On air: Are we turning a blind eye to China ?

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 :o)

115 Responses to “On air: Are we turning a blind eye to China ?”

  1. August 1, 2008 at 14:24

    Hi! I am living in Hong Kong so, under “one country, two systems”, I don’t really know about China. Having been to China for learning and travelling, I think China has improved a lot on human rights and other matters since Beijing has won the bid – it might not have reached the standard in the West though. Also, it is really hard to control so many people in Tibet without using any violence, so, I think people who criticize China on the Tibet issue should know more about the country and the region first.

    I think I have conscience and I will watch the game ( that’s partly because I am forced to – every media here will be talking about it.) In my opinion, the Olympic Games is like a “party”, all the people around the world are welcomed to join, and it is your loss if you don’t come, because other people will have a great time.

  2. August 1, 2008 at 14:33

    Well, Tibet supporters are not turning a blind eye to China, but all the politicos who could make a difference seem to be averting their eyes. Question is; is it really a blind eye?

    Nice idea that China, above all, must not be allowed to lose face! How about the IOC? It has certainly lost face in its underground hideout.

    No, there is no blind eye involved. It’s an eye that sees it all but doesn’t want to be blackened by a blow from the Chinese superpower.

    China has the world exactly where it wants it, on its knees, eyes downcast.

  3. 3 Dennis
    August 1, 2008 at 14:46

    Good Day, Peter and the Rest of the WHYS team in London…

    Yes, we have been turning a blind eye on China
    for many years, doing the things they have doing…

    Syracuse, New York

  4. 4 Bob in Queensland
    August 1, 2008 at 14:54

    Certainly the feeling I get from reading through lots of WHYS Talking Points is the nobody is turning a blind eye. China–and it’s abuses of human rights, subjugation of Tibet and blatant censorship are all major concerns.

  5. August 1, 2008 at 15:01

    In my opinion games like Olympics, World cup should be free from politics. However every field is interlinked in the 21st century. But if games are always politicized then its success will be overshadowed. No doubt whole world have to give pressure to China to improve human rights but this is high time to wish the success of Olympics.

  6. August 1, 2008 at 15:14

    China is great,
    and geografhically vast,
    being permanat memeber of the United Nation security council,
    it has played a remarkable role,
    in the world politics.

    He is a dependable friend,as proved by the relations with us(Pakistan)
    you will find its globle role based on justice ,
    and according the international law and regolations.

    I would like admire its role ,
    in regard to Palestine,Kashmire,and now Iran.

    No doublt,China is facing tough circumstances,inspite of holding Olympic Game due unrest created by Tibat.

    Only the one country on the eath,there is no terrorims,
    because there is faire political and social system

    Every cityzen has been gifted with legal and hunman rights,
    not availablein the whole world,
    specially european states which have descrbed the system as failed one.

    no inter fairence in the other ‘s domestic matters,it is fundamental principle of China.
    China is not ally of the states in the war of so called insurgency

  7. 7 Asad_Babyl
    August 1, 2008 at 15:19

    I believe that it’s none of our business how China, a sovereign nation conducts itself.

    The Olympic Games are not a podium from which to hurl political messages. It’s about sportsmanship, not politics.

    China’s record will improve gradually along with its economic situation. Us whimpering about “human rights” will not bring any real improvement to the situation.

  8. August 1, 2008 at 15:25

    The People’s Republic of China promotes separating politics from sports when it is inconvenient for them (i.e. human rights) and drops that policy in a heartbeat when it works in favour of their agenda (i.e. Chinese Taipei). From the moment the PRC participated in the Summer Games in 1984, they have insisted on denying the atheletes of the Republic of China on Taiwan to fly their national flag and play their national anthem. This demand affects the Chinese Taipei team not only in the Olympics but in all international sporting events.

    Aside from the cross-strait rivalry, there is a larger problem concerning the PRC. Most Westerners who care about international affairs are so focused on “Free Tibet,” which reflects the tendency of the elite to speak out about an issue without really knowing the underlying causes of the issue. Even if you free Tibet, you are not addressing the hundreds of millions of other Chinese living on the Mainland, who are subjected to the oppression of the authoritarian government on a daily basis. The issue is not about Han vs. Tibetan; it is about freedom vs. oppression. The oppressive policies of the Chinese Communist Party know no bounds.

    For the past twenty years, not just recently, the United States has turned a blind eye to the human rights violations of the PRC and continues to foster closer ties to a government whose political ideology is the complete opposite of that embedded in the United States Constitution and our government justifies its action for the sake of capitalism. The American people can protest all we want about whatever (Tibet, Darfur, Taiwan, etc), but as long as Corporate America wants friendly relations with the PRC, that’s what we’re going to get.

  9. 9 Bryan
    August 1, 2008 at 15:29

    Today we’re asking if, in the run up to the Olympics, we’re all turning a blind eye to China ?

    Yes, I’ll be turning a blind eye to China, but not in the sense that the question is meant. I wont be watching the Olympics or supporting it in any other way. Tibet aside, as long as China continues to approve and facilitate the slaughter in Sudan by supporting and arming the genocidal Islamist regime in Khartoum, the country has no right to host an event that is meant to embody the highest ideals of human endeavour.

  10. 10 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 1, 2008 at 15:33

    Hi Peter and WHYSers!

    Most people will get carried away by the spirit of competition, which itself will be a little hard to ignore given the sheer magnitude of an Olympic Games, the waiting period during the off years and the spectacle of seeing the event unfold – live. That, however, will not alter perceptions about China in terms of its human rights record or, as is the most recent incident, Tibet.

    However, what it will probably do is to lessen the tide of criticisms during this period. If nothing else the BBC has been leading the way in ensuring that we are all aware of why China’s efforts to get to the ‘head of the class’ is neither the most ideal, nor desired option. That will not stop over the course of the next two weeks!

  11. 11 Nick in Michigan
    August 1, 2008 at 15:36

    Our local sports commentator talked about this on NPR this morning:

    “One columnist wrote: The Olympics are of secondary importance, if any. This is the dictator’s day, and it is a good thing for the Americans present that this is so, because they have nothing important to learn from the athletes, but much to learn about absolute authority in government.

    I insist that it was a good thing to send an American team. If they didn’t learn their lesson this time they are beyond teaching.

    A sports writer named Westbrook Pegler wrote that. He was not reporting from Beijing in 2008, but Nazi Germany, in 1936. 72 years later, he’s still right.”

