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Beijing wins 2008 Summer Olympics

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Is anyone else up set by this? I am appalled that a Nation with such a dismal human rights record would receive such an honor.
post #2 of 47
It sucks big time. China is that last great repressive country in the world and everyone is kowtowing to them in hopes of economic opportunities in the future. The current regime is totally xenophobic and grasping onto power under the guise of Marxism, Maoism and whatever ism fits their needs.
post #3 of 47
I'm Chinese and I love the country and it's beauty but I too do not think they deserve the honor. I think they need to show more permanent change before being awarded this honor.
post #4 of 47
Being from Toronto I am somewhat disappointed, but there is a positive side as well. With all the eyes in the world on China and the countless reporters that will cover the event, there is a possibility that China will ease its repressive attitude.

Besides, having lost the last bid by only 2 votes to Australia (partly due to the bribe given to an African committee member by Australia), the Olympic committee had no choice but to give it to China. Too bad Toronto, Paris, Osaka and Istambul spent so much money, when the decision was almost made from the very beginning.
post #5 of 47
philosophical/religious/political/spiritual oppression exists in areas of the world other than china, first. and political backscratching and handslapping and head-severing exists in every arena of life. this is NOT coming from a "we-are-holier-than-thou" point of view. HOWEVER, when people gather to voice their views and the ear they get, the Basic Human Treatment they receive...is to be steamrolled by tanks, we need to wonder HOW this country wins an Olympic Games. Where BETTER to make a worldwide statement?
As the utah winter games debacle will blatantly attest, the IOC is about something other than what it claims to be and has no collective qualms about advertising itself for the body of whores it is, and doing so whitewsshing the bloodstains of people who would TRULY stand (up) for the spirit in us that OUGHT to be celebrated.

the word from the white house: "Burp."
post #6 of 47
The whole olympic franchaising system makes me sick. Pierre de C. must be rolling underground. It is just one big "up close and personal" manufactured mini series for NBC and barely resembles a sports gathering.
The chinese can have it, as for Toronto, sorry, but after bailing out Montreal for 25 years....and next time use foresight and build the stadiums the right size.
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
TomB sure there is possibility that some good will come of all the attention, but do not hold your breath.

I was living in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square massacre. What people may not be aware of is the demonstrations had been going on for a while. What prevented the government from taking action sooner was that Gorbachef was visiting, lots of reporters from all over the world were in covering the visit. As soon as everyone left the tanks started rolling.

How does Beijing treat reporters? This is a RECENT article http://asia.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiap...games.beating/
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Kima (edited July 13, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 47
Yeah, it sucks. That's all I'll say about that.

Robin, What you are referring to has nothing to do with the Olympics. It has to do with American television networks and Americans in general. Folks in other countries get to see the sport of the Olympics. But American network tv has determined that the typical tv viewing American couch potato would rather see 20 minutes of highlights, Up Close And Personals and 2 minutes of the American participant's efforts in whatever event, (and of course, the obligatory 8 minutes of commercials) every half hour, than to actually watch the event.

Take it as an excuse to turn the tv off and do something fun, like actually participating in a sport, right?
post #9 of 47
I was very surprised at the selection of Beijing. I don't think China is ready to welcome the world to their country with open arms when they imprison harmless people with differing political views. Clearly, this is a political victory for the Chinese.
post #10 of 47
I have actually attended 3 games, and while working in the Panorama race dept...we were an alpine training facility and "back-up" venue in '88. I have always watched non-american sports tv, but with the US's ability to actually reschedule the events to "american time" and the unbelievable tv rights bids...even some of the rules have changed. The power of the US media has created such extravaganzas like "Evening with the Champions" skating "curtain calls".
On-topic, the Olympics have from their modern inception been all about politics and will always be all about politics. Samaranch's band is no worse than Avery's. Maybe Jimmy Carter will return to boycot these games as well!
post #11 of 47

I come from a former Communist country and I know how pathetic it can be. So you are right, we should not hold our breath for China to change. However, 25 years ago when I was still living in a Communist country I would have NEVER believed that I will live to see Communism fall apart. So I remain hopeful that China's leaders will eventually change (or be forced to change).


