China Cheers!

Mark writes…
It wasn’t a bad start was it?. From the drums doing the countdown to that spectacular finale, you couldn’t take your eyes off the Opening Ceremony. I had the privilege – and i can’t think of a better word- of being in a packed bar in Beijing – surrounded by proud – and at times quite emotional-Chinese people.

 What was really interesting was , when each nation’s athletes came in and were introduced, who got a cheer and who didn’t.Big roars for Russia and Cuba – alright i don’t think you need a degree in international history to get that – but some of the others were more puzzling.

Following the much-vaunted links between China and Sudan, the delegation from that country may have been disappointed to walk into the Bird’s Nest to polite applause only . Great Britain got a little cheer, but Pakistan raised the decibel level higher. Ok, this needed some explanation. A lovely bloke called Jimmy (his “English” name) was sitting with us. He’s an extremely bright, really charming and sensible man who starts a no doubt brilliant career as a banker on Monday.

He explained that “netizens” as he put it , had put out the word that Pakistan were to be cheered because of the close links, he said, between the two countries. Ok, fair enough, and then a big cheer for Iraq. “That’s because the Chinese people sympathise with the plight of the Iraqi people” Jimmmy told me. Somebody else asked if the Chinese people sympathised with the plight of the Iraqi people when Saddam Hussein was in charge, and Jimmy fell silent.

Then Iran came in – another big cheer, not quite roof-raising but not bad. “That’s because the Chinese people appreciate a country who stands up to the U.S.A” , Jimmy explained. Ok, i’m getting it now, China is a friend of anyone who causes problems for the U.S. So what, they’ll boo when the Stars and Stripes come in then ? Well, no, the cheer they got was louder than Iran ! In our bar, people even clapped.

Ok Jimmy you’ll need to help me here. “it is because the Chinese people admire the big stars in the American team”. So sometimes the support is political and at others it’s about admiring LeBron James or Tyson Gay,? Yes, which is why the Swiss got a good reception because Roger Federer was there. There was a big noise for North Korea and then the Chinese team arrived and if the Bird’s Nest had a roof it would have been raised a few inches.

In the bar, Jimmy had now disolved. He had tears in his eyes which threatened to smear the Chinese flag tattoo he had on his cheek.On air with Rebecca, he could barely speak. It was incredibly moving. Previously he’d been on air when the Chinese national anthem started. Without hesitation, everyone in the bar stood up. And sang. Later, they even stood for the Olympic anthem.

When the fireworks started after that amazing run round the stadium by Li Ning , everybody realised in the bar that they might be able to see them, so there was a scramble up the stairs to get on to the balcony, and we managed to see a tiny bit.

Once again, i feared for London in 2012. One suggestion for the London ceremony we heard this morning was that at one stage during the ceremony there sholuld be a giant cod in the stadium, surrouned by hundreds of childrens dressed as chips. It’s easy to mock i know but last night was spectacular, if , to sound a slighly churlish note, low on humour (remember the lawn mowers in Sydney ?).

And the relief was palpable. All that build-up, all that controversy and then when the big moment came, they didn’t fluff it.



83 Responses to “China Cheers!”

  1. 1 Serina in Singapore
    August 9, 2008 at 10:22

    As a Chinese myself, I can be happy with the pride Chinese must be feeling in their nation. However, riding on the back of that the Chinese communist party is taking a bow and world adulation for the hard work that many barefoot workers put in to construct the great dream of an Olympic games, the countless volunteers who will contribute or the many performers who worked tirelessly to entertain the world.

    Sadly as much as it was visually interesting, the whole performance left me feeling empty. It was a emotinally void performance typical of communist precision drills, there was no feeling associated with it. Did it uplift and inspire? Not really, it was just there, it was done, it highlighted the glorious motherland and the accomplishments of its leadership…. sigh.

    I wish it would have truly left me with a sense of awe and wonder but other than mild interest, it should have been better though not many will complain. The hypocrisy of it all was that the public, those countless many who make up China were excluded from venues and displays, kept back by sombre and robotic soldiers. Looking at various media reports, supposedly half the spectators occupying seats in the main stadium were plain clothes police or security officials from their ID tags. But this should not be a surprise to anyone. This coming from the people’s party who as we know, routinely turn the guns of the People’s Army onto their own people.

  2. 2 Mohammed Ali
    August 9, 2008 at 10:47

    Hi Mark,
    The opening ceremony was great and I know that you guys really enjoy yourself. Keep the updates and also keep up with our man, Jimmy.

  3. 3 nelsoni
    August 9, 2008 at 11:19

    Great opening ceremony, lets spare a thought for the “hidden costs” involved in staging the opening ceremony and the rest of the Olympics. Those faceless people who toiled day and night to erect all these beautiful structures we see. The faceless people who may have worked under hazardous conditions with little pay. Spare a thought for the ” hidden costs” of the Olympic games. Those people whose source of livelihood has being extinguished by this very Olympics. Whose story may never to told. As you watch the games, remember the hidden costs” of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

  4. 4 Roberto
    August 9, 2008 at 11:39

    The faceless people who may have worked under hazardous conditions with little pay.

    —– My question to the Chinese panel concerning this point was removed.

    Not just the workers who may never reap any of the so called progress of China, but a huge number of the populace essentially kicked out of their homes to create a new space for the venue and clean up the place for the Olympic tourists. Also the businesses shut down and restrictions on driving in an effort to clean up the air is a huge financial hardship.

