, the Chinese government has acquired a new system for monitoring mobile phone text messages in real time. This technology allows the authorities to filter messages for key words and identify those sending “reactionary” messages. The public security ministry has already been monitoring the Internet extensively and jamming some foreign radio stations.

The group is launching a new campaign to boycott the Beijing Olympics” in protest against the CCP’s efforts to stifle the free flow of information.

The Discussion: 39 Comments

While in Tibet I couldn’t even open certain pages in the NYTimes without getting a page from something called telling me I couldn’t open the page because it was of an offensive nature. Apparently it was installed by the internet cafe to prevent adolescents (well, any citizen really) from being exposed to inappropriate material. With that name, complaining only made me look like a pervert. I couldn’t open any site that referred to the Edinburgh Fringe festival! They certainly showed a laxadaisical (sp.?) view as to what they’d allow to be seen, even to semi-literate inhabitants of Gyangste.

August 25, 2004 @ 10:23 pm | Comment

And, of course, RWF dot org is blocked if you try to access it from China.

August 26, 2004 @ 3:27 am | Comment

All this being said, Beijing 2008 is going to be the ultimate test for China. The place is going to be swarming with foreign journalists, and they won’t be able to keep track of them all.

August 26, 2004 @ 3:33 am | Comment

Another gold medal for China… this one from Reporters without borders

RWB just gave a gold medal to China for human rights violations.

China’s repression of dissidents, including journalists and cyber-dissidents, has not let up during these games. The People’s Republic of China is the world’s biggest prison for the p…

August 26, 2004 @ 3:50 am | Comment

While Nazi Germany was the scumbag it had been, the Games in Berlin in 1936 saw Jesse Owens blasting to bits the Nazi’s belief in their racial superiority, so I would say it wasn’t all a tragic loss.

In 1980, the US became the first nation to deliberately introduce the element of politics into the Olympic Games, thereby denigrating the very spirit of the Games itself.

The US govt under the very idealistic Jimmy Carter (a good man whom I admire very much for his human rights record, and a most deserving winner of the Peace Prize) and the US Congress showed no compunction about interfering with the USOC – one central pillar of the Olympic movement has been that govt and politics should not interfere with the National Olympic organization. Unfortunately President Carter at that time chose to play politics with the Olympics.

Thus, the USOC had to withdraw from the Moscow Olympiad because of enormous pressure from Congress and out of an inherent respect for its President.

To quote Christopher R Hill, a lawyer who wrote on “The Cold War And The Olympic Movement – ’80 and ’84 boycotts by the US and Russia”, the USOC argued that “if the Games are to be disrupted every time there are human rights violations or aggressions in the world, the Games never would have been conducted for the last twenty-five or thirty years”. The US President and Congress ignored this reminder. The consequence of such the boycott was predictable, the Eastern Bloc boycotted Los Angeles in 1984.

The Olympic Games represent an opportunity for peace and in China’s case, exposure to open contacts and international interaction for its people, and indeed its officials. Therein lies the opportunity for the Chinese people to experience and thus demand from their govt the rights for a more open society. Therein lies the experience for the Chinese govt to understand that an open society may not be all that bad afterall.

This call for boycott a la the US 1979 call is not helpful. In fact it’s against the very spirit of the Olympic movement. What do we do next – deny the Games forever to the US because of its illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, etc, etc. etc? The US has a lot of ‘etc’ in this regard!!!

August 30, 2004 @ 8:14 pm | Comment

Not to be too critical, but I could fill a book with etc.’s for China.
But of course I don’t propose boycotting the Olympics, although I think it is very interesting to do so, and could understand why some people would want to do so, especially reporters.
I personally hope to see everyone join in and then have the leading three gold winners in 2008 be the US, Japan, and Taiwan (yeah, that’s a long shot, but we all have dreams), and then see what happens. After the Chinese people’s infantile response to their loss to Japan in soccer, it seems no lessons have been learned. I just think it would be interesting to see what would happen if the above scenario occurred.

August 30, 2004 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

there would definitely be something to report then…
isn’t it strange that a country that claims to pride itself so much on stability could have fostered such an unstable factor when dealing with something as simple as sports competitions between countries?