You have no faith in Toronto? Come to think of it, neither do I.
And I have to add that the Olympics are not all about politics. Politics are a necessary evil, but for the most athletes it is about competition and performance. Any world-class athlete, would rather go to China than have some idiot politician declare a boycott.
post #12 of 47
Quick note from London -- couldn't resist -- everyone is right on pointing that the "olympic ideal" is (as Brits would say) rubbish. But this isn't anything new. Ever heard of Berlin 1936 and a guy named Hitler? They could have pulled the games from the Nazis but didn't, as the guy in charge bought whatever it was the Nazis were selling. Maybe more crass in equalling money today but not wholly different, either.


Dante non ha mai immaginato questo cerchio dell'inferno!
post #13 of 47
The Games at which Jesse Owens was somewhat successful.
post #14 of 47
I was upset, yet not suprised by the choice.

On monday I will be upset, yet not suprised when the pick Un Yong Kim as the new head of the IOC. He was the only member sanctioned yet not expelled in the fallout from the scandal in Utah. They gave his son a job at SLOC!
As soon as he is elected he will roll back the no site visits & other measures the comitee put in place to avoid corrption.

It is sad that such a wonderful event & athletes are governed by such whores.
post #15 of 47
Sadder too that one has expectations of the competition, but they wind up being fairy tales. The Olympics always had a political angle and it's no suprise to me that they were refashioned at the time that 1) professional sports had taken off significantly and 2) New Imperialism was surging. I've had this running debate with a decendant of 1912 Olympians who feels in the "good ole days" there was true idealism and pure amateur athletics. Well, ask yourself what is involved in that...

First, Avery Brundage was a racist of some kind as well as an elitist. The amateur ideal was supposed to glorify some "toffs" who played sports for the heck of it...that is, their trust funds afforded much time for gentlemanly behavior, sportsmanship and the like (winning did not matter as much as the game, the rules, the conduct). All of these are class-based points because this athlete is clean because he doesn't earn prize money. Pro sports were the dominions of the lower rank of society; there had to be some way to separate the thug who was more "manly" (could beat you up) from the sportsman that made the less physically adept person "better" (or somehow the manliness of boxing got conveyed to the spectators, hence why women often weren't allowed to attend, unless disguised as men). I know someone working on a book regarding this, an imperialistic survey of sports in Britain and the commonwealth/colonies.

The gender issue re: the Olympics (women too fragile to run the marathon for eons, etc.) is a whole 'nother story but it is problematic for non-men to be true "sportsmen" since that's a gentlemanly characteristic. Obviously, class and color don't quite make up for that, if they are allegedly "right."

Now, is is any wonder why the Nazi Olympics went ahead unchanged??? I don't think so. And, yes Ryan, Jesse Owens spoiled the show for die Fuhrer. (Too bad it didn't have a wider impact than that.)

xxL<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by lisakaz (edited July 15, 2001).]</FONT>
post #16 of 47
I have to agree with Robin about the possible boycott regarding the Beijing 2008 Olympic games, if the Chinese don't clean up their act as it regards human rights.

I would hope that someone, such as a Ted Turner, would have an alternative such as the good will games, or in this case we could call them the "Free World Games."

On the other hand we are talking about 1.3 BILLION people living in China, what is this about 15-20% of the world population.I don't think they should be ignored, but rather cultuivated to teh ways of capitalism and that each human life is valuable far beyond its utility to the state.

Perhaps outside world influences, and realizing that they will be the center of world attention after the 2004 games, might make them willing to finally change their ways.
post #17 of 47
I am so glad I have arrived to squash the older generations irrational fears of China and communism. Your generation was brought up to hate all commusinsts, and even trained to go to war with them leaving very few people in this country who know all the facts and are objective enough to actually look at an isue like this. The fact that we have entered the next century with one of the worlds powers still under communist rule deeply upsets America. It upsets the government and the media and the people so much, that sometimes they feel it necessary to take stories and blow them out of prpoportion.