    A 47 yr old Chinese man fatally knifed an American relative of one of the volleyball coaches, injured the tour guide and two female American companions and then lept to his death. One has to wonder whether he was just a nutcase or perhaps was trying to make a statement of some sort in a last ditch effort.

    At any rate, it sharpens the edge these games seem to have. What’s next?

  5. 5 Mohammed Ali
    August 9, 2008 at 12:18

    Roberto August 9, 2008 at 11:39 am

    “The faceless people who may have worked under hazardous conditions with little pay.”

    The people who did the work did it the pride of their country.

  6. 6 Mohammed Ali
    August 9, 2008 at 12:24

    Roberto, How can we determine that?

  7. 7 nelsoni
    August 9, 2008 at 12:27

    @ Mohammed Ali. May be you should do a background check. People were chased out out their lands to make space for the Olympics with little or no compensation, working under hazardous conditions with little pay was not a matter of choice for them, do yo know the financial hardships people are suffering there as a result of the Olympics? you call that for the pride of their country? Interesting. Not all that glitters is gold.

  8. 8 Mohammed Ali
    August 9, 2008 at 13:06

    I agree with you, but until the Chinese can realize that the world is doing away with abusing human rights and made their governments to understand, we will only talk. Mind you I will not be able to say this when i arrive in China.

  9. 9 1430a
    August 9, 2008 at 13:19

    hello everyone,
    Yesterday China showed the world its superpowers withought using guns.The arrangement and facilities were simply exstatic.the show was of four hours but i would have loved a few more hours.But i did hear some complains of people saying it was too long.
    But the best part of the ceremony was the last one where the athelete is flied away and he runs in the air.
    Simply Amazing!:)

  10. 10 fromtheworldofdennis
    August 9, 2008 at 13:47

    Thanks Jon Dennison and behalf of Mark Sandell.

    I watch parts of the opening ceremony on Friday night
    on American Televion.

  11. 11 selena
    August 9, 2008 at 14:02

    The faceless people who may have worked under hazardous conditions with little pay.

    Why don’t we give China a break for a few days?

    There are faceless people everywhere who work for little pay, as in Canada and the US, where people work three jobs at minimum wage just to put food on the table.

    There are people everywhere who are turfed out of their homes with nowhere to go, for instance the Katrina victims who lost their FEMA trailers in the past couple of weeks.

    What’s so different?

    Wonderful report, Mark!

  12. August 9, 2008 at 15:58

    @all, When i’m blogging from my mobile, my comments don’t go when comments exceed 80. I wonder what’s the problem? Can someone please tell me.

  13. August 9, 2008 at 16:02

    Great ceremony. Glamor and emotional display of artistry. Least we can do to commend them for the level of organization.

  14. August 9, 2008 at 16:06

    Nelsoni, please find a link. A chinese male commit suicide after killing an indoor handball coach and stabbing another person. Thanks.

  15. August 9, 2008 at 16:14

    Just watched the female soccer match at the olympics between Brazil and South Korea. Brazil Marta, FIFA WOWEN WORLD PLAYER was spectacular. Brazil won 2-1.

  16. 16 Bob in Queensland
    August 9, 2008 at 16:28

    There’s seems to be a disconnect here between the proud, slightly smug people Mark talked to in the bar and the “faceless barefoot masses” who were so ill treated in making the stadium. I have to say, the faces I saw on television seemed closer to the people Mark met. Maybe that’s a question for next week’s show. From what Mark is posting, most people in Beijing seem to have at least some realistic idea about the realities, yet the impression I’m getting is one of pride in their country.

    For me, the one thing out of the whole event that jarred were the goose-stepping military flag bearers. The seemed so “out of step” (pun intended) with the happy children who handed them the flag.

    Finally, just to let Mark help Jimmy with his smugness, I’ll be naughty and share a quote from a technical forum in the UK, populated by the sort of people who will be doing the show in London:

    How we are going to top that is beyond me. That was brilliant.

    However, lest it go too far, the forum went on to note that the technology to do the show almost all came from outside China. In theatre, China has a reputation for producing cheap and poor quality copies of western lighting and sound gear…and didn’t use these at the Olympics.

    …and something about patents and copyright could well be my question for next week’s show.

  17. August 9, 2008 at 17:05

    @ the story is on the BBC News Frontpage: US TOURIST DIES IN BEIJING ATTACK. 2 others hospitalized. Assailant commits suicide.

  18. 18 roebert
    August 9, 2008 at 17:47

    Let’s not get so impressed as to forget what happened in Tibet a mere two months ago, nor to forget the imprisoned Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople who dared to speak out for their freedom from 60 years of Chinese oppression.

    As much as we marvel at Leni Riefenstahl’s film of the Olympics in Nazi Germany, we do so with a sense of unease and distaste.

    The Beijing Olympics should invite the same reaction, despite the glitz.

  19. 19 Andrew
    August 9, 2008 at 18:03


    “Why don’t we give China a break for a few days?”

    That is what the communist party would hope for, to use this event as a diversion to what is continuing within China. All the more reason now that they have this international event where they are putting on their ‘show’ that we should keep the pressure up and not relent.

    “There are people everywhere who are turfed out of their homes with nowhere to go, for instance the Katrina victims who lost their FEMA trailers in the past couple of weeks.”

