Boycotting Olympics vitiates global harmony

As riots rage in Tibet, the call for boycotting the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing is becoming increasingly popular among politicians. Earlier this week, following German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy’s decisions to boycott, Sen. Hillary Clinton strongly urged President Bush to boycott the opening ceremony, since China failed to “live up to universal human aspirations… ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.”

Given Clinton’s political shrewdness, it is evident that her speech is just one part of the same old Olympic card that she’s been playing in order to keep her human-rights image in line with the current state of events. Had she been genuinely concerned with the issue, she could have voiced the same objection when Beijing was running to host the Olympics seven years ago. Clinton’s voice aside, the real question the United States should consider is whether boycotting the Olympics might do more harm than good in serving the interests of America and the world it tries to lead.

The modern Olympics were founded by Pierre Fredy upon the idea that a “peaceful and better world” can be built through the help of “sport practiced without discrimination of any kind.” Being a dedicated educator, instead of a political activist, and certainly not a politician, Baron Fredy defined the goal of the Olympic Spirit as “to inspire and motivate the youth… through educational and entertaining interactive challenges.” He designed the Olympics as an educational opportunity that will celebrate human endeavor for excellence and mutual understanding, not as a political forum on which all the difficult international issues facing the world can — or should — be solved.

Baron Fredy wrote in the First Chapter of the Olympics Charter that the Games are “competitions between athletes in individual or team events, and not between countries.” Contrary to his ideal, unfortunately, most countries still consider hosting (and boycotting) the event as a way of showing off their various interpretations of what is and what is not worthy of support, a burden too heavy for Olympics to carry. But just because everyone else is against the true meanings of Olympics and politicizing the sporting gala as a fight against the evil, it doesn’t mean that the United States, and its Olympic foreign policy, should follow the model.

Given that the Games offer a rare opportunity to seize the spotlight and address important world issues, boycotting the event will produce very little, if any, positive result — as history repeatedly has proven. Cambodia, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon did not help solve the Suez Crisis at all by boycotting the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The U.S.-led NATO countries’ boycott against the 1980 Moscow Olympics failed to persuade the “evil state” of the U.S.S.R. to back off, and only caused 15 Warsaw-pact nations to boycott the Olympic Games held in Los Angeles four years later. The only victims penalized were the innocent athletes whose entire careers culminate in the Games. It’s easy for the rest of us to sacrifice the life-long efforts of someone else to satisfy our desire to “speak up,” but it’s unfair for all those athletes, their coaches and their families to be forced to give up pursuing their dreams.

Admittedly, there is a huge disagreement between China and the United States on various matters, from human rights to Tibet. What we want, nevertheless, is not to embarrass China, but to develop a constructive relationship with that country. Filling the gap of mutual understanding requires something more than ad-hoc threats with an Olympic flag, and demands a serious forum of debate more appropriate than that of a sporting event. To provide for such occasions, we developed the mechanism of the United Nations, the annual Sino-US strategic dialogue and the annual Sino-EU human-rights dialogue, among others. These fora exist, and they are not meant to be replaced by the Olympics.

Remember, after all, that the two Koreas walked together, hand in hand, in the opening ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympics; they chose to leave their real debate where it belonged: in the rounds of the Six-Party talks. Perhaps the Korean example could inform our decisions henceforth.

Robert Li is a sophomore in Ezra Stiles College.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Robert Li IS a sophomore in Ezra Stiles! That's right! Who did the by-lines on this one?

    The spirit of the Olympics is indeed just about sports, and not about politics. But the International Olympic Committee did have some specific demands that China agreed to, which were conditions for hosting the Olympics in Beijing. Many of these benchmarks have not been met.

    That's the criticism that's relevant - has the Chinese government lived up to its promises? We don't need to make up claims about Tibet or human rights generally. The failures of the Chinese government are all written out on IOC letterhead. Non-Chinese politicians should look no further than those broken committments for a justification of boycotts.

    Edwin Everhart
    Amnesty International club

  • Cotta

    The Olympics are ALL ABOUT THE ATHLETES! It is NOT about politics! It is completely unfair to all the athletes who have trained very hard these past four years to have their dreams taken away all because of politics. It's pathetic how politics interferes with everything.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed, truly pathetic how politics, which affect all of us, interferes with things like sports. How dare global affairs stand in the way of human leisure!

  • Anonymous

    If the Olympics are all about the athletes then Robert Li should not care what political leaders attend. In fact, no political leader should go. It is, after all, only about the athletes.