    John U. Bacon – Michigan Radio News – August 1 2008

    Full transcript:

  12. 12 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 1, 2008 at 15:39

    @ Byran,

    Thanks for your very insightful message above. I am tempted to read it though in the vein that the other world powers who claim human rights as a virtue and the situation in Sudan an egregious abuse of power, etc. are somehow complicit with and, therefore, are tacitly in agreement with some forms of Chinese foreign policy in this regard. Surely, there was knowledge that China would have been in the pool of nations bidding for the 2008 Olympics. That, that was allowed to happen and the Games were awarded are, themselves, the most political act on this matter. Someone has to give an account of why this is so. Not the Chinese themselves, as much as those who facilitated this platform, even with all the knowledge of why it would be a bad decision.

  13. 13 Anthony
    August 1, 2008 at 15:52

    I will be doing the same as Bryan. I will not be watching it at all. Not because it’s in China though, because I find it boring. I mean, how the heck is running around with a ribbon on a stick a sport??? That’s what you do with a cat!!!

    And what’s up with the 5 different mascots??? Trying to make 5 times the merchandising money$$$?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  14. August 1, 2008 at 15:59

    President Hu Jintao isn’t going to fool anyone with his “keeping politics out of sport” line. Of course the Olympics is about politics, it always has been.

    Today is the 70th anniversary of the 1938 Berlin Olympics. Of course that wasn’t political was it?! The whole “business” of sport is about politics, local, national, international, you name it. And when it’s not it’s about doping, or deviousness, cheating and scandal… actually it sounds just like politics doesn’t it!

    China has already turned their Olympics into a political platform, expect eggs and rotten tomatoes to follow.

    Continuing on the theme, maybe the athletes don’t have to compete at all, the winners could be voted in based on their electric tv presentations.
    Then we could add vote fixing and campaign fund scandals to add to the list.

    It’s at times like these that I am truly thankful I live without tv.
    And I feel sorry for anyone heading off to the sparking and invigorating Beijing air! Don’t forget the oxygen mask, and better think about buying a big tv screen instead.


  15. 15 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 1, 2008 at 16:02

    @ Anthony,

    Different strokes for different folks! Tell the Rhythmic Gymnasts that they are not athletes and see what happens! LOL!

  16. 16 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 1, 2008 at 16:05

    I rather like the passion and colour of the Olympics. The truth is, it is first time that I will be aware of the politics associated with the Games, as all the other times, like Moscow and Seoul for instance, I was a child and could not grasp the gravity of the politics. I must say I am now looking with different eyes and am eager to see the Games with these different dimensions added to it. The next couple of weeks should be a very interesting experience.

  17. 17 Taban Alfred David
    August 1, 2008 at 16:12

    it is a big yes, we have to turn a blind eye to China.
    China is always working agains human rights, both in China and in my Country Sudan, like in Darfur.

  18. 18 Anthony
    August 1, 2008 at 16:15

    @ rawpoliticsjamaicastyle

    They would probably strangle me with their pretty little ribbon, lol! I’d have to battle them with a feather!

    Also, I wonder why they stopped cricket as an olympic sport? It seems like a lot of countries play!!! I’d like to see Tug-O-War come back!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  19. August 1, 2008 at 16:15

    The Olympic Games should be seen as a sport event that transcends all forms of politics. It’s not public protests that can deter the Chinese authorities from pursuing their current human records that are subject to criticism from human rights organisations. The OG should be seen as a moment of celebrations that should be separated from political issues.

    The Chinese government was sent loud messages about its policy in Tibet and other parts of China leading to the disruption of the Olympic torch in Europe and the USA, which forced the organisers to change its avenues, but this didn’t force the Chinese to change the avenues of their policies.

    As such, the Olympic Games are an occasion to give worldwide publicity about unresolved issues, but the OG should be left within their spirit. The focus should be on clean competition without doping. If the OG succeed in instilling the spirit of fairness among the competitors and the spectators, this should be an achievement. Seeking to change the world thanks to a short- lived event amounts to utopia. To be realistic, let’s enjoy the OG, which are a special occasion for all qualified sportsmen. Let politics be tackled in a different avenue and time.

  20. 20 Mrs Giles
    August 1, 2008 at 16:18

    My family & I will be watching with the true Olympic spirit of acceptance & tolerance.
    But we have the hopes that awareness and understanding have and will move several steps forward.
    My family has made a concerted effort to not buy cheap products made in China.
    Most of China’s imports end up in our landfills.
    Of course, a lot of us admire China’s business talents, but is opportunism truly something that should be admired? Especially when their prosperity has helped to buy vast amounts of American owned corporations as well as American real estate.
    I am far from racist, but I do believe that as Americans, we should own a majority of our own country.
    Yes, years from now, races will be so mixed, that we cannot any longer differentiate our affiliations, so animosity will not be possible in a truly global marketplace. But we are not living in an ideal world and should be very concerned about the nature of opportunism.

  21. 21 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    August 1, 2008 at 16:19

    Turnout to the Olympics is gonna show how the world is unconscious. From now hence any International meeting should demand first human-rights records of a hosting country.

  22. 22 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    August 1, 2008 at 16:25

    The International Community is blind. So, what do you expect from it? very soon they will organize these Olympics in Sudan!

  23. 23 Tom D Ford
    August 1, 2008 at 16:43

    “Can you park your ethics someplace else for those two weeks, and ignore (its critics would say) the REAL China ?”

    Oh for goodness sakes.

    If you own anything made in China and sold by western businesses, you already parked your conscience and your hands are dirty. You supported human rights abuses with your wallet.

  24. 24 viola
    August 1, 2008 at 16:48

    Most people can hold more than one idea at a time in their heads.

    So, no, following the Games doesn’t mean they will forget about other issues. The Games have been dogged by politicization since they started. It’s only becomes a real problem when the athletes who have worked so hard don’t get to participate, which has happened in the past, wrongly so in my opinion.

  25. 25 Nick in USA
    August 1, 2008 at 16:50

    @ Anthony

    I agree that the olympics are boring. They are just a merchandising opportunity. Then again, I watch very few professional sporting events. I would rather play sports than watch them on tv. The one exception is mixed martial arts. I like to do martial arts training, but I certainly don’t want to get in the ring/ cage and take a pounding everyday.

  26. 26 Anthony
    August 1, 2008 at 16:55

    @ Nick in USA

    Oh how I wish that MMA (mixed martial arts) was part of the olympics!!! I would LOVE to watch all the countries compete in that event!!! Imagine how GREAT that would be!!!

    Also, did you see that poll results stating the sport they care about most in China in Ping-Pong? It just seems….funny to me.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  27. 27 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 1, 2008 at 17:04

    @ Anthony,

    I must confess my ignorance. I was not even aware that cricket were part of the Olympics, at one time. Perhaps, it is that they felt that more American-style sports were better suited to large viewing audiences in that country. After all, as far as I am aware, Canada (a North American country) also plays cricket….I am just not sure how the Tug-o-War would work as a competitive sport!