    What’s so different?

    For one, these people in Beijing were removed, in many cases forcibly, for no other reason than their land was in a place that developers or the government felt was profitable. It is one thing to have your residence acquired for some greater good, but usually you are compensated. Here however these residents were threatened and their homes destroyed so that party officials or their business contacts could profit at residents expense who have effectively been silenced now that the games have started and will have no voice once the eye of western media has departed Beijing.

  20. August 9, 2008 at 19:16

    Nice to see our Celtic brothers the Scots getting recognition at the opening Olympics ceremonies ! . ” Scotland the brave ” being played at least five times, bagpipes and all !. Maybe it was to make up for the Scots being banned from waveing their flag the ” Saltire ” in Beijing by the IOC.
    But wait a minute……us Welsh ain’t allowed to Wave our ” Y Ddraig Goch ” either !. Do’s this mean that at the Beijing closing ceremonies they’ll be playing ” Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” ? Men of Harlech ( if it don’t upset the Zulus that is ! ) or The Green Green grass of home ?.
    Do this mean also that Wales, Scotland and indeed England’s National flags will be banned at the 2008 London Olympics………are there any Olympic events that are taking place in Wales or Scotland were our flags will not be allowed to fly……imagine ………..in Wales ….no flying our flag……. ?
    Will heavily armed police ” snatch squads ” be rounding up gangs of drunken Taffys and Jocks in Oxford St to prevent them singing ” Delila and Oh Flower of Scotland ” ?

    Quick now, somebody run over to Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru give Rhodri Morgan a nudge to wake him up and let him now that there are dark clouds gathering for 2012

  21. 21 natalie sara
    August 9, 2008 at 19:18

    the ceremony was great and it showed china’s transformation from ancient history to its current glory. thank god they didnt put in the great leap forward, cultural revolution and stuff mao did to get rid of the culture shaped by confucius because it was a terrific showcase of it!

  22. 22 Dan
    August 9, 2008 at 21:31

    There can be no doubt about the showmanship and artistic prowess of the great people of China.
    Having 2,000 performers for perfect concentric circles with no marks on the floor or visual clues other than the person standing next to each was impressive. The lighting of the Torch was breathtaking.
    Now we have to ask “At what cost?”. I am not speaking of the $40+ Billion but the human cost. The cost of the people who slavishly built the venues and were summarily swept away, the poor, powerless and faceless who had walls built around their neighborhoods or simply thrown out. Lastly what about the rape of Tibet.
    To me this all feels like Nazi Germany’s 1936 Olympic Games after which horrors unbeknownst to people was unleashed upon the world.

  23. 23 Roberto
    August 9, 2008 at 21:51

    [B]To me this all feels like Nazi Germany’s 1936 Olympic Games after which horrors unbeknownst to people was unleashed upon the world.[/B]

    ——- Germany didn’t have 1.8 billion peasants and the 2nd largest economy in the world to do its’ biding.

    Thank goodness China doesn’t have a Hitler to motivate it, otherwise the world would be helpless.

    Definitely misnamed. Should be The One Party’s Bureaucratic Republic of China.

  24. 24 Dan
    August 9, 2008 at 22:18

    @ Roberto
    China has the THIRD largest economy. Japan is number 2.

  25. 25 Roberto
    August 9, 2008 at 22:56

    [b]Re China economy:[/b]

    Wiki states China is #2 in purchasing power parity. Some will debate the number of angels that can dance on a pin.

    Here’s a work of art by Leni Riefenstahl, Olympia 1936 opening ceremonies.

    Leni a vastly undersung filmmaker becauseher pre WW2 films viewed as Nazi propaganda films. I rank her prologue Olympia 1936 as the most evocative artistic piece of filmwork ever produced although her 1934 Triumph of the Will overshadows her entire career and life.

    She just a woman cinematographer in a man’s political world controlling the global expansion/exploitation.

    Quite a few more women involved in global expansion/exploitation today. They call it progress, but it’s just the same old story with new faces.

  26. 26 Dan
    August 9, 2008 at 23:27

    Being on Wikipedia does not make it right or accurate but we are arguing over nothing.
    Despite China setting up an offical protest area they have issued NO permits to protest but look at how “sick” it is setting up a protest area and then issuing no permits.
    When a Tibetan flag was unfurled in Tiananmen Square police, undercover and otherwise, moved in from everywhere and arrested the man. Imagine a Government very frightened of a piece of colored cloth and what they are capable of doing to people. Had every athlete walked in waiving a flag of Tibet the situation would be quite different now.

  27. 27 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 10, 2008 at 03:16

    Hi WHYSers!

    I thoroughly enjoyed the opening ceremony! I too, was tempted to forget that China has a record that leaves a lot to be desired in terms of human rights, and that is a pet peeve of mine, you could imagine my dilemma. But, for what it was worth, the ceremony was spectacular. I especially moved by some Chinese guy, either before or during the ceremony who said (it might even have been here on the blog!) that before we judge we are to visit China to find out for ourselves. Indeed, alot of us will not soon get accustomed to having our rights and freedoms limited, but I thought that those were very kind words and a meaningful gesture coming from a man who lives in a country which has taken as much heat leading into the Games! Well done, China! Well, done!