  • DoodleLover

    While I think that every athlete who's been training for the Olympic should get a chance to compete and show off their years of work, I don't see why politicians and national leaders can't personally boycott the events in order to make a statement. After all, if the Games were purely about athletics, then the absence of many world leaders would not invalidate the athletes' achievements. So long as every willing and qualified athlete gets a chance to compete, a gold medal from China will be respected as such.
    "Developing a constructive relationship" sounds great, but I believe there are certain values sacrosanct enough to override diplomatic pleasantries, and human rights is one of them. China's track record is quite terrible. I am not just referring to the Tibet issue. China persecutes its own people as well as the 50+ ethnic minorities - the "Public Safety" police regularly kidnaps and tortures its citizens, wealthy people can show up at prisons and walk out with fresh organs within hours (a death-row inmate having been executed just for that purpose), and the inmate's family can't get his body back until they pay for the bullet that killed him - technically a state property which has been "wasted" due to his criminal behavior. I speak from a close second-hand experience. My uncle - a Christian convert - has been beaten up by the Public Safety police so many times, he's accepted it as a part of his life. His business associate, in fact, is living on a second liver - he paid the local prison warden $10,000 for it. Most people who actually live in China (especially outside of the few metropolitan parts) know the truth. Your wealthy, happy-go-lucky Yalie friends from China may not talk about it (or they may be genuinely ignorant), but the fact is, more than a majority of Chinese people live under the constant fear of "tripping the invisible wire," as they put it.
    We shouldn't embarrass China? I think now is the PERFECT TIME to embarrass them. With the whole world watching, perhaps the government will feel enough pressure to change its ways (I highly doubt it anyway). South Korea may have walked with the North, but I can't imagine that the South Korean president or the UN Secretary General would support the Olympic Games hosted by North Korea. The world must know that China's human rights record isn't much better than North Korea's, and now is the perfect time to spread the truth.

  • Anonymous

    To #5. Boycotting Olympic Games will hurt all Chinese. In this case, do you think they care about your "Human Rights"? It is, again, such a classic reminder of what happened 100 years when those "foreign devils" invaded Peking. I don't know what the reasons were? -- Human Rights? Must be something that the Chinese did not have.

  • Susan Liu

    "I think now is the PERFECT TIME to embarrass them. With the whole world watching, perhaps the government will feel enough pressure to change its ways (I highly doubt it anyway)."

    How will embarrassing the Chinese government lead them to cooperate and enforce human rights? In fact, it wouldnt (as the author of the above post kindly admits).

    Moreover, the Olympics doesn't just represent the Party and the government in China but has also come to represent the nation and the Chinese people as well. Using the Olympics to embarrass China is not only unlikely to cause any sort of lasting change, but more likely to incite Chinese resentment against the very organizations, countries and institutions that are seeking to help the Chinese people.

    While I absolutely agree that much has to be done in China regarding human rights and rule of law and that the international community plays an important role , it's important to think about whether the Olympics is an appropriate and effective venue to do so.

  • A.C.

    Having politicians and, perhaps, even entire countries' delegations boycott the opening ceremonies while allowing the athletes to compete seems like a good compromise. A statement is made, but the years and thousands of hours of preparation by hundreds of athletes isn't wasted.

    Then again, I'm not sure "embarrassing" China would really provide much motivation for them to do anything. Governments (like most people) respond to one thing: money…just like the IOC responded to the reportedly lavish gifts it received from the Chinese Olympic Committee. Then again, there's too much money to be made in China for even the most human-rights conscious corporations (ahem, Yale) and governments to limit their relationship with the country. So, it's a bit of a Catch(ing!)-22.

    Most people are much more willing to sacrifice their conscience than their wallet. This is why genocide continues. This is why there are republicans. And this is why we are all doomed.

  • Anonymous

    LOL,,,It is perfect time for anti-China morons to tell lies and enjoy this once-in-a-life-time self-satisfaction.

  • truth

    doodlelover, are you kidding me?seriously, how much do you know about China, doodlelover? how much of your "knowledge" is obtained from primary sources? I doubt that you've ever been to China, and I am sure you've never been to North Korea. So based on what dare you conclude that "China's human rights record isn't much better than North Korea's"? At least what I see is that the Chinese, home and abroad, united as one this time to voice their support for the Olympic Games and distaste for the unfair treatment on the issue by the media and "activists". Do some reserach first please.

  • Anonymous

    It's misleading to say "the Olympics are not about politics." Nearly every action and statement that we make is made in a political context and carries political weight. That's especially the case with the Olympics, which has a long history of being highly political.