August 30, 2004 @ 8:27 pm | Comment


China or Chinese, even overseas born ones like me, weren’t the ones to throw the first stone regarding the “etc’s” of another country. I brought that out to show you what the USOC in 1979 had already mentioned, that if the Games are to be awarded on the basis of human rights etc, then no one would be awarded the Games at all, because there is no lily-white nation, certainly not China, Russia, the US, UK, France or any big powers that have been repressive colonial powers themselves or have poked their nose into many other countries, or actively supported repressive regimes for their own national interests.

It’s OK to bash China for her actions, but certainly not to bash her for the antics of some of her citizens. If that should be case, then what do we consider the US as, when a year or so ago, two American whites in one of the southern states tied a half-blind African American to their truck and dragged him around until he died. And what do we say about Abu Ghraib? The list could go on and on.

Your statement “isn’t it strange that a country that claims to pride itself so much on stability could have fostered such an unstable factor when dealing with something as simple as sports competitions between countries” is directly accusing China or Chinese authorities of deliberately encouraging or provoking such disgraceful behaviour by some Chinese soccer hoodlums. Using that as your benchmark, then we would like to see you bashing Britain first for her world class soccer hoodlums, and while you’re at it, don’t forget the Germans and a few other European soccer nations as well – People have been killed in those European matches – see I remember an earlier one between an English football club and Juventus at, I believe the Belgium town of Ostend, where the ones killed were the Italians.

But none, not the Brits, Germans, Italians, Dutch, or Latin Americans had suffered the sort of things the Japanese in WWII had done to China and Chinese (not only those in China – my grandparents and parents and relatives suffered enormously at the hands of the Japanese in SE Asia).

I do not condone how these Chinese soccer hoodlums have behaved appallingly towards the Japanese, who are not responsible for the barbarism of their forefathers, but I see lots of pent-up anti-Jap resentment being the excuse for silly jingoism. Indeed I and many other Chinese have Japanese exchange students living in our houses – so don’t blame us collectively or for that matter, the Chinese authorities. But to pick a point on soccer hooliganism to condemn a nation is punching below the belt.

I feel somewhat disappointed by your statement “I personally hope to see everyone join in and then have the leading three gold winners in 2008 be the US, Japan, and Taiwan (yeah, that’s a long shot, but we all have dreams)”. The disappointment is not so much that you dream of a long shot but that your wish most regretfully brings out your prejudice.

August 30, 2004 @ 10:56 pm | Comment

i knew when i was writing my comments that you would be disappointed. and really there is no way that i am going to convince you, and no way that you are going to convince me. i used to make the exact same points that you did a few years ago, but after living in china for a few years, i have drastically changed my point of view.
the environments in which we live are radically different, and may lead us to radically different conclusions. add to this the biases that both of us have developed towards our own way of looking at china.
but your bias is just going a little too far. to say that the authorities have nothing to do with anti-japanese hysteria could not be more wrong. the same goes for the chinese peoples’ bizarre attitudes towards taiwan. there is a system of education and a closed media system that creates this type of belligerence, and if you are unable to acknowledge this fact then i simply have no way of communicating with you. Do you read chinese news? Do you watch Chinese TV? Do you hear what is said?
Any type of movement or march for democracy or in protest of government actions is stifled in a second. But anytime you want to burn a Japanese flag or march on the US embassy here, it is probably ok.
is this not slightly skewed, jacky?
“China’s stability” is simply a cover word that has caught on, and a concept that appeals to many Orientalists in the West who can say “oh yeah, Chinese people are not that interested in democracy.” Do you think Professor Chen Qin thought it was ok to be arrested and beaten to the point of having a stroke so that he can’t move his face, just because he wrote a satire of the government? Just because he is Chinese, does he think that is OK? And are things really that much more stable just because people can’t express their own viewpoints, unless they are fuming about Japan, Taiwan and the United States? What is stable about that? As Jiang Yanyong said, super-stability can actually be more de-stabilizing.
Now, Jacky, please don’t reply to me by talking about colonialism (hello, what century are we in?) or about Abu Ghraib (hello, that was revealed by Americans and is being investigated and dealt with by Americans). This method of addressing complaints is known as “changing the subject,” the title of an article mentioned on this website a few months ago, and that maybe you should take a look at sometime.
I welcome your views here, I would never say that you should not express your views. I am not as silly as the authorities. But I still think you need to consider your views, and maybe try getting a little more exposure. It was certainly a learning experience for me, as I was making the same comments as you a few years ago. Trust me, it is out of step with reality.