When most of you were young our government poured billions of dollars and thousands of lives into fighting for a plot of jungle in Vietnam. We had to fight this because it was our duty to liberate the people of South Vietnam, well guess what, the reason we lost the war was because south Vietnamese people, VietCong were fighting against our troops. They didn't want our involvement, they didn't give a damn about capitalism or socialism or democracy or communism, they just wanted to live their lives and prosper and that is what Ho Chi Minh wanted to give them. Yet we were so wrapped up in our war against communism that we took a little known country that wasn't even involved and destroyed it in the name of economic and political differences. The Vietnamese people weren't being gunned down in the jungles until America got involved and went on to murder women and children at places like My Lai. The Vietnamese people only wanted to live their lives in the best way possible, but we wouldn't let that happen because that way was Communism. And Vietnam wasn't the only conflict, we poured billions into weapons and training to supply rebels to fight the Soviets in places like Afghanistan well into the 80's.

Why would we, civilized freedom loving people and our government, one which was built for the people, travel to places we know nothing about and deny their people the right to pursue things like economic prosperity. If we wanted to, we could force China to change their ways because even though they are powerful, we are far superior militarily. But why would we want to force them to change? They have a city in Beijing fine enough to host the olympics, within 15 years Shanghai will become the world center for technology surpassing even Hong Kong and Tokyo. China is blossoming right now, as a communist country, despite exaggerated fears and beliefs amongst Americans, such as those posted above ( I mean no offense to you people, thats just what you were brought up to believe.)

Most people go around saying the Chinese government kills this many milion people a year, and they will kill you for any crime and such and such. In fact between the years of 1991-1999 the Chinese government used capital punishment on an average of 2,125 people per year, the U.S executes around 100 per year. Now that number is 2,125 too much to me because I am very anti- death penalty, but there is the hard statistics, not nearly as outrageous as most people believe. I am not doubting that there are some local areas in China where unjust killings occur, but what about nearly 2 million killed in Burundi and Rwanda just a couple years ago, how about the atrocities of the Taliban in Afghanistan. American doesn't pay any attention to them because they aren't communist countires, an African or central Asian country can commit incredible atrocities and be ignored, but when a Communist country is seen executing a criminal, its called a human rights vilation of the worst kind. Many people say China drowns baby girls and such because of their one child policy instituted in the 70's. Problems like these were isolated many years ago, and are basically nonexistant now. This program has been great for China, if it wasn't instituted the population would be around 1.8 or 1.9 billion of which as many as 300 million could be starving since the world just doesn't have the resources to feed that many mouths.

Now we all hear of the horiible things China does in Tibet, hell most of you probably have "Free Tibet" bumper stickers. Now gather round children so I can rid you of those irrational thoughts as well. I was in Tibet for a week just last fall, during which time I spoke with no less than 4 educated Tibetan people, as well as one common Tibetan about the Chinese occupation. Out of the 4, only one disliked the Chinese rule, he had been around during the days of the Cultural Revolution, and was imprisoned, so he disliked China. The other three who were younger believed that being under China's rule was a good thing. Tibet is too weak to survive independently since they don't believe in setting up any governing body besides the Dalai Lama, who is a religious figure. Had China not absorbed Tibet, India or perhaps Pakistan would have since we have seen how they both have interests in the area through the situations in places like Kashmir, Siachen, and Sikkim. The other lady who I spoke with in detail while in Tibet sold her jewelry and carvings she made herself in an outdoor market. She agreed with the other 3 people about how the economic situation is really improving, as is health care and education. In fact, the avergae income in Tibet is now 20 times what it was at the time of the Chinese takeover. All these people were Buddhist like nearly every Tibetan and so they weren't happy about the Cultural Revolution and such, but they know now thats in the past. Today Tibetans worship freely, the streets are crowded with pilgrims in traditional clothing with prayer wheels and flags and the temples are packed with worshippers. Even Tibet is better off because of China and its communist rule.