    Seriously, though, I am of the view that the politiicisation of the Olympics really becomes obvious in cases like China, to some extent Seoul and, certainly, Moscow. The otherness factor cannot be ignored here!

  28. 28 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 17:13

    *blog rant*: No WHYS daily email yesterday and today. Very unusual.

  29. 29 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 1, 2008 at 17:16

    @ nelsoni,

    True! What’s happening? I may have got one the day before, though…I am not sure!

  30. 30 Andrew
    August 1, 2008 at 17:23

    Of course the world for the most part is turning a blind eye to what is really going on in China.

    We tut tut Zimbabwe, feel appalled at Darfur, berate the Burmese generals, but we just seem to not care too much apart from some superficial hand wringing over Tibet.

    Anyway, here is a big sporting event, time for jingoistic nationalism and armchair jockeying along with massive profits to be made by corporations at this long awaited mega event. When it comes to money we will just turn away and smile.

    For the communist Chinese it is a boon to show off in the same way the Soviets did, but it will be just another totalitarian, robotic display of the glories of the motherland which should fool none, but will fool all into a collective “ohhhhhhhhhhh.” The naive belief by IOC chiefs that this will in some way change the regime into opening up or changing is just that, utterly optimistic and hopelessly foolish.

    Once the Olympics are over, things will go back to the way it was, the Chinese have an extremely long term view of the future and they see themselves being there for a very long time to come doing what they do now and being in total control.

    I don’t know what the answer is for such a huge and disparate population as China is, but the system there now is certainly not the answer.

  31. 31 nelsoni
    August 1, 2008 at 17:25

    No right thinking person will, however does it really matter whether the world turns a blind or not What difference does it make? None.

  32. 32 kpellyhezekiah
    August 1, 2008 at 17:30

    We are turning a blind eye not only to China but to the the whole world as journalists. I’m saying so because we( the journalists) have chicken out and refuse to stand up and be counted everywhere, handing over not only our fate but democracy as a whole to the politicians and the multi-national organisations. I was pleasantly suprised when in the news yesterday a heard that the bbc site was also one of the numerous sites that the chinese government had blocked. The first news that came out on the blocking told us that it affected only amnesty international and some other sites describled by the chinese authorities as being ‘sensitive’. Then came the news that they are allowing passage of more sites. Please, its time we stand up for freedom of speech in full force to teach people all over the world that when your human rights are being trampled upon you got to stand up and fight for it. To this end all journalists must tell lthe chinese head of state that we would take very serious actions such as total boycot of broadcasting of the games if they do not give in to the original agreement we said before awarding the games to them which is that no blockage of sites. when they see our seriousness and how much it will affect their pockets they will think twice and do the right things. We already know what it is to be living under dictatorships. Let’s use our tools to begin the freedom march of all the oppressed people in the world. We aren’t now going to start having the feel of it. We already know it.

  33. 33 Pam
    August 1, 2008 at 17:31

    I won’t be watching. The athletes are all a bunch of cheats taking steroids and drugs. They are not real athletes. The olympics should be banned because of this and it has become too political as well.

  34. August 1, 2008 at 17:31

    I think the Olympic Games has opened a pandora box for several reform issues that have been gloss over by the Chinese authorities. While it is true that right groups are using the media to voice out some of these misgivings, we just hope that this will not erode the age-old olympian spirit and enthusiasm. Let the games play and the politics later.

  35. August 1, 2008 at 17:33

    Hi gang ! :-)…Ah, BROVO to China for exposing our miserable world’s double standards when it comes to how to deal with human rights abuses ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  36. 36 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 17:38

    @ Michael Chung in Hong Kong
    I just check in but when I saw the comment I was incensed.
    Tibet was a free and sovereign country until China invaded and raped it.
    You need to withdraw and pay reparations to Tibet.
    How dare anyone say that “it is hard to control Tibet without violence”? That statement is an insult to all human beings that love freedom and justice.
    Watch the video and learn the truth not the rancid pabulum the Chinese Government has forcefed its peeople.


  37. 37 John in Salem
    August 1, 2008 at 17:43

    Quite the contrary – I’m more interested in seeing the Chinese turn Fact-Juggling into an Olympic event than in the Games themselves.

  38. August 1, 2008 at 17:48

    Like Tom D Ford paraphrased, we might all have some ethhical issues with China, it is only prudent that we disabuse ourselves for a while and follow the games in the spirit of it. There will always be contentious issues in any given polity.

  39. 39 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 17:48

    In an extereme act of arrogance and duplicity China complains about interference in its internal affairs but feels free to insert itself in the internal affairs of other nations and people.
    The human rights abuses by China against it own citizens, the abuses inflicted upon other nations the rape of Tibet must be brought into the light for the entire world to see the decay that is eating China from within and destroying history and culture of many nations.

  40. 40 Jon Davis
    August 1, 2008 at 17:59

    The world in general has turned a blind eye to the atrocious human rights record of China. Nothing new though. I was at a conference recently where they were discussing how much better it is now that poor countries have the opportunity to get financial help from the Chinese rather than the oppressive Americans and Europeans. Apparently, they, like many others are blind to Tiannamen Square, Khmer Rouge, Tibet, Burma, death rate of miners in China, abuse of workers in China. The time to have made a difference was back when China was being considered as a venue. I was angry, but, I am ashamed to say, was not much of an activist in that regard. Now, all the activists are jumping on the anti-Olympic bandwagon. Too late now.

    I will not park my ethics. I will not be watching.

    Thank You,


  41. 41 Jean
    August 1, 2008 at 18:00

    Hi….this is Jean in Cleveland, OH

    Can’t think of why the Olympic Committee chose a country that does not believe in human rights and also is one of the most unhealthy countries in the world. According to all I have seen on television the smog alone will just about knock the athletes out. How can you do your best if you cannot breath. Having no standards for keeping lead out of toys, etc and having no environmental standards, plus their attitude that the chinese are like chattel I am at a loss to explain why the world athletes are even going there. Am I the only person that feels this way????

  42. 42 Nick in USA
    August 1, 2008 at 18:01

    @ Anthony

    It’s true, Ping Pong is huge there. It was on tv often when I lived in Taiwan. I suppose it’s just as valuable as NBA basketball though. The guys who play it are actually amazing atheletes. Either way, I’m not going to watch ping pong or the NBA.

  43. 43 Mike
    August 1, 2008 at 18:01

    The Olympics were to show China as a modern, democratic country. So far, the Olympics and events preceding it have shown China for what it is, an autocratic nation with limited civil liberties pretending to be a liberal state. It may have taken Western nations 100s of year to create the Western democratic nation, as many Chinese bloggers point out; but that is because they were creating something new. The model exists now and there are no acceptable excuses for delaying Chinese democracy. Mike, California, United States

  44. 44 dp in Hong Kong
    August 1, 2008 at 18:05

    Anyone who has travelled to China over the past 30 years will know, China has improved no end and people have much more freedom than before and a much better lifestyle. I do wish the press (most with no knowledge of China’s history) would stop comparing China to western countries.