August 31, 2004 @ 3:14 am | Comment

Here is another problem that is not going away and is not resolving itself.
This is the type of thing that simply does not have to occur, and should not occur.
From the SCMP:

Emily Lau’s home break-in blamed on smear campaign:
…”It’s a sensitive time. It’s election time. Many people try to seek black materials to smear [the Democrats],” she said.
Ms Lau, whose offices and suburban New Territories home have been the target of several politically motivated vandal and arson attacks, is campaigning for next month’s legislative polls on a platform that opposes Beijing’s suppression of universal suffrage in this largely self-governed enclave of China.
At least four democratic hopefuls’ names have been dragged through the mud recently: one was jailed in China for allegedly hiring a prostitute and three others have been accused of financial irregularities.
China is accused of orchestrating the scandals to boost the chances of parties it favours. …
…”This is very disturbing. I feel unsafe in my home. How would that reflect on the Hong Kong authority?” she asked….

August 31, 2004 @ 3:39 am | Comment

hey kevin, no one is suggesting China is a free democratic country, having the best practice in human rights. She is basically a semi-closed society under an authoritarian govt.

What makes me react is this continuous failure by some to note the reality of China. To befair to her, she has come some way since the bamboo curtain days. It has not all been good, or I would be wondering why? Every inch of her way, there has been regression, two steps forward, one step backwards, but the move is still inexorably forward.

Instead of encouraging her, people demand full democratic accountability from her straightaway NOW – that’s just wishful thinking. Any unduly harsh criticism will only be unhelpful, making her leaders become more defensive and close up – is that going to help her society?

Today we see a large number of Chinese travelling freely everywhere – which proves her govt is becoming more confident and more politically relaxed. That can only be good for her people.

Admittedly she has a long way to go, but you’re basically talking about a society that has no democratic tradition for thousands of years, all 1.3 billion of them in a large country wrecked continuously by wars and internal strifes, until only recent years. Her infrastructure is primitive, her facilities leave much to be desired, she was deliberately shunned and left behind by most western nations for years because of political ideology, and governing her is no easy chore like the 2 million peopled island state of Singapore.

Back to the thread, what is the point of boycotting the 2008 OLympics, when the better outcome could be obtained by proceeding to celebrate this event like the Games held in other countries, to demonstrate to the Chinese authorities that an open society can be “safe” for them.

But my disappointment has been the unfair anti-China sentiment – basically, anything she does is always wrong.

For example, to suggest that she actively “foster” (your word) the anti-Japanese feelings by those hoodlums is just a wee too biased. There may be occasions when even the authorities, draconian as they may be, cannot stop such feelings. Unless you are Chinese, you don’t understand how we feel about Japanese and the atrocities they committed during WWII – just ask a Jew how he/she feels about Nazi Germany and the holocaust.

Personally I have refused to indulge in hating the wrong people – that’s why I took the trouble to accept Japanese exchange students in my home. I have Japanese friends as well. But I can tell you that people like my Mum and relatives fear and hate the Japanese. Thus I can see how those hoodlums quite easily twisted and manipulated such ancient feelings into stupid jingoistic expressions when China lost the game. No Chinese govt could stop such feelings – they can only protect the Japanese and they did so.

And why should not I bring up events in the west that demonstrate we (yes, I live in the west too) aren’t all that “clean” after all when we criticize China, or to suggest the Olympics shouldn’t be held here because of her human rights violation. That’s hardly changing the subject. Au contraire, it’s precisely to the point that we need to look at ourself in the mirror. We may have a slightly cleaner image because we in the west has learn how to spin, unlike the crude bulldozing Chinese, and how to manipulate public opinion. Let us at least recognize this fact and not be sanctimonious hypocrites.