    Friends of the CCP often say, "You can't actually know about China without having been there." That's simply not true. It may be harder to know about China, but it's certainly not possible. In fact, since media access is more open outside of China, sometimes you can be even more knowledgeable if you're coming from another country.

    Another claim is that those who criticize the Chinese government want to see China destroyed. These people seem to believe that China IS the CCP. That's not true. What's more, many people within China have criticized the government - and these people are certainly Chinese patriots. Lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was disappeared last fall, served his country with honor in the army. Since then, because he criticized the government, he has been arrested multiple times. But Gao's criticisms were intended to help his country. He wanted to point out the problems that needed solutions. Now he's being detained somewhere.

    Tell me, friends of the CCP, where is Lawyer Gao Zhisheng?

  • Anonymous

    Based on the fact you are repeatedly ask for Gao Zhisheng in such a specific way, it appears to me that we can't exclude the possibility that he has been hidden by Amnesty International and this whole thing was then used by Amnesty International to embarrass Chinese government. It's just like Osama bin Laden may have been hidden by Bush's government so that his war can continue in the excuse of chasing bin Laden.

  • DoodleLover

    Perhaps using the phrase "embarrassing China" sends the wrong signal. It's not so much that I support embarrassing China. Rather, I was trying to point out that normally, China, just like Saudi Arabia, doesn't get its due share of criticism regarding its human rights records because of its economic and political sway. It's so much easier to condemn North Korea and Iran!
    #6 You need to specify what you mean by "hurt all Chinese." If you mean that China's national pride will suffer, I'd be compelled to agree with you - although I think it's irrational for the Chinese people to put their collective ethnic/national pride ahead of the political factors which actually affect their lives. Otherwise, I don't understand how world leaders boycotting China (assuming the Games are carried out as planned and all athletes participate) will hurt the Chinese people.
    #7 I respect your analysis, but I can't think of a better occasion. It's NEVER a good idea to criticize China because of its influence on the world. Once the Olympic Games are successfully pulled off (with most of the world leaders present), its standing in the world will improve even more. Do you think the world leaders will speak up then?
    #10 You seem to be saying "I know so much more about China than you do." I also suspect that you are a Chinese national, no? Well, I suppose I can't compete with that. I lived in Beijing for two years (tutoring kids for SATs and such), and yes most of the horror stories I relate (trust me there are a lot more where that came from) are at best second-hand experiences. The people who told me these stories were members of various underground Christian organizations who also shelter North Korean refugees, so they are obviously biased. I did see my uncle get arrested multiple times though, and I definitely tended to him once when he came back with bruises and a broken arm. I've also met his business associate who has contact numbers for at least three different prison wardens in case he needs another liver (he drinks like a fish). Yes everything I say is anecdotal. No I can't really cite primary sources regarding Chinese human rights abuse because, as in North Korea, those studies tend not to get published and those who write them tend to disappear (only high profile people, such as the one mentioned here: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/03/18/chinese-dissident-blogger-stands-trial-for-subversion/ even get noticed). I suspect that your background is not too different from those of my former students (and please correct me if I am wrong). Are your parents wealthy? Did you have an English tutor growing up? Did you go to a private boarding school in America or England? Are you from Shanghai or Beijing? I understand your sense of ethnic/national pride, but come on! I don't fault my students for not seeing the bigger picture, but you are a Yalie for god's sake! "At least what I see is that the Chinese, home and abroad, united as one this time to voice their support for the Olympic Games?" So Tibetan folks are not "Chinese," even though the international community recognizes (and China never refutes) PRC's sovereignty over Tibet? Those "dissidents" (some of whom are of the Han dissent) all over the world are not Chinese because they refuse to go along with your little game of ethnic pride? Grow up, get over yourself, and see the truth for what it is.

  • Anonymous

    Commenter #12:
    I wish Amnesty International had that kind of funding. I don't think we would use it to kidnap people, though.

    The amount of money that Amnesty International has is public knowledge. I don't have a specific figure on hand, but we are running low.

    I ask about Gao Zhisheng because I know about him. If I learn a lot about another detained lawyer, will you accuse Amnesty of kidnapping him too? What if I learn about all the political prisoners in China? Then is Amnesty kidnapping thousands of people in China, right under the nose of the Chinese government?

    I wish you were writing a comedy, #12. I'm sad that you seriously think Amnesty International wants to hide people and destroy the Chinese government. We want to point out legitimate problems. Amnesty International does not want to topple any governments - we want them to correct THEIR OWN problems. Our job is just to hold them accountable, accountable to promises they've already made, and accountable to international standards.