  45. 45 P Kohler, Washington DC USA
    August 1, 2008 at 18:09

    Sure it’s “softening”. Just like Nazi Germany “softened” when for a few weeks in August 1936 during the Berlin Games it ordained that “Jews Not Allowed” signs be removed from cafes and park benches and fewer Jews were beaten up on the streets. Then as now, it was the delusional thought that granting the Olympic Games to a dictatorship will “reform” it when in reality it merely proves how calculating, controlling and cynical such regimes can be. Before, during and after these silly things. P Kohler, Washington DC USA

  46. 46 Julie P
    August 1, 2008 at 18:10

    If this were the winter Olympics I would care. I still love Eddie the Eagle and the Jamacian bobsled team from the 1988 Winter Olympics.

  47. 47 C Peters, Bristol
    August 1, 2008 at 18:12

    The BBC has been China-bashing all the way up to the Olympics. Give them a break! They have seen a drastic improvement in living standards and human rights, albeit they have some way to go. Regime changesin China our historically brutal, so I can see why they are taking liberalisation one at a time. If we genuinely believe in democracy then they will need no international pressure, as if our system is the best, they will eventually adopt it. C Peters, Bristol

  48. 48 Auspicious Ndamuwa, LL, Malawi.
    August 1, 2008 at 18:14

    Yes. As long as countries honour and paticipate in the Olympics, China will for a long time continue to violate human rights. The biggest hypocrite in all this affair is George Walker Bush if he goes ahead to attend the opening ceremony of the oOlympics. Indeed for two weeks the world will be dazzled by a show of force from a country that does not care a hoot to improve its human rights record.
    China is trying to teach us something here-that America and her western allies cannot douse the fire that she (China) has. Shame on the Olympics, shame on all of us that have hypocritically acknowledged China’s show of defiance through the participation.
    Auspicious Ndamuwa, LL, Malawi.

  49. August 1, 2008 at 18:15

    oh! Lay off. I am not born in China,can’t write or read Chinese,know history of the West better than any of you,but geneticwise am chinese. To BBC, I have trusted you over 30 years,to USA ,if you can stand Bush for 8 Years,leave Asia alone for once. If you want to have fun, watch G W Bush body language when he walks in for the Opening Ceremony in Beijing. Don’t believe me,go to youtube. Even BBC is on youtube!

  50. 50 Arnaud N Rwandan in Cameroon
    August 1, 2008 at 18:15

    Turnout to the Olympics is gonna show how the world is unconscious. From now hence any International meeting should demand first human-rights records of a hosting country.

    Arnaud N Rwandan in Cameroon

  51. August 1, 2008 at 18:23

    The games date back to warring tribes of Greece. “Citizens” of the Athenian City-State were exclusively male property owners. Slavery was legal throughout Greece, and the concept of human rights was virtually non-existent at that time. The games, in which athletes from a variety of military states competed, were about Greek solidarity.

    The Olympic games are a worldwide event. There are terrible human rights violations that happen all over the world. The United States, for example, has held alleged terrorists for years without trial, subjecting them to what Geneva defines as torture. Yet I doubt that there would be this kind of human rights discussion if the games were being held in New York this year. While it is true that China is guilty of human rights violations, this travesty of justice is outside the scope of the games. The Chinese deserve our criticism, but if we want to take political action for their policies in Tibet, we need to hit them where it hurts – in the pocketbook: we simply boycott companies that manufacture their products in China.


  52. 52 Jeff
    August 1, 2008 at 18:25

    I for one am going to boycott watching the Olympics this year in protest to China’s human rights issues. I did the same for each Olympics when held in a country that abuses human rights, including my own country the United Sates of America.

    I do not want governments, companies, or individuals to profit from the abuse of human rights. It is wrong and immoral.

    Portland, Oregon USA

  53. 53 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 18:29

    I think that the Olympic Committee deliberatly chose China so that the entire world can see the autocratic Government, human rights abuses and how poorly they treat their own people.
    What China did to Tibet was on a par with Nazi Germany’s extermination of Jews and Stalin murdering 100 million Russians.

    @ Ochink
    The difference between China and the West is that in civilized societies criticism is without retribution and mechanisms exist to make corrections.
    We do not build walls around less developed areas of our cities to shield them from the eyes of Olympic visitors.
    We have lots of problems and will continue to do so but we have FREEDOM. Freedom to complain, expose abuses, live our lives as WE desire and help those nations that are less successful than ours.
    Wwe will NOT let China alone.

  54. 54 steve
    August 1, 2008 at 18:30

    @ Jeff

    Something tells me that you’d have to boycott every olympics then.

  55. 55 Andrew
    August 1, 2008 at 18:30

    Of course the world for the most part is turning a blind eye to what is really going on in China. We tut tut Zimbabwe, feel appalled at Darfur, berate the Burmese generals, but we just seem to not care too much apart from some superficial hand wringing over Tibet.

    Anyway, here is a big sporting event, time for jingoistic nationalism and armchair jockeying along with massive profits to be made by corporations at this long awaited mega event. When it comes to money we will just turn away and smile.

    For the communist Chinese it is a boon to show off in the same way the Soviets did, but it will be just another totalitarian, robotic display of the glories of the motherland which should fool none, but will fool all into a collective “ohhhhhhhhhhh.” The naive belief by IOC chiefs that this will in some way change the regime into opening up or changing is just that, utterly optimistic and hopelessly foolish.

    Once the Olympics are over, things will go back to the way it was, the Chinese have an extremely long term view of the future and they see themselves being there for a very long time to come doing what they do now and being in total control.

    I don’t know what the answer is for such a huge and disparate population as China is, but the system there now is certainly not the answer.



  56. 56 Anthony
    August 1, 2008 at 18:32

    Just think, the next time we (the USA) get to host it, no one will have any reason to boycott us, right???

    p.s. Hahaha, lol

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  57. 57 Andrew
    August 1, 2008 at 18:37

    But all Olympics are about politics (of the host nation) and money (corporations and athletes improving their marketability). It has not been about sports and competition for a long time. Sadly, money and politics are the ultimate winners and unless a major shift occurs in the world it is not likely to be anything else.



  58. 58 _
    August 1, 2008 at 18:38

    If you really want to oppose China’s human rights record, protesting at the games will only alienate the Chinese people. Maybe we should be trying to have a dialogue with the Chinese people not just criticizing the government. Also, if you choose to protest, maybe boycotting Chinese goods would be a more effective statement rahter than using a venue for global unity for divisive political debate.