Now I am questioning you all, why should we try and make China change its communist, socialist ways. As I said, we could force them to change, we could set up a weak democracy like those in many parts of the world. You could have the tribal warfare of Central Africa, the rulers out to get rich at any cost of western Africa, you could have the exploding population and starving masses living in trash heaps of India and Bangladesh, because that is what happens when a democracy is set up in a third world country. Lets think for a moment of how many struggling third world countries have had a democratic system put in place by an outside power like the U.S in the last 60 years. I'd say there's gotta be at least 30 of them, now think how many have succeeded. None, none, none. So why are we trying to turn China into this, here we have a struggling country who is now on the rise and providing a standard of living much of the world can't match. We are trying to change them simply because they are a communist country, yet that is the one system that works in underdeveloped countries. Lets embrace communism and socialism as a tool to help underdeveloped nations rather than fearing it and attempting to bring it down.
post #18 of 47
I would put this to you. Have you traveled the countryside without a tour guide in china? It's not the communist rule that I personally object to but the state of poverty and oppression that the government currently imposes. I have to admit it has gotten much better but China has a long way to go. I agree there are places in the world that have worse records and yes we should be outraged about those locations as well but the Olympics which is supposed to be a symbol of peace should be awarded to countries that show peace making and humanity. You think the dumping of children and drowning of babies doesn't happen. Like I said, visit the country side. There are orphanages full of baby girls that will probably never be adopted because they are too old now (2 yrs). I visited my wife's village in 92 and my village in 82. The oppression is still present. the locals are taught to tell outsiders things are good and getting better but when you talk to locals that are "safe" from the government "eyes" I suspect you would get a different view. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited July 17, 2001).]</FONT>
post #19 of 47
well put, not that i agree with everything you said, however when has the prosperity of a communist/socialist nation ever filtered back to the people?
Hey don't worry about those poor souls that live in the garbage dumps of Manila, the Pope promised them dog would look after them, right after he told them to reject the governments birth control education programs.
Toronto would have put on a great games...
post #20 of 47
oh. another thing about government oppression. When we were in some parts of the country our guide warned us that we should not go out of the hotel for a walk without a guide. (just 9 years ago) and that our group along with several others were "under observation" by the government. This was "normal" according to our tour operator.. Part of the problem was we brought back lots of clothes that they were pretty sure we were not planning on leaving with (to be left at the village) I suspect they were making sure we were not leaving valuables behind and only staple type things.
post #21 of 47
This would be a great topic to debate and I got a ton of things I wanna say, but I'm off to the airport. I am going to Eastern Europe so I should have a bunch more stories about the affects of communism on a country and such.

post #22 of 47
When any government interfers in the lives of their citizens to the point that self determination and the excercise of free will is seriously interrupted, then that's an oppressive government no matter what the label.

In someways, the US govt. is overly oppressive, and we are suppose to have the best country not only in the world, but in the recorded history of the world.

In this country, for the msot part we get the government we deserve. Do we all vote ? Are we all registered to vote ?

I am and I vote, so I have a right to 'moan and groan.'

Think about it.
post #23 of 47
Communism has one fatal flaw which is the dictatorship of the proletariat. Any dictatorship lacks checks and balances thus leading to corruption and ineptness. The Soviet Union collapse because its bureaucracies became totally incompetant.

When looking at China we need to realize the current regime is not truly Communist but it is using Communism as an excuse to maintain power. In the villages the government officials have succomb to the same corruption that oppressed the Chinese people under the war lords and royal dynasties. Until the Chinese are able to remove corrupt officials from office via democracy things will never improve.
post #24 of 47
I just got a report from someone who has family in Beijing and has just returned from a 6 week stay there.
Apparently all the building they will have to do will displace hundreds if not thousands of people from their homes. They are planning on building the olympic village and many of the venues in areas that are heavily populated. I would suspect this is being done with little or no compensation to the people living in those places because it's "for the good of the country"

Just some more news.. I wonder if that will make the news or be suppressed by the Chinese government/press.
post #25 of 47
Well I just got back this afternoon, and I would like to start by responding to dchan's statement about relocating of people due to olympic construction.