    So, where is Gao Zhisheng? Ask Mr. Hu Jintao. I think Hu could find Gao if he wanted.

  • Anonymous

    US doesn't get its due share of criticism regarding its human rights records because of its economic and political sway, and same goes with other major western powers. Let's boycott next Olympic in Britain, and boycott next next Olympic in Chicago!

    Talking about human right abuse rumors happening in China here is ridiculous (If you know you can't back it up with facts, then don't spread it). If you have difficulty to list many abuses by US, many people could help you. No wonder most people in the rest of the world consider western media and people like you are biased.

    Chinese will not consider the absence of a few biased western politicians at the Olympic opening ceremonies as "embarrassing", instead, they will be very proud that big majority countries will be supporting China and make the Olympic in Beijing successful and uphold the Olympic spirit to fully participate.

    Actually, I hope some of those biased western politicians stay at home, so the Olympic can be successful. Only the worthy ones like athletes and ticket buyers should attend that special occasion.

    As China repeatedly said, China has not invited (except a very few like Bush) those western politicians who are talking about their possible boycotting the opening ceremony now. Talking about boycotting is so pre-mature, it's laughable. It's so amusing that western media and some people here tried so hard talking about boycott without revealing the secret that those people have not even been invited yet, how ridiculous is that! Even if those who were invited decided no to go, you think that would hurt China? No! The earth will keep turning, and China will have a successful Olympic, and will be a super power sooner than most people in the west would like. So, dig a hole in the sand, and have a high talking about "boycott"!

  • Susan L.

    "I think it's irrational for the Chinese people to put their collective ethnic/national pride ahead of the political factors which actually affect their lives."

    The thing is that Olympics and human rights are not a trade off in China. If embarrassing China at the cost of the Olympics would solve the human rights problems- I would say go right ahead. In fact I would probably be right there with you and so would most of the Chinese people.

    There was an article in the Times this morning about plans in San Francisco to protest the passing of the Olympic Torch there- including a group that is planning a naked run behind the torch. Not that I don't enjoy watching a good streak once in a while, but acts like this embarrass more than just the CPC.

    The problem is that using using the Olympics as a tool to get at the Chinese government will do more harm than good. The nature of national pride is that it is not rational, and the reality is that much Chinese national pride has been attached to the Olympics games. So much so that I believe using the Olympics as a political tool will not only anger the Chinese government, but the Chinese people. Olympics does not equal CPC- political activists must remember that.

  • Athlete

    For the athletes, this is really a dilemma. What would the athletes who participated in 1936 Berlin Olympics do if they were given the chance to choose whether they should go to 2008 Beijing Olympics? I think most of them, if not all, would choose not to go. It's a painful choice; but we have to be very clear who caused this suffer: the inhuman communistic regime. However, there is a solution that is to have the Olympics in Athena, Greece again this year.

  • Anonymous

    I guess it would be a better idea to have the Olympics held in Iraq, so that the world will be able to see thousands of Iraqi civilians humanely die everyday just because of the "democracy" Americans imposed on them.

  • Anonymous

    I think a better solution would be for the Chinese government to release all political prisoners, stop censoring the internet, and allow people to practice whatever religion they want, however they want - as long as it's not violent. These changes, along with maybe a dozen more, would be a much better solution.

    If the CCP made all these changes, maybe they wouldn't have to be so paranoid anymore. People would genuinely like them because of their deeds, not because of some kind of vague nationalistic obligation.

    We should also note that Greece and the EU generally also have their own human rights problems. But they aren't as extreme as the problems in China today.

  • Chinese Yalie '08

    To Edwin:

    I think relaxation of state control over the topics that you mentioned - freedom to political prisoners, information censorship, free of religion - is occurring, albeit at a slow pace.

    The China of today is approximately six decades old (dating back to 1949). It is only three decades removed from the end of the Cultural Revolution, one of the most socially chaotic and damaging events of the 20th century - one that nearly brought China to the brink of collapse. Fast forward to June 4, 1989 - the date of the Tian An Men Square Incident/Massacre. During the run up to June 4, Beijing was placed under Martial Law, chaos reigned again, though only temporarily. To date, it is almost one decade since June 4, 1989.

    The Cultural Revolution, still fresh in the minds of the Communist Party cadre (e.g. Hu Jintao, born in 1942, was 24 years old when the Cultural Revolution began in 1966), represents everything that they want China to avoid - i.e. large-scale instability. This is particularly why the government is so very wary of any group that may threaten the stability of the country.