  59. 59 Tom D Ford
    August 1, 2008 at 18:39

    Here’s a different view from the current propaganda about Tibet; and if true, we could probably say that the Chinese actually liberated the Tibetan people, food for thought anyway:

    Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth


  60. 60 Kiru in Jamaica
    August 1, 2008 at 18:41

    Kiru in Jamaica – I think we in the west doth protest too much. We knew the deal with China beforehand and now we are crying foul. Ridiculous!

  61. 61 PMR
    August 1, 2008 at 18:42

    I felt like the moderator mischaracterized Davidas’s comments a little bit. He made it seem like Davidas was suggesting a callous overlooking of Chinese’s legal violations. I think all Davidas was trying to say was that China is simply taking advantage of a lack of regulation in terms of who is qualified and allowed to host the Olympics. So until we impose certain standards on Olympic hosts, we need to focus on the games and live with our choices.

  62. 62 Ann Anderson
    August 1, 2008 at 18:42

    Are we forgetting the athletes that have worked hard to get to the Olympics.? While we can not forget the problems, it is about the competition. The Olympics broadens the human rights discussion but we should still watch and celebrate the people who participate.

  63. 63 Philippa in Holland
    August 1, 2008 at 18:42

    Hardly a day has gone by, in the past three to six months, without some discussion or other of China’s human rights record. If this is what your call “turning a blind eye”, I would hate to see you focus on the problem. China has also, in the past 15 years, pulled in excess of 400 million out of poverty. To compare: the west has attempted for decades to relieve poverty in Africa, with next to no result.

    Also, China has not attacked its neighbors, in fact destroyed entire countries, as the west has done. I think a little bit of humility is in order on the subject of human rights.

    Philippa B

  64. 64 Tad C
    August 1, 2008 at 18:43

    Dear WHYS:

    I have become totally frustrated with the lack of hard-hitting “news” on American “news” channels. Any time we have an opportunity to talk about human rights abuses by China, Sudan, Colombia, the United States, or anyone, I applaud the coverage. If the media see the Olympics as a platform for discussing human rights, I say “Bravo!!!”

    Tad C
    Temple, Texas, United States

  65. 65 Claire Jamoulle
    August 1, 2008 at 18:45

    The last speaker had a very good point in saying that because China is in the spotlight hosting the Olympic Games – how can we judge another country? Are we all perfect ? Look at history – the British were responsible for the opium trade and their strategy of divide and fall has created today’s problems as other countries that have colonised the world.

    (From Belgium)

    Yes their human rights is completely “over the top” – we have seen certain documentaries showing people being bullied off their land because new buildings have to be built for the Olympic games etc. etc. Internet and world news have brought China closer to everyone.

    I believe the Olympic Games have targetted all China’s problems.

    When Britain have the Olympics in the U.K. will people ask why are there so many homeless and yet the U.K. Government is spending an absolute fortune on the Olympics ?

    We should accept that sports people are in China after training for many years to get there because of their excellence in their individual sports fields.

    Let’s get on with it!


  66. August 1, 2008 at 18:46

    The only thing China has shown to the world is its ability to make money. Shame on them and shame on us for letting Money continue to be the only thing that gives a country a free pass.

  67. 67 W N
    August 1, 2008 at 18:48

    Again, we are seeing the worst of the reactionary instincts of the BBC, which appear on WHYS.

    Today, China is not the most feared country among other nations. Surely, the rest of the world–and their citizens–fully understand what is going on. They are afraid of the United States’ ‘war on terror’ in collaboration with its lackey, Britain. This ‘axis of regime change’ is responsible for more deaths and displaced people today than we have seen in recent memory. I am referring to the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, which must number over six million displaced.

    China, on the other hand, is more interested in world trade and securing raw materials and oil supplies from around the world. China is engaged with the world in many areas.

    Of course, I do not like what China is doing within its borders, to its own people and to the people of Tibet. However, China has lifted the lives of hundreds of millions of people. That ought to count for something! China is more interested in fostering trade ties more than any other country in the world.

    Get real!

    W N
    Madison, WI

  68. 68 Dan
    August 1, 2008 at 18:48

    @ Philippa in Holland
    I think that all will take issue with “China has not attacked its neighbors”.
    You are ignoring history and current events.
    Have you not heard about Tibet and what China has done and is doing to destroy the entire country and replace the Tibetans with ethnic Chinese?
    Let’s also look at Darfur, Mozambique and Iran. It is time to open your eyes.

  69. 69 W N
    August 1, 2008 at 18:54

    Of course, I do not like what China is doing within its borders, to its own people and to the people of Tibet. However, China has lifted the lives of hundreds of millions of people. That ought to count for something! China is more interested in fostering trade ties more than any other country in the world.

    Your words of “are we turning a blind eye to China in the run-up to the Olympics” is farcical. The US-UK axis is in no position to lecture to the world, let alone the Chinese, about democracy and human rights. As that pithy Indian writer, Arundhati Roy, mentions that the western world’s pet peeve is to make an issue of democracy whenever it suits them. Anymore, such rants from the West are increasingly being ignored and making them irrelevant! Iran is showing the limits of the Empire’s reach!

    One more thing about democracy: there are many forms and the western varieties are not the choicest cuts. With all the fraudulent elections in the US (since 2000) what standing does the US have to define democracy?

    Get real!

    W N
    Madison, WI

  70. 70 Nandan in Kabul
    August 1, 2008 at 18:55

    this is not the time to row about things. It is time to celebrate. people should just enjoy this 15 days. afterwards we can critisise. people are just critisising china without looking at their achievements – 400m people out of poverty.

  71. 71 Arthur
    August 1, 2008 at 18:56

    If China was’nt capable of doing olympics,why did the comitee decided to?Its, that people are jealous.Its a curicial peroid for china,they can’t take any false step & it’s easy to blame.Should there be no false elongated issue of pollution & tibet e.t.c. These condition wouldnt have come. Arthur,Nepal

  72. 72 JETHRO Kandasamy Bognor regis
    August 1, 2008 at 18:56

    We can not even demand countries that depend on aid from West to comply with human rights,their excuse is war on terror and sovereignty. We can not even raise the issue with China let alone get them to comply with HR laws. JETHRO Kandasamy Bognor regis

  73. 73 Babi, Malaysia.
    August 1, 2008 at 18:57

    Are we turning a blind eye to China’ human rights? Of course we are. We do the same to Guantanamo, Dafur, Middle East, Africa and Australia. Only difference is, this is committed by China. – Babi, Malaysia.

  74. 74 __
    August 1, 2008 at 18:59

    Western countries are so hypocrites! Where is all those politicians who claim 2b champions 4 human rights when they called 2 boycote Zimbabwe in cricket. It’s all about interests.