When I was in China we went on a Yangtze River cruise, stopping at times to visit attractions and villages and such. As you probably know the worlds largest dam, the Three Gorges dam is moving along in its construction and will most likely be completed within the decade. As phases of the dam are completed it will raise the level of the Yangtze from 5 or 10 m upstream around Chongqing, to 40 or 50 m or more in some places just upriver from the dam.

Now the Yangtze is a heavily populated area, with numerous villages and thousand of homes that will be underwater in a few years. Now you said you believed that China will do nothing in a similar situation such as the one involving olympic construction in Beijing. Well that is not the case in the Yangtze region, because these poor peasants, many of whom live in nothing more than shacks are recieving new homes from the government since there old ones will be underwater. I visited two of the "old towns" Fengdu and Shen Nong that will be underwater and two of the "new ones" adjacent to their respective towns but on higher ground, where the people will move.

The city of Fengdu which I'd say has about 25,000 residents will be almost entirely underwater as indicated by a marker up on the hillside. On the adjacent hills brand new 8-10 story modernized Soviet type apartments have been built that will be given to the people who will lose their homes because of the river free of charge. They aren't quite finished and the new town still needs some work with building more roads and the like, but the apartments will house all the people starting as soon as next year and are far more luxiourious than the run down apartments and tiny huts the people of the area currently live in. Of course these homes are pretty small by American standards, I'd say 700 sq ft. or so with a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. I don't see how you can complain about a government that gives brand new modern homes to people who are amongst the poorest in China. As I said I also visited the town of Shen Nong, which I'd say is home to about 5,000 or so. The same situation exists here with a handful of apartments higher up on the hillside for the people to move into for free. While on the boat I witnessed the new apartments on higher ground pretty frequently. In this case, which is similar to your example, the Chinese government is looking out for its people, not the opposite which may be more of what America wants to believe rather than what they really should believe.
post #26 of 47
My parents too saw the villages on the river gourges. They also talked to the locals (were you able to do this). The story given by the locals is totally different than the one the tourists hear (government sanctioned responses) Not everyone got new homes. Not nearly enough were built. Most move to smaller quarters (their idea of modern is toilets in the building (most not flush type)) and complete families of sometimes 7-10 people including parents granparents and kids in these 700Sq ft apts. You probably don't get to see the "waiting list accomedations" for the people that didn't make it in the lottery for the apartments. I'm not saying they aren't doing anything but they are most definatly not doing enough. There is not nearly enough housing in Beijing already. Where do they think they will be able to "relocate" all the people they plan to displace. The housing at the low end of the market is dismal at best and the people that don't live in the tight government housing live on the streets or in (literally cardboard box) camps with their names on the wait list to get into the government apartments. (2-5 years at best)

Next time you go to China, G-dubs, if you do, try to walk the streets without a guide away from the main streets. See how the people really live. I'm of Chinese descent and I am appalled at the conditions there. I've been back to visit my grandparents villages as well as my Wife's parent's village and I do speak some of the language.

I do have to admit things have gotten a little better but there is so much more that needs to change.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited July 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #27 of 47
I don't deal with da subject but anyway , Wink: "... we are suppose to have the best country not only in the world, but in the recorded history of the world ..." Really ? Typical and very specific American thought, I guess. (this is not your own, but hey!).
Okay, and back to the Chinese & Olympics subject.
post #28 of 47
Chan- Just for the record I wasn't with a guide while visiting those areas, it was me, my dad, and a friend of ours, a middle aged white women who had never been to China before and had no association with the government. Most places I went in China were without a guide.