The Olympic Games have been alreday been awarded to Beijing. There is a tradition that the Games once awarded shall go on. The place to stop it should be during the selection process, not after it has been completed. Australia (Sydney) won the 2000 Games even though Beijing was the hot favourite then, because Sydney played on Chinese human rights violations – to win the Games of course.

We in the west talk so much about due process, but we refuse to accept the outcome when it doesn’t suit our personal bias. Aren’t we hypocrites?

We could go on exchanging examples of acts of atrocities without ever accepting a final winner. I acknowledge China has a lot to learn about democratic principles and human rights. Would you in turn accept that the west beneath all the spin and best dress is not really all that clean too?

Over to you.

August 31, 2004 @ 6:12 am | Comment

Quick comment: I’m a Jew and can safely say most Jews who were not alive during WWI havelong ago given up their blind and blanket hatred of Germany. Time for China to show some maturity and get over old grudges, no matter how justifiable their rage may have once been.

August 31, 2004 @ 8:18 am | Comment

Ah. So the Jews do not actively pursue Nazi war criminals.

The main difference here is that while the German government takes pains to separate itself from the Nazist one, the Japanse government is a direct descendent of the one from the war. This can be seen from the shrine visits. To them, their war criminals are heroes.

I very much doubt that the Jews would be fine with a Nazist government coming to power in germany.

Ironically, this would be a case of ‘will of the people’. It is not that the chinese government doesn’t want good relations with japan – an important trade partner. The people, however, remembers too much.

As for that Hong-Kong politiker… Remember that, shining beacon of chinese democracy she might seem to you (oh, and a woman, too!) she is still a politician at election time. Take her words with a grain of salt.

Democracy is not the answer to everything, you know. Or, rather: the american model doesn’t apply everywhere. Force it and you get iraq.

August 31, 2004 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

Ah. So the Jews do not actively pursue Nazi war criminals.

That is a really stupid remark. There is a difference between going after Nazi murderers. Certainly I hate those people. But we are talking about hating all Germans or all Japanese. I would totally understand if the CHinese were to hate, with all their soul even now, a Japanese soldier who ordered the massacre of their relatives half a century ago. But to hate all the Japanese people with this passion — that’s not right. Think before you comment, please.

August 31, 2004 @ 1:26 pm | Comment


Perhaps, apart from my personal declared feelings and conduct, I have been a bit too casual in my generalization of Chinese feelings towards Japanese because of WWII atrocities, and in that sense may have been unfair to them. But undeniably there are those, particularly of my Mum’s vintage who had personally suffered the deprivation and horrors of Japanese occupation and brutalities, who cannot distinguish between the militant Japanese of WWII and today’s Japanese. I do not know the comparative degree of their sufferings to those of their kinfolks in China. But, suffice to say, all were bloody bad.

Aeons ago, I remember my Convent-educated sister corresponding with a Japanese student which upset my family very much – this was the era of pen-pals, light years before emails or even phones in my village. They didn’t stop her (we have been fortunate to have a fairly relaxed and tolerant family) but the general feelings towards the Japanese were fairly obvious. Admittedly, the war then was still not too far in the past, as it is today.

Today, people are more enlightened and more tolerant. So perhaps, I overstated the anti-Japanese feelings. But we cannot ask people of my Mum’s vintage to “grow up” and stop disliking the Japs. For the reason it would be impossible.

You yourself may not have an anti-German feelings and I respect you for that. This just supports my statement that today we are more tolerant because we are more enlightened. But I think you may have been overly generous when you suggest that “most Jews who were not alive during WWI have long ago given up their blind and blanket hatred of Germany”, in the same way I have been too careless and sweeping in my earlier statement regarding the anti-Japanese feelings dominating most Chinese thinking.

I agree with one of 403200’s observation that Germany has at least disavowed Nazism. In fact she has made a full and unreserved apology for her Nazi past. I believe that anything that has to do with the Nazi Party and Hitlerism have been banned in that country. These have gone some way in absolving the German people of associated guilt, and placating the fears of those who had suffered during her brutal past.