  28. 28 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 10, 2008 at 03:20

    As for the wonderful display of Chinese history and culture, I was especially taken by those human pen dancers and the writings on the scroll, both China’s gift to the world as well as an open embrace of friendship. Is it genuine, or just a political act? We will have to wait and see, in the years following, I think. But surely, the gesture to “come and see before we judge” should really be taken seriously.

  29. 29 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 10, 2008 at 10:31

    The Chinese regime might seem harsh to people who live in a 21st Century western democratic nation,but compared to the Dalai lamas theocratic autocracy it is enlightened.
    funny you should mention the Nazi German regime,because they sent advisers to Tibet and of course the Dalai Lama had a lifelong SS officer friend(“SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET”).

  30. 30 selena
    August 10, 2008 at 10:39

    The Chinese regime might seem harsh to people who live in a 21st Century western democratic nation,but compared to the Dalai lamas theocratic autocracy it is enlightened.

    I think I would have to agree with that statement.

  31. 31 selena
    August 10, 2008 at 10:41

    We talk a lot about human rights forgetting that, in many countries, human rights are just words written on paper.

  32. 32 selena
    August 10, 2008 at 10:45

    A 47 yr old Chinese man fatally knifed an American relative of one of the volleyball coaches, injured the tour guide and two female American companions and then lept to his death. One has to wonder whether he was just a nutcase or perhaps was trying to make a statement of some sort in a last ditch effort.

    Roberto, in Canada last week a 40 year old man knifed a young man, who was innocently sleeping in his seat on a bus, and then cut off his head.

  33. 33 1430a
    August 10, 2008 at 13:27

    Well,i think that the British will have to light the torch in the moon because the Chinese have left nothing for them.The most i can hope is a tour to the moon by the atheletes and lighting the torch there.:)
    But yes there have been concerns about increased global warming in the opening ceremony.The cost of this ceremony could have also been a concern for the Chinese.But i do hope the games become a grand sucess.
    And kudos to chinese people for their dedication.

  34. 34 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 10, 2008 at 16:11

    @ 1430a,

    Good one – “The most i can hope is a tour to the moon by the atheletes and lighting the torch there.”

    I agree! LOL!

  35. 35 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 10, 2008 at 16:12

    @ selena,

    I most certainly agree with your comments about human rights above!

    I am horrified about those knifing incidents. Do we know what is behind them?

  36. 36 selena
    August 10, 2008 at 17:02

    Hey! How are you RPJS?

    I don’t know about the stabbings. Something in the air? Does it fit the theory of causative formation? 🙂

  37. 37 Roberto
    August 10, 2008 at 19:02

    funny you should mention the Nazi German regime,because they sent advisers to Tibet and of course the Dalai Lama had a lifelong SS officer friend(”SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET”).

    ——— A spokesman for the One Party Bureacratic Republic of China, how sweet.

    Funny you should mention the Nazi regime because they had diplomatic relations with every relevant government in the world, and that included separate states of China and Tibet.

    Since the current Dalia Lama was not born until 1935 and wasn’t identified until 1937, and did not even assume his duties until 1950, AFTER the umpteenth Chinese invasion of his country, and was forced to flee as a 15 yr old boy shortly there after, your talking point is pointless.

    The Tibetan people want the Chinese Han out of their country. Unfortunately, they are a simple people who’s legacy with the Dalia Lama goes back the 13th centuray Kublai Khan era of the Mongolian empire which granted the 1st Dalia Lama governance over these lands.

    Since the Han Chinese have overrun these distance outposts with military might, I guess that tells you all you need to know about their expansionist plans. Interesting that they base their claims on the discredited Qing dynasty who apologised to the 13th Dalia Lama for invading Tibet and withdrew.

  38. 38 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 10, 2008 at 21:09

    Hi Selena, I just read some more about the stabbing in Beijing and the man who did it reportedly jumped to his death. Here is the link: http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=jo-olyvictims081008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns. What’s up? Very little details seem available. However, the story gives an insight into the family and their loss. Have a look!

  39. 39 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 10, 2008 at 21:11

    Hi Selena,

    I am well. How about you? I am not sure, but I think this link gives some insight into the stabbing in Beijing. I say not sure because the details seem sketchy. But, it does tell of the family’s pain. (I tried publishing this before, but something happened. What? I am not sure!). Here goes: http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=jo-olyvictims081008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns.

  40. 40 selena
    August 10, 2008 at 21:28

    Hi RPJS,

    Thanks for the link.

    It seems like the same kind of attack as in Canada.


  41. 41 Marty Lee
    August 10, 2008 at 23:08

    I am eagerly awaiting the London Games come 2012.

    The former imperialist power certainly have alot to gloat about.
    I wonder what kind of protest would take centre stage.

    Perhaps as a sign of goodwill, the UK can return all the plunder and riches it have raided from its former colonies now house in its various well known museums.

    Perhaps the Iraqis can protest outside the London Venue for the illegal wars that Great Britain was involve despite the fact that UN gave no go ahead.

    Perhaps activists from Scotland, Ireland seeking autonomy from England might give the world a good show as a fringe event to welcome the world.

    Perhaps London can showcase to the world its world class surveillance system where thousands of cameras were placed all around London to keep its citizens “protected”.

    Hopefully, Londoners will be out on the street to protest against the British Government attempts to mislead the public on the cost of hosting the Olympics which have since ballon from the initial estimate of 4 billion to 9.3 billion pounds.

    The list of deception, exploitation, old wounds and reason to protest are simply boundless.