Another interesting point that I have thought of relating to Communist governments. While they are often oppressive (not a good thing, but one that could be changed) they are undoubtedly the best government for developing countries. Think of all the former eastern bloc and Soviet countries that are today independent, now list the ones that are better off economically then they were 15 years ago. I'd say you have East Germany, but only because it was absorbed into an already successful country. You got the Czech Republic since western Europe has "taken it in" and since they have remained smart with somewhat keeping up co-op farms and the like. Other than that the rest of the former communist nations, numbering 25 or so, were better off economically while under communist rule. We all know of Russia's desperate state, with per capita income probably a 1/4 of what they were in the mid 80's. Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan are ignored by the western world while the people live in poverty or suffer through local disputes and civil wars. These countries were undoubtedly better off with a strong Soviet government to look out for them. Perhaps we should ask the old Hungarian women living under park benches that I saw a few days ago if they would rather have a government providing money and housing for them or if they are just glad that they can stand up on their benches and yell whatever they want about the government. I think they would rather have a home and some food then their struggling democracy. Maybe WE should look at the people whos lives are affected rather than attempting to get every government to be like ours.
post #29 of 47
>>Maybe WE should look at the people whos lives are affected rather than attempting to get every government to be like ours.<<
G-dubs. That's great you got to see it free of guides. did any of you speak the language?
I agree with your last line and I wish it were possible. The government often affects the people and in the case of the chinese people there is enough oppression to keep them from changing anytime soon. When we send money to our village I know from the past that much of it does not make it there.
post #30 of 47
Before I rage on I would like to say that I just returned yesterday from a 5 week stay in China. No I didn't have a tour guide. I lived in a Chinese military hotel/barracks and I went to school. I studied Chinese and taught English. I was actually in Inner Mongolia, North of Beijing. I don't see a problem with the olympic bid. I have problems with the government too but I loved the part of the 1.2 billion that I met. Its not just a communist government. Behind the big, scary word are people just like us. I met some jerks, I met some amazing people, I met some fine athletes, but even the jerks were nicer than Americans. Behind the chop sticks and squatty potty's are some amazing people. I don't like communism but I love communists. I know the government has problems and they don't trust foreigners. Heck, I found two bugs in my room and they followed everywhere we went, but we can't punish the people. I wasn't in Beijing when they won but I was in the country and let me tell you I've never seen so many firecrackers thrown off the top of highrises in my life. Those people need a little extra joy and this gave it to them. Being poor isn't the problem, communism isn't the problem, its much deeper than that. Anyway that we can bring joy to their lives should be jumped at. And as far as being poor goes, we could live with a tenth of the junk that we have. We're to wealthy for our own good. I didn't talk to one person who owned a car, a dish washer or more than two sets of clothes, but it didn't matter to them. They had enough to live. I went in homes that didn't have floors and I went in nice homes with computers, tv's, and leather furniture. It doesn't matter to them. You complain about poverty in China and then you turn around and complain about K2 moving there. Who do you think is going to get those 450 jobs? And who cares if they are in sweat shops. What would happen if those sweat shops got shut down? Poverty would quadruple overnight. They may not make much but things don't cost much. You can buy a 15 course meal for 7 people for about 3 dollars each, and a 3 bedroom house for 6 or 7 thousand. Thats not a down payment thats a house. I agree there are problems, but nothing a boycott of the olympics will fix. As far as the one child law goes that's a tough subject. I don't know what I'd do if I was in the governments situation. By the way they don't limit everyone. The minorities can have two kids. That way their nationality isn't diminished. Its only the Han Chinese who have the one child law. I've talked to people in those situations. In fact one of the close friends I made is a Han and he is the second child. Its not what you think. They don't make you abort your second kid. Your first kid is free. Period. The government pays for everything. They don't even pay to go to university. It's all covered by the government. If you choose to have another kid you just fill out some paperwork and you have to pay for them. Oh no, you have to pay for you kid to go to school. Man, wouldn't it be nice if the states payed for everybodys first kid? Don't flame a group of people you know nothing about. I wont try to stop you from flaming the government but I still think its wrong. Not everyone in the government let alone the country is a communist. You won't understand until you live with the people. I'm sure there is a lot that I don't understand. BUt man from what I've seen and heard and smelled and touched, I love China! I don't want to be a citizen but I'd love to go back for a couple years. I'm not up on political trash so I can't go into all of that but you've only scrathced the top of what I've seen. If you want to know more of what I've seen or you want to flame me don't do it here where everyone else has to read it, take it to my private e-mail. I'm at supermat@epicski.com. I'd be happy to talk to anyone about anything decent and I'll stand wading through a little bit of the flame BS that is bound to show up. And no I'm not a commi, but I do love 'em.
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