But, by comparison, the Japanese govt has never made such a commitment – there has never been an official full and unreserved apology. The closest to it had been the Emperor’s “regret”, couched in all the words that avoided a frank and fearless “sorry”. This is not to say that they didn’t want to. They have been under immense pressure from very right wing groups not to do so, which in itself proves that such nasty people still dominate Japanese politics. So 403200 is right in that the same murderous @r$ehole$ are still around.

Then, to further infuriate not only the Chinese but the Koreans and SE Asians regularly, every now and then we get the normal BS Japanese revisionist history books, propagating an unblemished and unsullied Japanese history of WWII. And we wonder why a number of Chinese still hate the Japanese. Do you think that if Germany were to have or condone such revisionist books coming out, the blood pressure of the Jews would stay normal and stable?

Germany destroyed the bunker where Hitler was supposed to have committed suicide, and any other bunkers or locations that were associated with the top Nazi officials, while PM Junichiro Koizumi visits the Yakusuni War Shrine regularly to pay homage to a bunch of WWII war criminals. Yes, he might have been doing so for cynical political gains but again, it proves the point that behind the legitimate govt of modern day Japan, the old militant Japanese faction still prevails, totally unrepentant.

August 31, 2004 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

this thread is not about looking in the mirror. you are basically just an apologist for the regime here, and you are out of touch with reality.
compare the reaction of china’s loss to japan with taiwan’s recent loss to japan. consider the reactions. i don’t know if you have ever been to china, but if you have, i don’t think you learned much about it. just because you happen to be of chinese descent and live in another country does not mean that you understand everything about china.
of course i never said the west is clean jacky, but don’t you realize that this is not the topic of the thread! hello, we can’t always talk about iraq and abu ghraib, ok? we are talking about the olympics in china. and when i speak, i do not represent the west, or america, or anything else except myself, a person who has been living in china for years, and who finds the effects of china’s stifling civil society depressing.
nationalism is fostered in china as the last piece of legitimacy for the party. hatred for japan and crazed thinking about taiwan are fostered through the educational system and the media. and the ugliest displays of nationalism are ok, while even the simplest displays of hopes for greater freedoms are stifled. these could lead to potentially explosive results if, for example, taiwan went head-to-head with china in the 2008 olympics, or if japan won the most medals, etc.
i would love to hear from anyone who has ever been to mainland china who disagrees with these statements. i mean, besides jacky, who i am sure will reply.

August 31, 2004 @ 7:42 pm | Comment

Oh, that would be me.

I think the reason that there are not more is because most chinese post on chinese forums.

It’s true – nationalism is used as, essentially, the last bastion of legitimacy. Yet there is nothing wrong with that. All nations employ nationalism in this way. It is just that the chinese propaganda machine is particularly outmoded (I concede this much: the state media is really, really bad at what they do. America does it better.)

And yes, dissent is suppressed. That is not exactly news. The system is far from perfect. That is not news either. But it does hold the bits together in a reasonably stable way.

And some people does carry the nationalism schtick too far. But they are soccer fans. It’s what they do.

There would, of course, be great disappointment if japan or taiwan beat them in the olympics, too. If america doesn’t get a single medal in 2008, what would its reaction be? It’s the same.

Well, perhaps a little more so. The chinese likes to win. And some of them are bad losers. But only some.

Lastly: be wary of saying things like ‘you are out of touch with reality’ without backing it up.

And cut-and-pasting…

i don’t know if you have ever been to china, but if you have, i don’t think you learned much about it. just because you happen to be of chinese descent and live in another country does not mean that you understand everything about china.

Really. Rationality is good for you.

August 31, 2004 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

403200, i liked your comment above about Emily Lau: “Remember that, shining beacon of chinese democracy she might seem to you (oh, and a woman, too!) she is still a politician at election time. Take her words with a grain of salt.”
A democratic figure’s house was broken into amidst a smear campaign, and you want to play it off like she is using this to her advantage. Seeing that comment… Well… I kind of lost some respect for you.
This did not help either: “there is nothing wrong with that. All nations employ nationalism in this way.” Um, could you give me an example of other nations that is even comparable? Cuz i am not gonna let that slip by… what other environment shows ugly nationalism similar to what i see on a daily basis in China?
Please, back things up, as you said.
“And some people does carry the nationalism schtick too far. But they are soccer fans. It’s what they do.”
My problem is that this was accepted, showing a major double standard on the part of the government for what kind of demonstrations it will accept. if those people had been demonstrating for a more open civil society, they all would have been arrested.
Or maybe you think they would not have been?