    We now come to the favorite hypocritical mantra some of us have a knack to chant especially when it pertains to China. Did I hear someone shout “Human Rights Abuse Only happens in China” ?

    Just read the following article get a taste of sweet self righteousness to counter the self imposed ignorance.


    Now I hope, I don’t have to even dwell into the topic of how the USA are the foremost champions of our common shared values on Human Rights. Guantanamo, would surely make a lovely showcase of her achievements in that arena of pride.

    Well China is communist, so certainly they deserve every single condemnation we can hurl at it.

    Ah, but for us, the democratic enlighten West, we can whitewash history and bend the rules whenever it fit us. But for now, let us just blast China. Its easier and much more gratifying then to take a hard look on ourselves and our very own values.

  42. 42 Dan
    August 10, 2008 at 23:30

    @ Marty Lee
    It is a specious argument you make.
    You are trying to make the morals and values of today applicable to events hundreds of years ago.
    In any event Western countries continue to “atone” for their actions of past with programs and projects to bring Third World nations into the 21st Century.
    China’s abuses are real and happening today. China seeks dominance over its neighbors and brutally crushes dissent.
    Additionally China has wantonly destroyed its cultural history and peoples lives in the name of economic development, please note the cultural and human destruction caused by the Three Gorges Dam. Where are the tears for those people and irreplaceable cultural artifacts?
    In their effort to put on the perfect sanitary Games, the Chinese have highlighted to the world the emptiness of social responsibility in their Government.
    Enlightened people today have no guilt over past abuses of their countries as they were not part or party to them but we recognize our responsibility to civilization as a whole to Human Rights and improving developing nations economic development.

  43. 43 Tom
    August 11, 2008 at 04:09

    Regarding the loud cheers for the Iraqi athletes, I remember during the opening to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Iraqi team also received a loud reception. However, this reception sounded more like jeers than applause. (Someone may validate this for me?)

    I was glad that the pro-Chinese crowd didn’t react negatively toward their former and current political adversaries, namely Japan and the US.

  44. 44 rawpoliticsjamaicastyle
    August 11, 2008 at 04:20

    @ Dan,

    I couldn’t help but notic exchange between you and Marty Lee. I wondered whether you might speak some more to these programmes and policies which the “First World” has implemented in terms of “atonement” for the actions of those in the past, for which those who rule currently are not responsible, specifically in the case of China as well as elsewhere?

    I just wonder, however, whether people inside China feel the same way about the cultural heritage which you claim that the government brutally destroyed in the name of economic progress? While, I accept that that might be dificulte to ascertain given what we know of restrictions of certain expression in China, how much of these claims about the ‘cost of progress’ in China to the Chinese people is part of the sustained Western propogandist machinery?

    Also, you seem in doubt of the economic progress, however small, in China. Why is that? I am curious.

  45. 45 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 08:56

    Dear Dan,

    Your reply says it all. You have simply reinstated my points again.
    Read my post again and judge for yourself, your very own values, about Human Rights and good old western values.

    And if you can, just hurl a few more lines at China, if it makes you feel better 🙂

  46. 46 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 08:58

    Dear RPGS,

    I am also curious if Dan is really having an exchange or simply ranting.


  47. 47 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 09:42

    “Seven Years in Tibet” was a hollywood movie starring Brad Pitt as the Nazi,so it must be true and there was another film called “Kundan”by some unknown american director of italian origin.
    I get my history from the movies and news and current affairs from talk shows,that way I dont have to think that hard about anything,sometimes it is quite comforting to be totally unaware.
    I ain’t no Red China Pinko communist lover.
    What part of Americas backyard are you from?

  48. 48 Bryan
    August 11, 2008 at 10:07

    Marty Lee August 10, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    “Perhaps as a sign of goodwill, the UK can return all the plunder and riches it have raided from its former colonies now house in its various well known museums.”

    This is a good idea. But then the UK should also be allowed to remove all the infrastucture it built up in its colonies – you know, roads, bridges, dams, power plants, electrical systems, airports, fresh water and sewage systems, railroads, hospitals and so on. It should also dismantle its universities and schools brick by brick, cart them back to the UK and oblige the colonised to hand back qualifications and divest themselves of technical knowledge, thereby leaving many former colonies without the wheel.

  49. 49 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 10:27

    @Marty Lee
    I think the UK gained from trade and Industry (it was the first industrial country),rather than plundering treasure(like Chinese warlords).
    China is now directly accessing African raw materials.
    Great Britain has not really been an Imperialist power since the end of World War II.
    The Iraqis are unlikely to protest for the reinstatement of the Saddam Hussein regime(Bath party).
    Northern Ireland,Wales and Scotland have a degree of autonomy and can have full independence anytime they want.
    The cost of building raw materials(cement, iron ,steel and copper etc…) has more than doubled in the last few years of course the cost will double.The Olympics of 1908 and 1948 were cut price affairs and so the 2012 Olympics are unlikely to be lavish.
    Higher standards of Human Rights are expected of developed civilised western democracies like the UK.
    I agree it is a bit much to expect developing countries like Brazil,Russia India and China to also cultivate an appreciation for 21st Century civilised behaviour,they don’t know any better,but in time I am sure they will understand the benefits.