    To put it bluntly, the Chinese government (and to a lesser extent, the general population) will tolerate social injustice against their own for the sake of stability and unity - or perhaps more aptly, the fear of instability.

    And this is why so many mainland Chinese are wary, though primarily dismissive, of the Falun Gong. That is, the issue of whether Falun Gong is a legitimate religion or a fanatical cult is irrelevant. Most mainland Chinese do not value freedom of religion as much as preserving/improving their standard of living, i.e. economic growth is only possible in the presence of political stability (which they believe the Falun Gong threatens).

    With that said it is highly probable that popular opinion in China is, to some great extent, guided by the PR directives of the Communist Party. The popular opinion that I refer to are, for example, in no particular order:

    1. Issues that relate to political sovereignty of Chinese provinces and territories (Taiwan, Tibet, HK, Macau) are “domestic matters.” Foreign interest in these matters is nearly always politically motivated.

    2. Foreigners are jealous of China’s rise in the global arena – economically and politically. The world is a zero-sum game, and in order to preserve power, the “West” must stifle China’s growth somehow (though how, most Chinese cannot explicitly explain).

    (The above are, to some extent, because the Chinese education curriculum highlights the history surrounding and leading up to Boxer Rebellion, when the Eight-Nation Alliance - Japan, Russia, British Empire, France, US, Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Germany - won financial, political and geographic bounty for defeating the forces of the Qing Dynasty.)

    3. Foreign (US) media outlets are highly hypocritical with regards to human rights. Most Chinese will cite the slavery in America as an example, followed by instances of US and European imperialism (US in the Philippines, the UK in India, etc).
    What the Chinese often won’t say, though, is that they are highly aware of the human rights violations committed by the government. However, they believe that change can only come from within the country, without foreign input.

    I think the Chinese people trust that the government will listen to them (if they persuade or protest effectively enough), but only they themselves can and want to be responsible for the progress they seek.

    It is without argument that the Chinese want greater freedom of the press, rule of law, and more political freedoms. However, they want to carry it out on their own timelines and on their own terms. To their dismay, this may not be viable on the global political stage.

  • Anonymous

    To #6,

    Let's put this way: suppose that you are taking a course from me and you receive a "D" just because of your attitude, not your knowledge, towards the subject. Do you think that your fellow students understand this?

  • DoodleLover

    So… for those of you burning with national and ethnic pride who asked me to back up my individual stories…

    Just google "china, human rights, organ harvest"

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/georgianne-nienaber/beijing-olympics-is-us-su_b_95934.html

    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/rm/2001/3792.htm

    Or any of the "external links" on the wikipedia entry (assuming you wouldn't trust the entry itself)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

  • Anonymous

    To #22 DoodleLover:

    The way you tried to *back up* your stories was laughable … hahaha!

    Since you believed all the words by people like Falun Gong and Harry Wu and their fabricated accusations, I need to at least enlighten you that Harry Wu has personal motives to badmouth anything related with China, and his credibility is none, ZERO, big fat ZERO … 0 0 0, got it?! If you rely one people like that to back up your stories, you have earned ZERO credibility here.

    BTW, the Falun Gong and Tibet in exile government and even Dalai Lama have been funded by CIA, etc.

    http://media.www.iowastatedaily.com/media/storage/paper818/news/1997/09/11/UndefinedSection/The-Truth.About.Harry.Wu-1072237.shtml
    The truth about Harry Wu

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hh7IhvgSfKJX8xxoTKBKGyAKCq6QD8VCG52G0
    China: US Human Rights Record

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_US
    Human Rights Record of the United States - Wikipedia

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20080410&articleId=8625
    Risky Geopolitical Game: Washington Plays ‘Tibet Roulette’ with China

  • Nick

    Re #22

    Regarding the "organ harvest", if you had ever read the wikipedia link you provided, you probably wouldn't have made such a rediculous fuss.

    …In March 2006, allegations were made in the Falun Gong mouthpiece, the Epoch Times, of organ harvesting on living Falun Gong practitioners at the China Traditional Medicine Thrombosis Treatment Center…

    …On April 14, 2006, the United States Department of State reported the findings of its investigation, stating that: "U.S. representatives have found no evidence to support allegations that [Sujiatun] has been used as a concentration camp to jail Falun Gong practitioners and harvest their organs."…

    …Dissident Harry Wu, who immediately sent in investigators, said that the allegations were just hearsay from two witnesses…

    …In July 2006, David Kilgour and David Matas, human rights lawyers, concluded an investigation on behalf of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong in China (CIPFG). US Congressional researcher Thomas Lum criticized the report as relying "largely upon the making of logical inferences" and "inconsistent with the findings of other investigations"…

    What a joke!