August 31, 2004 @ 10:26 pm | Comment

Arrested? Probably not. As I have said elsewhere, there is a line between what the CCP is willing to accept, and what it is not. Most demonstrations do not cross this line, nowadays. That is partially why you get more of them the past few years.

There probably is a double-standard. No doubt about that. The difference is that, to the view of the CCP, democracy protests on a large scale is bad for stability. All the other ones, including the hostility against Japan, they don’t mind. But do not mistake this: nor is it encouraged. Nobody in the government really wants to have this happen.

Think about it: what could they stand to gain?

Nationalism is the glue that holds together nations. All governments promote it as a part of their legitimacy. It has been this way from the industrial revolution onwards. The Chinese version is a little feverish, perhaps, but this is because the government overdoes it to compensate for their lack of legitimacy otherwise.

As for its ugliness… I quote: “America. Love it or leave it.”

And its countless variations.

With Emily Lau, all we know for sure is that yes, her house got broken into. It could have been a common thief. We don’t know otherwise. She has no evidence otherwise. Yet she instantly implicates the chinese government. So yes, I’d say she’s playing it off to her advantage.

I’d post a bit more about the media and its different yet similiar role in China and the US, but I’ve gotta go.

September 1, 2004 @ 12:00 am | Comment

If you read Apple Daily, you would see that there a man with the surname Ye who was arrested yesterday for planning a peaceful march against corruption. So, um, yes, arrested.
As for ugliness in nationalism: many of my comments on chinese websites are deleted, while comments such as “rape japanese” or “kill americans” are able to remain on the site.
As for Emily Lau, nothing was missing from her house, but someone had gone through her files. I doubt ordinary thieves would take much interest in going through Ms. Lau’s files but not stealing anything. Document snoopers in a well-known politician’s house? Sounds political to me!

September 1, 2004 @ 1:32 am | Comment

Corruption tends to be a pretty sensitive issue, as issues go. The CCP doesn’t like having its image tarnished. It is getting better at handling this sort of thing, though.

As for Emily: political, yes. Does it have to be CCP, though? What is little known in the west is that China has one of the best secret services in the world. Far better than the CIA, seeing its recent fumbles. If the CCP wanted documents, it would be able to get them without kicking up a stink like this.

As I have not really read up on this, a question or two: was there a police investigation? Was there fingerprints, footmarks, etc? Y’know – things to prove that she didn’t make it up?

As for ‘your comments on chinese websites’, a few things to be asked:

1. is it a government site?
2. what did you say, exactly?

I cannot comment until I know more about that.

Oh, I read in the news earlier today that an anti-japanese website with 80,000 members got taken down because they campaigned against the jappies getting a railway construction contract. See? It’s not really double-standard. The CCP just shuts up anyone who inconveniences them. Everyday censorship.

Aha. There is, of course, also the freedom of expression schtick. You can’t clamour for that and still get mad when some chinese teenager suggests china should nuke tokyo.

On that note: I saw this site that suggests that the US should nuke France for not being supportive on the WoT, a while ago.

The lesson there is: there are idiots everywhere. They tend to be louder than normal people.

Erm. I do not mean you, of course.

September 1, 2004 @ 2:09 am | Comment

kevin, you reminded me of this thread but weren’t you the one who raised the issue of the soccer match, to bring out your point (undoubtedly nursed for this occasion) to bash China – let’s call a spade a spade.

You want to bash China, that’s fine, but I reserve the right to defend any unfair bashing – that doesn’t mean I’m an apologist for China. There are people on this thread who may not agree with your anti-China views, and for this particular issue, I happen to be one of them.