  50. 50 Megan from Canada
    August 11, 2008 at 11:29

    I think Shaun in Halifax said it right when he posted

    Here’s a thought that occurred to me while I was watching the opening ceremonies:

    Have the Beijing Olympics just set a precedent? It seems to me that the Chinese Gov’t has proven to the world what a sham the IOC really is. They agreed to all sorts of concessions to actually get awarded the game, but have followed through with… let me count…. NONE.

    I suppose the lesson here is you can lie like a politician and never be called to account.

    The opening ceremonies were beautiful, but with a cold sort of precision. You couldn’t help but think about all the hours that were put in to make that show happen…

  51. 51 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 11:37

    @ Marty Lee
    Your last comment was quite telling. We “talk” here to air various ideas and perspectives. It becomes obvious that when one has an ideology that cannot be supported one resorts to attacks.
    Thank you for proving my points I look forward to our next subject.

  52. 52 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 11:52

    Dear Dan,

    Its telling how you can talk and talk when you cannot even begin to refute any of my points which are plainly stated factually.

    So you can continue to talk and lecture us about your self righteousness and others who reply to you are plainly attacking you.

    It is interesting now you should now bring out “ideology” in your final resort to skirt off all the various assertions you have made which you cannot even barely begin to justify. You called my posting “specious” when it isn’t meant to be an argument in the first place which you inisist it is.

    I see the democratic vein runs deeps in your value system. 😛

    Surely, you must be right and others are wrong.

    Thanks again for reinstating my points.

    Oh, on the issue of ideology, let’s not forget the communism isn’t an original Asian ideology. Its from the West, if you can recall. And yeah, the commies would be proud of you.

    Cheers 🙂

  53. 53 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 12:00

    Dear Bryan,

    Surely the west cannot return the bridges, roads, dams, and what not.

    For it is built with the riches from the land it once occupies itself. But you can always try to do so. No harm in trying actually.

    For starters, I think it is a good idea to simply admit that the British Museum have a stash load of artifacts that they should return. But its okay, as it makes a good touristy destination to remind the world, how great and magnanimous how the Western empires of the past have given roads and dams and bridges to the colonies it once exploit and occupy. LOL.

  54. 54 Roberto
    August 11, 2008 at 12:29

    Re the destruction of modern cultures by the 21st century Chinese state.

    —- Not only is this the history of China through the millennia, this is the pattern of humans from time immemorial.

    We see this in recent history from the savage Cultural Revolution of the 60s when young brainwashed Chinese Communist Party members destroyed every element of business and education and sent these classes of people to toil for meager rations on the farms at the behest of Chairman Mao.

    Modern Chinese state is continuing the vast legacy of human destructive development. The problem being that ancient ways of wanton destruction followed by development that worked in the past will prove to be unsubstainable in the future as finite resources are depleted and state economies grind to a halt.

    It will be telling to see what happens after all the Olympic hoopla is gone. Remember Sarajevo after the 84 Winter Olympics? Nice little Alpsy pictures for the TV networks, but after the big show packed and left, place completely torn asunder from long simmering tensions.

    China has hundreds of millions of recent poor migrant citizens with no cultural ties to their new surroundings. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  55. 55 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 13:15

    @ Marty Lee
    I see that you are well steeped in propaganda.
    It is one thing to be proud of one’s country but quite another to be blind to the abuses of the Governmant.
    The West is not perfect but we have PUBLIC self-correction/criticism mechanisms.
    Additionally it was Marxism that originated in the West as we continue to try new ideas trying to improve the human condition. Communism was responsible for the murders of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people and was an abject failure as even the Chinese discovered.
    Lastly I understand the tactic of changing focus and subjects when you run out of supportive arguments. You keep proving my points repeatedly and I thank you.
    Now having beaten this horse to death we have a new day and maybe we can move on to a more productive discussion.

  56. 56 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 13:54

    @ Marty Lee
    I refuted you argument point for point.

  57. 57 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 14:53

    @Roberto Wiki
    Human rights ,civil rights etc are good stick with which to beat the Chinese,unfortunately there are worse regimes on the planet that do not get as much adverse coverage or are totally ignored.

  58. 58 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 15:43

    Dear Dan,

    Getting touchy aren’t we ? 😛

    Look at who is stepping up to the pedestal with your non propaganda stance. Rain more abuses, accusations and whatever you like. But at least have enough self respect for yourself, to provide some factual basis in what you are talking about.

    Its time to tell us and at least try to refute the points I have made. No one’s running 😛
    Maybe you are.

    Thanks again for showing us your most enlighten stance. While you can rake up every country’s past, you would cast a blind eye to the abuses that is happening right at your very own doorstep.

    Cheers ! 😛

  59. 59 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 15:59

    Dear Vijay,

    Chinese warlords went plundering ? But who supplied the arms ? Who supplied the money to the KMT and the Communist so that they can slug it out ?

    Vijay, I think you are pretty fair minded, but which is why you should reconsideration of what you have put out in your postings 😛

    The 2012 Olympics would not be lavish ? Perhaps 9 billion pounds isn’t lavish by western democratic standards and you think that is are cut price affairs ? LOL.

    Surely, your assertion that your “point by point” refute seems to have left out the issues about the artifacts that are still kept in the British Museum. Point by point you said ?

    But I admire your ingenuity where you insist that the people in Iraq would not clamor for the reinstatement of the Bath party. How is that possible when the Western powers have systematically rendered the whole country into a big wasteland even though the UN did not give a go ahead for its invasion ?
    Interestingly you have also choose to skirt the issue about Guantanamo and the great show put out by the US to teach the world about Human Rights.