  75. 75 Lucie Rozmankova
    August 1, 2008 at 19:01

    Hi, I see the Olympics in China as a great opportunity to put their poor human rights record on light.

    I am not going to watch it. I wish athletes the best, they deserve to be praised. On the other hand, I feel so utterly destroyed by the Chinese treatment of the problems for example in Burma and constant vetoing any solution suggested by the UN. I simply have no apetite and power to watch it. Olympic games is not only about a sport, it is one of the cultural diplomacy crucial events. I simply cannot bear watching the great spectacle of the opening ceremony and thinking that they set the date for it for the anniversary for the suppresed Burma uprising in 1988 and have the responsibility for disastrous development after 1988.

    It is incredibly unsensitive and arrogant. I simply cannot bear watcing it.

    Lucie, R., Prague, Czech Republic

  76. 76 Tom D Ford
    August 1, 2008 at 19:05

    Does anyone know how much money is made by the people who own the Olympics?

  77. 77 Philippa
    August 1, 2008 at 19:10

    Including Mia Farrow in your program is ok, but you should have cut off at the point when she said that she didn’t care about humiliating China. Anyone who doesn’t care about humiliating a giant is… in short, slightly insane.

    I hope I don’t get to hear her reports on the BBC during the games.

  78. 78 Disa
    August 1, 2008 at 19:13

    I am concerned with the lack of humanity in our world today, the China Olympics are of no interest to me. has the USA sold our freedom? They are communist for starters, we have been sending them all our jobs, the greed of the west has put these creeps, these ignoble immoral human rights violaters in such a position, that I imagine their flag hanging over more than an embassey, here in the USA,

    The whole of Africa is in danger of being raped of resoures at the hand of these monsters,

    How can finacial benefit out weigh the compassion and love of human life. No the Chinese need to change their dealings. I say that force needs to be taken, shake their status quo, they should be deeply shameful for they are a disgrace to humanity.

    To the man who said we have the wrong perception of modern China, what exactly have the Falun Gong practitioners done that is so wrong?

  79. 79 Ernest
    August 1, 2008 at 19:26

    I like d game bt i hate d host who s usin d suferin, blood, dead of dafors 2 build their country. Ernest 4m nigeria

  80. 80 Ra'uf Nigeria
    August 1, 2008 at 19:29

    The world might have turned a blind eye on Communist China and its Human Right issues, but we’ll be there for the Games, for our atheletes,where I’m sure many of us will get to experience what millions of civillian Chinese go through everyday, one way or another.

  81. 81 SETH IN GHANA
    August 1, 2008 at 19:36


  82. 82 FATIU from NIGERIA
    August 1, 2008 at 19:42

    FATIU from NIGERIA The game should go on&we will watch but China must respect visitors&honour them,they should be ready to abolish some acts

  83. 83 Peter
    August 1, 2008 at 19:43

    Wow! Mia Farrow is adamant with her support for Dalfourese rebels. I think she should help in the Palestinian cause. Peter Singapore.

  84. 84 James Ngobiro Eldoret Kenya
    August 1, 2008 at 19:44

    Chinese govt are violaters of human rights they even use chinese prisoners to work in projects eg road contractions in Africa James Ngobiro Eldoret Kenya

  85. 85 Tom D Ford
    August 1, 2008 at 19:50

    In answer to my own question above here is the Olympics website:

    “The IOC is an international non-governmental non-profit organisation and the creator of the Olympic Movement.”


  86. 86 Thomas Murray
    August 1, 2008 at 19:55

    To Whom…

    Knowing a little Chinese history, the Chinese have always had the type of government they do now: an autocratic meritocracy; whose past regimes were far far more brutal than they are now — an observation that can be made of any of us, I suppose.

    Chinese society is just what they’re used to. As an American, I would feel uncomfortable living under England’s monarchy, no matter how symbolic it is. So it’s unfair to impose our western ideal of democracy on a civilization who’s been governing themselves their own way for at least five millennia.

    Cut ’em some slack. –Thomas Murray, Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  87. 87 Kenan Miruka-Kenya
    August 1, 2008 at 19:58

    Not really turning a blind eye. The fun and beauty is likely to blindfold us. It’s upto the media to highlight the two faces of China. Kenan Miruka-Kenya

  88. 88 CnInDC
    August 1, 2008 at 20:16

    The new Pew Global Attitudes survey says 86% Chinese think their country is on the right direction, the highest among all nations in the world.

    Click to access 261.pdf

    If they are happy, who are you to tell them what they should or should not do? If you’re not happy with where your country is heading to, please don’t take it on China. Mind you own business, that’s what you can learn from China. Trying to be the world police? All you get left is a big mouth like BBC.

  89. 89 Aaron Keeley
    August 1, 2008 at 20:24

    I think it will be interesting to read about the Olympics after the games are over and the athletes, journalists, and tourists return to their home countries- most of which allow criticism of the games to be published more freely. In short, my question is how long (and to what extent) will we turn a blind eye to China.

  90. August 1, 2008 at 20:26

    We have been turning a “blind eye” to China for years. Long before the Olympics had anything to do with it, they were sending our children lead painted toys for god’s sake. We didn’t even pause in our purchase of their good. When our pets started dying because of tainted dog food, nothing in the way of response came from our government. They produce using standards we consider reckless and immoral in this country. Yet we can’t go to a retail outlet that isn’t selling those products on their shelves. We rant about illegal immigration and cheap labor dragging our economy down, yet they are a nation doing the exact same thing from the other side of the world.

    I wonder how far it would go. If they sent strychnine laced pacifiers to the US would we stop imports then?

    The Olympics is just another “product” that this “great nation of hypocrites” known as the US is willing to buy from China.

  91. 91 Gok
    August 1, 2008 at 20:47

    China should leaves to play the politic out for Olympics; It just fun for those who like to watch the games will be playing. The Chinese gov. should not strike supporters rights or human rights who want to attending the Olympics. It is business for them, It may let them lose get from $ that chances on this year. Also, I agreed with those who said that, the rest of the world should do something about the China, because that is abuse for the human rights.

  92. 92 Syed Hasan Turab
    August 1, 2008 at 21:51

    Infact no one is sincear with China’s humanitarian culture & Communist society.
    All these humanitarian issues are tool & hinderance’s against Chinese economic growth from 20 billion’s to 1000 billions record achievement’s of 30 years with an status of Financial super power.
    Infact all these achievements are because of contiminated & crucket terms & condition’s of world bank, world trade center’s & IMF to finance any nation with a financial rip off strategy. On the other hand China is growing with his Libral Trade policies without political terms & condition’s along with accomodative behaviour.
    While compairing the financial & Ecomic achievement’s of EU & USA from 1945 to 1965 seems identical to China, infact what ever China achieved in Thirty Years EU & USA achieved in twenty years after Nazi war.
    Therefore it is requested please sort out the people behind the curtain with policies of Credit Check, Back ground check, ploitical terms & condition’s by way of using there knowledge & skill against prevailing human society with negative behaviour & double standard.
    A big time credict card scame is a proven economic desaster in US society as all this business been owned & operated by the same people. After all an investagation is required to point out Financial Terrorists of our society.