OK, I won’t bring out any more reminders about Abu Ghraib or other such like embarrassments as I know how much it hurts some. But it’s an example of ‘people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’ or ‘looking at oneself in the mirror’ – strange isn’t it, all to do with glasses – the Chinese glass may be more brittle but glass is glass.

The thread has been about a proposed boycott of China.

You wrote:

“But of course I don’t propose boycotting the Olympics, although I think it is very interesting to do so, and could understand why some people would want to do so, especially reporters”

Likewise, I too can understand why soccer fans easily fanned shit into the nationalistic feelings of sore losers.

Of course it’s not right, as richard mentioned, but neither are you in saying ‘you could understand why some people would want to do so, especially reporters’.

As the USOC reminded President Carter in 1979, if nations were to boycott an Olympic Games each time they feel a need to “punish” (teach a lesson to) the host nation regarding a human rights issue, the Games would have died away aeons ago.

The better way would be to stop the nation from being awarded the rights to host the Games during the selection process. This happened in 2000 when Australia (I mentioned this before) played on this issue to win the right to host the Games from the hot favourite Beijing. Even though the reason was for Aus self interest it worked, and that was that.

Additionally (again I mentioned this before) the spirit of the Games calls for all to drop off any belligerence and animosity, at least for a period of 2.5 weeks) and to compete healthily, and hopefully in friendship.

The reporters’ proposal has gone completely against the spirit of the Games and the due process that awarded Beijing the Games, and will not support greater democracy and free speech in China in any form.

September 1, 2004 @ 2:19 am | Comment


actually I have been to all the China’s – Mainland, Taiwan, HK. I don’t claim to be an expert on Chinese affairs but I can see both sides of the argument.

September 1, 2004 @ 2:22 am | Comment

i wouldn’t characterize my comments as anti-china, i think that’s unfair. my comments have never been meant to cause any damage to China, but actually just to try to help it get beyond the rut that it is in, something which i have not seen happening.

September 1, 2004 @ 3:53 am | Comment

Oh, the arrogance…

September 1, 2004 @ 4:02 am | Comment

Whenever abused peasants attempt to rally a march they are beaten and arested, almost without fail. To say that marches are common in China is a gross distortion of reality. Let’s stick to reality, okay?

September 1, 2004 @ 8:07 am | Comment

Reality, eh?

What, exactly, makes you think that your views are any more ‘real’ than mine? Hard evidence – and, since your argument includes the words ‘almost without fail’ – I mean non-anecdotal evidence – would be welcome indeed.

September 1, 2004 @ 10:20 am | Comment

Now, my opinion, I can back up with hard, if indirect evidence.

It goes like this: a while ago there was a great deal made, by the state media, no less, about how there is a record number of protests. I cannot quote the exact numbers, but I can safely say that there are enough to make routinely beating and arresting all involved a very impractical thing. Not the least because the villagers had their women and elderly organize and spearhead their demonstrations.

The fact that the state media is willing to report the great number of protests is, also, a tacit acknowledgement to their legality. If the CCP had to resort to violence all the time, I doubt the state media would be reporting it.

Reality is a very narrow thing indeed.

September 1, 2004 @ 10:30 am | Comment

Well, example, if the CCP said it, it has to be true. You sure are a beacon of wisdom around here.

September 1, 2004 @ 11:20 am | Comment

Here’s my evidence, example: You are really getting on my nerves and I’m debating banning you. I believe in free speech, but I don’t have to give space on my blog to CCP spokespeople. If you haven’t been following the arrests and beatings of peasants from Henan province and others, then you are an ignorant jerk who only wants to see one side of the story. Just do a search of this site to find examples — hard fucking evidence of some of the most brutal repression on the planet.

September 1, 2004 @ 11:23 am | Comment

thanks richard, i think my blood pressure shot up drastically every time that these guys asked me to “provide evidence” but then dodged the responsibility themselves.

September 1, 2004 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

My pleasure, Kevin. I don’t want to ban Example; I like to see opinions different from my own. But I won’t accept smart-aleck BS here, and ignoring what’s right in front of his face.

September 1, 2004 @ 9:22 pm | Comment

OK, kevin, I can see now where you’re coming from, so I withdraw any remarks of mine re you being anti-China.