    You awesome conclusion have me floored completely. That countries like the Brazil, China, India and Russia stands to gain more if it is to adopt western “civilized” values.

    Perhaps you are being sardonic but hey I appreciate your great sense of humor and I might have misread your postings completely 😛

    In anyways, cheers mate, at least content wise, you are worthy of a read.


  60. 60 eyesonu
    August 11, 2008 at 19:55

    Hey Serina in Singapore, you must be joke in your country.

    You got imported working slaves in Singapore and never in any country will there be free admissions to the Olympics. Get real, joker.

    As for the poor workers in China, they need to work to eat, unlike for you spoiled Asians in Singapore who work for westerners. You work to stay rich.

    And I have been in Singapore, you there don’t have anything over China, the poor there are just as poor as the poor in China.

    In South Asia not much to be proud of, nobody works for the country and build great cities like China, that’s because everybody there works for foreign owned companies.

    Too bad you didn’t like the show and you were sad afterwards, lucky you didn’t have to paid for a ticket to see it. And you sound a little bit like what an anti-China westerner would say about Beijing’s Olympic Games.

  61. 61 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 20:35

    @ Marty Lee
    Again you show the weakness of your argument, such as it is, as you think that you can lay guilt upon me. That will never happen….trust me.
    You need to account for the weakness of your argument.
    It’s up to you Marty, raise or fold.

  62. August 11, 2008 at 21:53

    @ Dan, et al,

    I noticed that my questions above were largely ignored in your subsequent responses. If it is not too much trouble, it would be nice to know the measure of some of these statements, in part, because so much has been said about the infringement of the rights of the Chinese people by its Government, however, I just wonder what part of those remarks are true and what parts constitute the effort to negative China’s growth, in the West? Don’t get me wrong, there are obvious problems that China must address as a growing world power, as an authoritarian nation state. Indeed, I think of the student uprising in Tianemen (?) Squar, as well as th new (?) found interests Africa’s raw materials and the extent to which China has spoken woefully little in Darfur, etc.

    However, I am still curious, are these positions by themselves sufficient to demonise China in the way that traditional Western media narratives have? And, if so, is there a link between this and the doubts that you express towards China’s economic progress? In other words, how much of this is really fact and what is fiction?

  63. 63 nelsoni
    August 11, 2008 at 22:06

    A note from the Night editor. posts containing insults or personal attacks will be deleted. cheers and happy blogging. 🙂

  64. 64 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 22:08

    Dear nelsoni,

    Going with your standards, all the postings in this thread should be deleted.

    Cheers and happy censoring 🙂

  65. August 11, 2008 at 22:10

    @ nelsoni,

    If only had known this ahead of time! LOL!…What has prompted this ‘new’ announcement?

  66. 66 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 22:24

    Dear Dan,

    Take a good look at your own deck of cards.

    I am happy you do not experience any kind of guilt. We all know that already.
    That is precisely my point.

    Happy blogging and do remember that posts containing insults or personal attacks will be deleted by the nelsoni 😛

  67. 67 nelsoni
    August 11, 2008 at 22:28

    @ Marty lee. Not my standards. Please kindly read house rules and blog courtsey cheers

  68. 68 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 22:38

    Dear Nelsoni,

    Your link to the house rules is a broken.

    As for the blog courtesy, well, I will take note of your difficulties but I do hope you can keep up your good work by applying the rules to all participants.

    And thanks to your warnings, should I am quit this forum in recognition of the BBC high standards of journalism ?

    Cheers and happy blogging. 🙂

  69. 69 nelsoni
    August 11, 2008 at 22:43

    @ marty lee. Both links and working fine. Other wise click on contributor’s charter

  70. 70 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 22:57

    Dear Nelsoni,

    Good chap. Alright I understand you have a job to do. 🙂

    Fair play for all I hope 😛

    Cheers !

  71. 71 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 12, 2008 at 04:44

    @ mo. Ali
    Sounds like a memory problem try to
    clear the cache,delete cookies,
    move data from the phone memory to the memory card and from the memory card to a computer
    use a virus protection programme to check the phone for viruses,
    close any other programmes that are running,which internet browser are you using Teashark?.

  72. 72 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 12, 2008 at 06:44

    @Marty Lee
    China has Burma to grow and supply heroin to the west,now Afghanistans heroin can be exported to China, may that will slowdown the economic boom.
    About stolen art works ; there are international procedures for the recovery of stolen artworks,artifacts and religious symbols and of course there is always government to government dialogue.
    Iraq :”you have to burn the village to save the village”.
    Re:Gitmo xray delta
    nobody likes what is going on over there, however you have to consider the psycological impact of 9/11,that sort of thing had never happened in the USA.
    Re: civilised values
    Beijing is different to the provinces,China (Brazil,India and Russia) is backward compared to Western Europe .
    2012 will be a back to basics Olympics,people do not like to spend on public works( I mean “Grand PROJET”) in the UK.

  73. 73 Marty Lee
    August 12, 2008 at 07:24

    Dear Vijay,

    How issit going geezer ? Glad to have you back again.

    Interesting proposition to say that China have Burma to grow heroin to the west and Afghanistan is exporting heroin to China.