  • DoodleLover

    I don't know why I am even responding to you TonyS, but I'd just like to point out that:

    1. Your first link was a letter to the editor by a certain Fusheng Wei. Perhaps it's yet another Chinese national who cannot see past PRC's propaganda because it's so appealing to his sense of national pride? Perhaps someone whose father has a stake in the government? Just another idiot? He resembles you in many way. Perhaps it was you. I'm just speculating, but I don't understand how this letter by a graduate student in "Genetics" is a credible source.

    2. Your second link - a seemingly legitimate AP article - is simply a report on China's response to a U.S. report criticizing its human rights record. The Chinese government! What a credible source!

    Great! You have yourself and the Chinese government as your source, so clearly you have more credibility than I do. Definitely more than "none, ZERO, big fat ZERO … 0 0 0." Get my drift?

    As for links 3 and 4 - I regularly speak and write against America's shortfalls, and so do millions of other Americans. Do you know why? It's because our sense of self-worth is not so closely tied to national pride that we can’t admit our government's misdeeds. We are naturally suspicious of the government, and perhaps you could benefit from this healthy mental exercise - remind yourself every once in a while that "just because they say it's true and it feels good to believe it, that doesn't make it true!" You were so good at detecting Harry Wu's personal motives, and yet you wholeheartedly trust your government? Are we missing something here? Saying "look! you guys did terrible things too!" is not an adequate defense.

    Nick -
    You know that guy from Princeton who made an ass of himself by denouncing the practice of using "reply-all" when, in fact, such action was specifically requested in the initial e-mail? Perhaps you should read my post again.

  • DoodleLover

    Everyone keeps asking for "facts" to back up my claims. All this time I was so involved in pointless arguments with a few idiots that I missed a very crucial point. So I'd like to share the following thought with the reasonable people among you.

    Under many circumstances (such as the one concerning China), I don't think asking for "evidence" of human rights abuse is an appropriate placement of the burden of proof. Unlike an individual accused of criminal conduct, a state - especially one as powerful as China - has the power to hide its dirty business, stifle objections, fabricate data and block attempts at close scrutiny by those investigating its misdeeds. "Innocent until proven guilty" doesn't work when the existing power dynamic heavily favors the potential perpetrator. Thus, I think it's highly appropriate for the international leaders to call on China to come clean. If it has nothing (or relatively little) to hide, then why ban foreign reporters and block attempts at external and internal investigation? China can't engage in something as international as hosting the Olympics and then expect the world to turn a blind eye to its problems. If you want to be a major player - if you want respect - then you have to play by the rules. I think the same standard applies to every other country that's a major international player, including the United States. If world leaders want to boycott a U.S.-hosted Olympic Games because it's committing atrocities in Iraq, what do you think the intellectuals in America do? Attempt to defend their national pride by any means necessary and go on idiotic rants about how the accusers are just as bad? No way. Many Americans would be right there with the rest of the world, leading protests against the government.

  • Anonymous

    To DoodleLover:

    I can't find another more stupid idiots like you here. Your self-righteousness attitude and belittling anything related with China is very offensive to Chinese.

    Just because a Chinese wrote an article disproving your accusations, you would ask those stupid and malicious questions? You can suspect every Chinese to be me, cause you really couldn't tell the difference anyway, right? Apparently you have suffered for so long under the biased media here that you have permanently damaged head and have totally lost your sense. You can not see past the propaganda of medias like CNN because it's so appealing to your sense of national pride. Perhaps your father has a stake in the government, or you are just a total idiot. I would just take the later as the truth. You are just a badmouthed biased stupid China hater.

    Even though you sounded like you have an uncle who was Chinese, and you could be a Chinese descendant, but you certainly don't consider yourself to have any relationship what-so-ever with China, right? You have that bad mean vicious attitude toward China that you would rather spread rumors and lies and use fabricated facts against China. People like you are worthless, and a total failure in the life!

    How ridiculous and disgusting is that that you reject to provide evidence when you made rather vicious unfounded accusations against a country representing a quarter of the human being? Unless you were just a spreader of a rumor, if you make such an accusation, you certainly need to back it up. Otherwise, how can people tell it's truth or lie?