As I mentioned before, and continue to acknowledge now, China is far from being a democratic country, very far from it. But we need to encourage her authorities in their current course, and understand that standards aren’t going to be world’s best practice overnight.

Yes, do criticise her lack of due diligence but in a Tai Chi way – no Shaolin stuff cause those CCP people would just dig in, and the whole effort becomes counterproductive.

Chinese saying “using 4 tahils to overcoming a thousand katis”.

September 1, 2004 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

typo in “to overcoming ” – how awful!

September 1, 2004 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

thanks jacky. it was a little silly of you yesterday to mention abu ghraib and talking about throwing stones in glass houses, etc. do you even know what my opinion of abu ghraib is? no. do you know how i feel about it? no.
you basically just assume… and as confucius or mao zedong or somebody else said long ago, that makes an ass out of u and me.
anyway, of course no one is clean… but i would never write something like “you wanna talk about abu ghraib… hehe, well, look at what china does.” because that is just childish and not facing the matter. why do chinese human rights discussions always go back to abu ghraib? it’s not like a free pass in the game monopoly, ok?
so when i talk about problems in china, please try to do the same. i am not trying to protect anyone from blame, just trying to stay on subject. let’s all do that and discuss american human rights problems in another discussion (there are plenty of threads on politics in america).
also my references to the soccer brawl were on topic, they are referred to directly in the original piece: a policeman hitting a reporter trying to photograph the chinese protest. i think that is a problem, and a show of mixed up priorities.

September 2, 2004 @ 12:03 am | Comment

I mentioned this before (wonder why I keep mentioning this, but shows I’m consistent if not anything) that China can turn for the better at a pace just like a slow release pellet.

The top brass are coming into the international community – let’s all encourage her – OK, chide her but in a constructive and encouraging way – it’s one hell of a big country – sometimes local arseholes do things that the central authorities have no idea about – shouldn’t be an excuse, but the system isn’t ready yet to see things through proper process.

September 2, 2004 @ 3:46 am | Comment

Eh. First things first. My name is NOT Example. is just my way of saying ‘I do not want you guys to spam my mailbox’.

Second: Ban me? Heh. So you respect any opinion different from your own, unless it is too different. That’s fine, I suppose. As you say – it is your own website. I hope, however, that should you remove my messages, you should also remove any messages addressed to me: it would be very unsporting, very strawman to post only your arguments but not my replies.

Instead of giving evidence as I have asked, you threatened to ban me. Very bad form. Very. And writing while angry is never a wise thing to do.

As for your one coherent argument that I can find amongst the threats: that my evidence is only reported by the CCP media, I have this to say:

First, it is also reported by a few international papers. They all quote the CCP media that says so, however, so I’m not quite sure it is relevant.

The fact that the CCP owns the media means that the media has to serve the interests of the CCP, yes? How would the interests of the CCP be served if the media reports ‘a growing number of protests’ while the CCP is doing its hardest to suppress them? It would give people a sense of ‘if everybody else is doing it, it must be acceptable’.

The fact is, protests are fine with the CCP, so long as they do not get out of hand. It acts as a pressure valve, so that the pent-up anger and frustration of the people doesn’t lead to full-fledged rebellion. The CCP may be a dictatorship, but it is a very, very rational dictatorship.

It is true – some protests probably do get squashed. This happens if they get violent. This happens if they get ‘inconvenient’. But the CCP does not systematically suppress every single protest violently. And as Jacky had said, much of the violence is doled out at the local level.

Even there, I would imagine that it is used as a last-resport, most of the time. It is, after all, a very dangerous thing to do. It reflects badly on them. It is, and this is important, not in their own interest.

Supression and violence does happen, as it must wherever there is systemic corruption. But if the CCP used it as their only means of governing the people, it would have collapsed long, long ago.

September 2, 2004 @ 4:35 am | Comment

Ok jacky, that was pretty cool and rational, I mean I understand where you are coming from… And any differences I have with you are certainly eclipsed by this guy with the number name up here, hehe…

September 2, 2004 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

You have differences? Speak, then.

September 3, 2004 @ 12:37 am | Comment

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