  93. 93 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 2, 2008 at 03:11

    One of the speakers on today’s programme made a very interesting point – the Olympics have always been political. She pointed out how politics was made obvious in Moscow, Los Angeles and Seoul, in particular, but also Mexico City. While, I am not a cheerleader for Chinese leadership styles, I certainly do not know that the Olympics can necessarilly be the means by which a culture/ society effects regime change. Indeed, I find the criticisms of China most hypocritical in terms of the hosting of the Olympic Games, as a result. Not only do I plan on watching the Olympics but also get completely lost in it. We know that all will go back to ‘normal’ afterwards, however, one thing is certain China did not get to be in the place it is in without some sort of tacit support from those who now criticise it.

  94. 94 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 2, 2008 at 03:18

    In fact, I would go so far as to say that the notion of ‘turning a blind eye’ started when the Chinese were awarded the Games. As there was no crisis of conscience then, I fail to see how the Games, by themselves, will effect meaningful change in how the country is goverened as well as increase China’s profile in terms of human rights. I completely endorse the points made above in relation to how money is used to ‘justify’ our ignorance of glaring abuses the world over, like the holocaust in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, etc.

    Our consciences died a very long time ago, I suspect, as people have even suggested in this forum some time ago that aid agencies should starve communities in dire need of food and other aid supplies in the interests of smoking of the criminal leaders of such societies. Talk about our values being out of wack! Hollywood has so blinded us now we believe that all problems can be solved with the wave of a wand and that human suffering is unreal! Wake up, people!

  95. 95 Virginia Davis
    August 2, 2008 at 05:14

    @ Tom Ford:

    Thanks for Parenti history of Tibet. Very interesting. And well documented.

    Virginia in Oregon

  96. 96 Rick
    August 2, 2008 at 08:20

    The Bejing Olympics have brought an unprecidented opportunity to expose China’s shortcomings to the rest of the world. Interest in Tibet, their pollution, human rights and their activities in Africa are in the spotlight like never before.

  97. 97 parth guragain
    August 2, 2008 at 09:51

    who is saying that world is turning blind eye on china ,instead china is getting scuritinized for every minor issues.we should appericiate that west is trying for spreading human rights and individual libirties all around world .But what we see sometimes that they stretch themselves very much in those cases when other countries are not in line to their policies.china is only victimized becoz of this.there are countries like india which is democracy in name only.people of far east doesn’t have feeling of being indian only hindi heartland is considered india.any voice of discontent in these far region of india have been crushed since years.these areas doesn’t get covered by indian nor western media.it is only becoz india is in line with estern capatilistic policies that bno one in west is critisizing ovewr its humanrights issues.what we should appericiate that how much china have grown economically.we are saying that india is shining but it is shining in cities and no one cares about people in village.farmers are commiting sucide and people in parliament are trading in money openly in parliament .this is the state of democracy and these issues doesn’t get world wide media coverage .these things are been done delebrately by western media so that countries which are in there policies line doesn’t get negative coverare.people in the parliament show these kind of horse trading in parliament then you can imagine the state of human rights in india .do not criticize anyone for sake of criticizing only.what we have seen that western media and ngos are champions to use these kind s of events to demonise those countries which are not in their policies line .wake up and appericiate what china have done to lift it’s people above poverty.

  98. 98 Desmond Derrington
    August 2, 2008 at 14:04

    No doubt there are matters of civil rights in China where there must be improvement, but the criticisms do not reasonably take into account the serious difficulties faced by its government, the creditable advances that have been made, and their apparent willingness to advance further, but incrementally in the Asian way. The latter should be monitored, but fairly and with understanding of the circumstantial context.
    On the other hand, the BBC’s constant (several times a day) negative comments on China do more to discredit the BBC than China. You cannot say a positive thing about it without injecting something negative, and some of the totally negative commentaries have been puerile, exacerbated by melodramatic speech. There almost seems to be an obsession.
    Three possible reasons suggest themselves, the kindest of which is that it is tabloid sensationalism. Another is envy of the country’s advance in influence. The third, unlikely but possible, is that there is a deliberate political motive.
    Please, may we have some balance? Valid criticism within reason, yes. But fairness, and swith ome relief from the constant flow of cheap negativity.
    I value the BBC, but my appreciation is being eroded by this conduct on this and some other subjects.

  99. 99 Abubakar lawal, Nigeria
    August 3, 2008 at 13:42

    One thing that bothers me though is this what does china want with tibet,hongkong,taiwan, arent its several millions population enough…why tibet and the rest.they havent even managed the population in china itself,yet they bother innocent countries.

    china shouldnt have even been given the hosting rights in the first place.
    Its all about Double standards.

  100. 100 Emile Barre
    August 3, 2008 at 14:21

    Yes. But that is also the case with Burma(whats the current deathtoll 100k?200k ?300k?)and other human rights violators.

  101. 101 Abubakar lawal, Nigeria
    August 3, 2008 at 18:56

    i quite agree with you emile….even the US of A is also an offender…(Irak comes to mind) no wonder they are all turning a blind eye to China…talk about birds of the same feather flocking together.

  102. 102 Syed Hasan Turab
    August 3, 2008 at 20:01

    First of all concept of Human rights & our unstratigic goals by way of politicising OLYMPIC games dosent sound decent behaviour with a semi isolated culture & society with a good size of population & economic super power of the world.
    Political issue’s of TIBAT & HUMAN RIGHTS may be identified a differance between our theories & practical.
    Tibet issue been projected by Corrupt India with out any base as we all know India itself is an another name of Human rights abuse by way of recognising Cast Hindoo base Society & culture along with deploying million of Army to create human desaster in Kashmir & Behar. According to ground realities Indian Govt dont have capability to resolve the political issues as the situation of Human Rights is getting worst each & every day compairing to China, no doubt population & disobediency with birth controll is one of the factor too.
    Under these circumstancises controll of disputed Tibet terrority may not be assigned to India, as Tibet have a right to rule over Tibat’s well dominated Budhest religion instead of Hindooism, and China accepted there right’s to live with religious & political freedom.
    Now both issues of Tibet & Human rights indirectly ignored at the economic front by opposition as our market’s are full with Made in China products & we love to buy these products, in other words we dont support our Govt & dont believe on there charges. Fact is this all diversified societies are full with Humanetrian issue’s even worst then China though handling style is differant & we spend lot of money to resolve humanetrian issues compairing to Communist’s.
    How much freedom of speech we have in our cout of Law when ever a suspect challange to possible doubt’s in the presance of jury & Judge dont allow Jury to listen the “Double Standard” behaviour of our law enforcement agencies.
    How about entitelement of voting rights, how about medical facilities, how about drugs abuse & welfare pride society?
    All these issues are directly related with basic human rights, may not be resolved by our Legislatero’s as we believe in freedom of speech with deaf & Dump Democratic representation along with erronic political culture which may be identified differance between our theories & practical.
    Please dont politicise Olympic’s.

