Hello / hola / bonjour / g’day from your anchor, Peter, on air at the usual time with World Have Your Say 1700 GMT.
Today we’re asking if, in the run up to the Olympics, we’re all turning a blind eye to China ? (Pssst, human rights anyone ?) With just a few days to go until the Opening ceremony are we all just about to be dazzled by the spectacle, the sheer size, the numbers and of course the excitement of sporting excellence – day, after day, after day – for two weeks. Will the Games be so engaging, so absorbing that we forget the other story of China ?
“Command Capitalism” sounds just dandy – and the figures make impressive reading: China’s foreign trade 30 years ago was pegged at about $20 billion a year. In 2005, it passed the $1,000 billion mark. Talk about an economic super-power. And then we get to the issue of human rights and Tibet, both journalistically underpinned by a ( slightly holier than thou ? ) media which has been over-egging the belief that the Chinese Government’s big plan here is, above all, not to lose face.
Also today the Chinese President Hu Jintao has again urged people not to politicise the Games. In a rare news conference, Mr Hu said politicising the event undermined the Olympic movement, and called for dialogue to resolve “contentious issues”. Hosting the Games showed China’s desire for peaceful global ties, he said. His comments came amid apparent concessions by Beijing in a row over internet access for journalists.
Beijing this week rejected claims that the human rights situation in China has deteriorated in the run-up to its hosting of the Olympic Games. China’s foreign ministry said a report by Amnesty International showed the group had “tinted glasses”. The report accused China of reneging on its promises of greater freedom, with activists jailed, journalists detained and more people sent to labour camps.
So, if you have a conscience can you watch the games, or even pay lip-service to the games, as an huge global event, being watched by MILLIONS of others without considering the other China ?
Can you park your ethics someplace else for those two weeks, and ignore (its critics would say) the REAL China ?
Let me know what you think ? Peter )