    The lies and fabricated accusations made by the western media against China and other countries have been many. We all heard the accusations about WMD before Iraq war, what happened later? Oops, US just made a innocent mistake. But US invaded Iraq anyway, and caused havoc and lots of deaths to the innocent civilians; We all heard the accusations of systematic "organ harvest" activities in China by Harry Wu etc, it turned out to be a fake, he lied, and he used heart surgery video tapes to revenge against China; We all heard accusations that Tibet riot on March 14th was peaceful and was only repressed by the Chinese troops violently, the eye witnesses by western reporter and videos and photos proved that's a total lie; … I can list more …

    You sure can discredit the report by China. Apparently you didn't read the report at all! China didn't make accusations, but only used the well-published information from US media to list the human rights violations in the US. Can you discredit those there? I can list a few if you would want to take the challenge! Since Chinese report used mostly the info from US media, which you probably highly regard, you say it has no credibility? eh? Great! That would only discredit the propaganda machine here, right?

    Since you really are idiot and don't know, I tell you, people in the world generally consider the people in the US are probably the most tied to the national pride. If you truly raised any accusations or questions against US, would you recommend boycotting the next next Olympics in Chicago? You know why I would say something like "look! you guys did terrible things!"? Because you were just one of the brainless hypocrites here.

    China has let the western reporters get into Tibet, but how biased they turned out to be! They didn't report any violence and damages to the Chinese people there but only paid attention to the few Tibet independents causes. Oh, that's because they are just like you, wearing prism lenses. Would you welcome a person who is biased and intent to harm you and badmouth you to your house?

    You said "If world leaders want to boycott a U.S.-hosted Olympic Games because it's committing atrocities in Iraq … Many Americans would be right there with the rest of the world", those're rather empty words. Would you admit US committed atrocities in Iraq? I would be interested to hear your answer here. Since you advocated boycotting the Olympics in China, were you suggesting that China committed atrocities in Tibet? Again, back up your accusations! If you want to see the violent pictures recording the scenes in Tibet on March 14, I can provide you many. If you could provide pictures of Chinese troops or riot police committing violence against Tibetan, we would like to see. You can send your evidence to my email address at tonysu@yahoo.com if you prefer. If you couldn't, then shut up, otherwise, we will just call you a liar, no less!

  • Anonymous

    I guess Saddam Hussein did hide some WMD otherwise he wouldn't have had to block the external weapon inspection. Should he have come clean the United State and the "rest of the world" wouldn't have invaded his country.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Chinese Yalie '08,

    I'm quite familiar with the kinds of arguments you mention. Your opinion is generally encouraging.

    I wonder what you mean by change "without foreign input." We all want any change to primarily originate in China among Chinese citizens. But does that rule out moral support from people in other countries - even non-government, individual people?

    I think the question of time-tables is relevant. The Burmese military junta has been promising reform for decades, and keeps putting it off. Other autocratic governments often follow a similar pattern. I fear that the CCP may be that way also. So I wonder whether "change at our own pace," as Hu Jintao likes to say, really means "never."
    As for those who are being tortured, those who are being kicked off their land, etc: they want reforms immediately. Their time-table is immediate. They really don't want to wait at all. So that's where the urgency comes from, but I guess you knew that.

    Edwin Everhart

  • Chinese Yalie '08

    Dear Edwin,
    I think the questions that you asked are both particularly pertinent.

    - “We all want any change to primarily originate in China among Chinese citizens. But does that rule out moral support from people in other countries - even non-government, individual people?”

    Traditionally (by that I mean, culturally), the Chinese adopt a "see-no-evil, hear-no-evil" approach to all issues that can be categorized as “domestic,” from the household level up to the government level. That is, to lend moral support is to directly question and challenge the authority of the Confucian patriarch – in this case, the metaphor applies to the central government. I think this kind of challenge is particularly necessary in order to improve governance in China, though I am not sure what the most effective implementation would be.

    - “So I wonder whether ‘change at our own pace,’ as Hu Jintao likes to say, really means ‘never.’"

    With that said, I do believe that the CCP is not purposefully dragging its feet with respect to human rights. Many, if not most, of the younger members of the CCP (<45 years old) do not buy into traditional Mao Zedong Thought – what they see is rapid economic development and along with it, growing stature and respect in the global arena. That is, they appreciate and understand the need for a system of law that successfully governs property and human rights – for the sake of capitalism.

    The economy is by far and away the most important issue on the government’s docket, and according the most recent agenda posted at the 17th National Congress of the CCP, issues like environmentalism, anti-corruption, and wealth disparity were at the top. The government is not, at this point, willing to take its focus away from economic development unless it is a matter of national security. Human rights, unfortunately, is not yet a matter of national security.