  103. 103 Marty Lee
    August 3, 2008 at 22:08

    Mia Farrow’s outburst was certainly disgraceful.

    If the United States being the world’s foremost and only Superpower couldn’t rally the other nations to take a stand in Darfur, as they did over the invasion of Iraq, her finger pointing and claim that China holds the key to stop the wars in Darfur is naive and hypocritical.

    Why isn’t she in Iraq to help the poor Iraqis who are suffering from an USA lead illegal invasion which the UN does not approve of in the first place ?

    What about the censorship that is practise by the US in Iraq about “sensitive” news that are deemed detrimental to the war efforts by its army ? Have she conveniently turn a blind eye to all these tresspass to her country’s democratic system she claims to embrace ?

    But she would see herself fit to lecture the whole world right now struting about trying to rally hatred towards China for holding an event which is peaceful in nature and she is politicising and milking the BBC programme to have her hate agenda towards China futhered.

    I am also appalled by the response of the BBC’s host of the programme to claim that he have no knowledge about the Finanacial Times report which stated that Mia Farrow did spoke to Blackwater, the private security firm which is embroiled in controversy over their miscounduct in Iraq, to have them ran operations in Darfur.

    The host calls it “allegations” when he could have simply took a neutral stance to say that he is just plain ignorant and he have done no background research of his own on Mia Farrow despite the fact that the report by FT is merely two months old.


    In all my 20 years of listening to the BBC, I have never came across such skewed and biased stance from one of its host.

  104. August 4, 2008 at 11:12

    no,we have started being like china.having lack of concern with other peoples welfare.


  105. 105 peter mose
    August 4, 2008 at 12:44

    tom is right
    china supplys just about anything you want so if you bought it ,you did not mind then,
    there is nothing you can do to protest against it ,because of the capitalist angle,
    the chinese want the money and the glory the english just want the money,
    and the gov will not do anything to upset the status quo,because of the trade links,

    and in any case you might look closer to home ,under the terror act the council spy on you, if you protest about the gov you will, a/ be moved on or b/ arrested,
    and be put on a data base /along with your familay and friends,/

    sound familia ,dont know it could be me.

    peter mose
    fully trackable

  106. August 4, 2008 at 16:20

    We have been turning a blind eye to China ever since China invaded and occupied Tibet on a lame excuse of a marriage some hundreds of years ago of a marriage between a Tibetan and a chinese Prince and Princess. Very simply no power in the world could do anything about it as China was too powerful militarily and still is.
    The Olympic Organisers should take full resposibility for granting the Olympics to China, either they were out of their minds to do so, or they saw a lot of money could be made from it.
    The chinese people are hard working and good, I have great respect for them but the truth of the matter is that old saying ‘ power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.
    There are a many chinese people living and working in Toronto, the Canadian Tourist Board should advertise worldwide “Come to Toronto and visit Hong Kong”.

  107. 107 David
    August 4, 2008 at 16:46

    Leave China alone. It is doing a great job in every naspect you have in your mind. Please note that I am not a Chinese, but I love the Chinese people and what they are doing in this world.

  108. 108 avicennyong
    August 4, 2008 at 17:34

    When people said sports should be separated from politics, it’s just a dream or utopia. However, i will watch Olympic, maybe the opening and closing ceremony. Westerners who keep reprimanding China, should actually more open minded, especially on the Tibet issue. It seems that western media only believes the stories of Dalai lama, isn’t it also a bias and prejudice against China. Maybe westerners are good in sympathy, but not empathy.

  109. 109 Abubakar lawal, Nigeria
    August 4, 2008 at 21:18

    Hm the dalai lama issue, havent you heard the old saying”to every rumour there is an iota of truth.

    even if the Dalai lama was wrong or not being truthful, too many pictures/clips cant be lying. somehow someway China is wrong…

  110. 110 Anne
    August 5, 2008 at 04:30

    Where there is $$$ to be gained, eyes will be blind, especially governmental ones! Wasn’t it ‘nice’ to see China’s president being so ‘involved’ in helping the victims of the Sichuan earthquakes…I wonder if the world wasn’t so focused on China because of the Olympics, would his reaction have been the same? I think not.
    Sport is entertainment for those who watch. How can you not feel some guilt that your entertainment cost many people their homes…people were evicted onto the street and their homes destroyed to make way for our entertainment…which has also been a very lucrative excercise for the Chinese businessmen/women who profit from all that is involved in hosting an Olympic Games.

  111. 111 orangeking
    August 5, 2008 at 05:05

    The editor writing the question must have read few reports in the run-up to the Olympic Games these days.I listened to BBC,read online AP,Reuters,New York Times and Wall Street Journal every day.To my knowledge,you couldn’t find any report focusing solely on the Games.Every report you read on these renowned news organizations was about pollution,Internet censorship and human rights.

    The question and its lead are simply not true.

  112. August 5, 2008 at 10:07

    I don’t support a boycott and I want the Beijing Olympics to be a success.

    But the Games are a chance, while the world is watching, to press China for change.

    Without change China will carry on executing more of its citizens than any other country in the world, it will continue censoring the media and the Internet and it will continue locking up and torturing those who try to stand up for their rights and the rights of others.

    It isn’t political. To stand up for human rights is to stand up for the values enshrined in the Olympic Charter.


  113. 113 Tom
    August 5, 2008 at 14:24

    I don’t think the world is turning a blind eye on China. With the Olympics approaching the focus on China is as strong as ever. The past 12 months has exposed or re-ignite a wide range of issues affecting the country. BBC has started a blog on China and it’s not unusual for major newspapers nowadays to post 2-3 stories on China everyday. I could not remember this being the case 5 years back. The world is learning more about China; just as it is learning more about the world. One thing is for sure the Olympics will leave a lasting legacy.

  114. 114 Jeff Minter
    August 6, 2008 at 19:38

    No, we (the west) are certainty not. One thing’s for certain – each of us here, and everyone with an opinion – has their own agenda, whether it’s due to their nationality, ignorance, self-interest, religion or racism. As such there will never be an impartial view on , just 2+ polarised views.

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