    Therefore, I don’t think that when the government says that “at our own pace,” it really means “never.” Instead, I think “at our own pace” means “we are not yet comfortable with concerning ourselves with anything but stabilizing the delicate economic situation right now.” For example, the government is currently concerned with controlling inflation especially in basic food commodities – cooking oil, soy, rice and pork – some of which are up more than 50% year-on-year.

    It is not that the government is directly depriving people of human rights in order to capture economic gains. (In the case of land grabs and IP piracy, yes, but those are generally categorized as property rights concerns and not human rights concerns. Generally speaking, human rights issues – e.g. political dissent – are not driven by economics.)

    Could they be doing more about human rights, and quicker? Perhaps, and most likely.

    Are there more immediate issues? With a potential time-bomb ticking in North Korea and plenty of domestic issues, any of which may set off volatile unrest, the answer is a definite yes.

  • TF

    You all talk about human rights. Open your eyes and see who is the real victim! The whole Chinese nation. And if you care about human rights, don't you think you are violating the human rights of the majority of Chinese?

  • Anonymous

    Dear TF,

    Which rights, exactly, are you referring to? I know that the majority of Chinese people (indeed, all people) have rights - but which ones are being violated?

    Dear Chinese Yalie '08,

    I see your concern about these sort of "security" issues. I know that a lot of people say "safety first." But actually I disagree with that policy. That's because I make a distinction between short-term safety and long-term safety. For me, it's like this:
    Justice > Short-term safety
    Justice = Long-term safety
    … and you can interchange the word "safety" with "stability" if you like. So that is to say, if you are leading with the true support of a big majority of your citizens, and you're not being cruel, then your government is probably more stable in the long term.

    So for me, justice is a more immediate issue than North Korea, or farmer's riots, or what have you. One way of looking at it is to say that as long as you don't have justice, more and more little problems will creep up, and that will be a REAL threat to security.

    Not sure if that's a full analysis. But I wonder if you see what I mean.

    Edwin Everhart

  • Yale visitor

    To Edwin Everhart
    1. I can help TH answer your question: he means the human right to live, the human right to live without being killed in riots by paid hooligans(financed by US government and a German fund), the human right to unveil another side of the story merely told by CNN/BBC etc, the human right to support the side(current Chinese government, I do not mean communist) that benefits themselves the most without being called 'brainwashed thugs', the human right to live their lives under their own style of philosophy without strictly following your "perfectly always-right undoutable democracy system"

    2. I also believe "Justice=Long-term safety", just like every optimum theorum in physics, it is absolutely right under optimum conditions.

    But in real life, please define justice for me--where are the justice for illegal immigrants living in USA without medical care and threatened by employers every day? Where are the justice for Haiti rioters who can not feed themselves rice while you are here freely choosing from all kinds of food and then sit down have some fun pointing at all those 'inferior' people living in 'inferior' countries, showing your sympathy on your 'moral highland'? Where are the justice for Iraq people dying everyday or tortured everyday and seldom get listed in your TV/newspaper? Where are the justice for majority Tibetans(I mean those living in Tibet suffering religion repression, or living in India suffering economic repression, not those Tibetan people paid by your government or private fund to shout your voice and get paid $300 per day) who are used in this political game between the superpowers and nobody really cares about their real interests? Where are the justice for American middle-class working their ass off and get worse and worse in buying power while the coporate tycoons getting all the best things of life and see their money go up day by day?

    Even if we give Tibet 'freedom' or even 'independence', now what, are you gonna care about their poor lives in the mountain, are you gonna feed them all with rice when economy gets bad, are you gonna even pay attention to them from then on at all?

    I am not a supporter of Chinese government all the time, but when it comes to stability and safey of Chinese people themselves, we have our own decision to make, 'short-term injustice' does not mean 'injustice forever'. China is like an ecology system right now, our culture and people and situation are just totally not what you can imagine, short-term injustice is the best choice we can make to sustain the economy and social development. And we are not stupid to follow your style right now!

    It is just like spending $30,000 on a car -- a BMW body and a Dawoo engine, or a Volvo S40?
    Volvo S40 might not be as safe or as good-looking as your BMW, but at least it works great as a complete car, so we would rather sacrifice the temporary fabulous look, understand?! And later, when we get more money, we can simply evolve into a Volvo S80, not necessarily have to be as great as your BMW, understand?
    You want to know which way a BMW body and a Dawoo engine will go? Look at Russia in 1990s!

    Final words:
    If you want the world as 'free' as you are or as 'justice' as you are, that is easy, simply share your money with the rest of the world! That is the easiest way to show your sympathy to them, you do not need build up a lot of organations to contribute to world peace! Just That Easy!