    Again I marvel at your creativity. But first, you have to ask yourself who is in Afghanistan now ? Chinese troops ? As for Burma, do a check for yourself. It is not just China who is in that country doing business ?

    Read this BBC article for yourself. According to the article, A total of 95 British, European and American Business have or had a presence in Burma.


    But well, again since China is communist, it is the only country deserving blame. Right ?

    And I am totally astounded that believe that “you have to burn a village to save the village”. Whose village are you burning ? Aren’t the Iraqis human too ? So whats all the talk about Human Rights ? Double standards is what you believe in ?

    If you believe that Beijing or Shanghai is still in the backwaters of development as compared to Western Europe, I suggest you google more and have a look for yourself on the developments that is going there. Bicycles and Bullock courts does not Jam the streets anymore as you would have imagine.

    2012 is a back to basic Olympics ? Oh God, what can 9.3 billion British Pounds buy in London nowadays ? Just a few cups of tea and some cookies ?

    As for the Museum pieces, the British Museum have always rejected calls to return the artifacts. There was a news article recently that some African scholars found it extremely insulting that they have to PAY to view their national treasures that is kept in the museum which were stolen and looted from their homeland. Dialogue ? WHAT dialogue ?

  74. 74 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 12, 2008 at 11:28

    @Marty Lee
    Anybody can file a court case against the British Museum or use the internationally accepted procedure for recovering lost or stolen Art.
    I am not exactly a big fan of the British Museum,but governments can also talk to governments concerning bilateral issues.
    Re Beijing and Shanhai
    Buildings are one thing ,but human ,social and civic development are something quite different.

    Vietnam war rhetoric “search and destroy” ‘”hearts and minds”and ” you have to burn a village to save a village”(sardonic wit) The mould in Iraq had to be broken so that the whole system could be reset.

  75. 75 Shakhoor Rehman
    August 12, 2008 at 22:15

    The Olympics (all Olympics) says ” Lets have a big party and forget the troubles of the planet for a little while!”. A kiddy’s dream of course but it sells.

  76. 76 Marty Lee
    August 12, 2008 at 22:40

    Dear Vijay,

    Apparently you are not keenly aware about the issues regarding the return of the artefacts.

    Here is one from the BBC for your consideration. Many articles are about. You just have to google them and do abit of your own research.

    I do hope you read them thru before you consider another reply to me 🙂
    If the West have found its very own conscience, they would have been returned ages ago. There is simply no need to keep those artefacts any longer. Its like a thief keeping the loot because he feels that he knows the best way to make more money out of it.

    Your next point, all the war rhetoric you have quoted, I can add a few more you left out. How about “Shock and Awe, Regime Change, Coalition forces, Smoking gun, etc are plain rhetoric to justify a war the UN did not approve of. It is acting against international standards of Human Rights and the Rights of Nation as enshrine in the UN charter.

    By the way, where are the Chemical weapons that the coalition forces promise to suss out from Iraq ? If you standards were to be applied, any lunatic who thinks he have a just cause can burn down any village just to see that the system resets itself. Thats regime change, thats political violence. and that is certainly no justification at all.

    Curiously you avoided any mention of Guantanomo bay which I have urge you to reconsider. This is happening right now. Guantanomo bay sets a dangerous precedent for our future generations. The GENEVA CONVENTIONS that grants basic rights to combantants have now been rendered a useless clause. Any captured POWs can now be ship off to some offshore no man’s land and then be systemetically tortured. Those prisoners are not all from Afghanistan. The CIA have a world wide campaign to nap and kidnap suspect from any part of the world it wants to and ship them there.

    Now tell me plainly now, that this is civilised behaviour. If you say it is then, I have nothing to add in this conversation as I fear it would be pointless.

    So everyone now can go back to China, Russia, India and Brazil bashing and a big hoooo raaaa to civilised behaviour.

    Cheers 🙂

  77. 77 Vijay
    August 13, 2008 at 06:15

    @Marty Lee
    Gitmo is another way of saying gautanemo,I dealt with that in an earlier.
    Re Artifacts
    Marty Lee please tell me your native language I will try to explain it to you in that language so you can understand,Obviously you have failed to comprehend the fact there are legal mechanisms for the return of stolen art artifacts and religious items.
    The Elgin marbles were purchased,I have seen them and was not paricularly impressed.
    re Rhetoric
    I was talking about Vietnam Era terminolgy
    re Google
    It is only one of many search engines and it is not very good ,however it is quick.
    Communism was defeated in the Cold War, Soviet Russia and Red China acknowleded the ideological defeat by appropriating some aspects of Captilism and democracy.

  78. 78 Marty Lee
    August 13, 2008 at 09:46

    Dear Vijay,

    Well said indeed !

    I think you know plainly what I have been trying to say.

    Simply put, ideology can get us thus far and can be use to justify any means of human rights abuse, and every kind of unfair treatment be it a democratic system or the communist system. That goes for religion too which can be interpreted to justify an insane cause.

    As global citizens, we must apply the same standards if there is one, to every issues that challenges the sanctity of human lives. No system is better then the other now as far as I am concern. There is simply no perfect system.

    The world stage is akin to being like a cowboy town. its chaos and since the end of the cold war where we have a bipolar system of check and balance, the symptoms of more wars, ethnic religious clashes, are not subsiding but in fact escalating in an alarming phase. And every nation is caught up to form a new balance of power. How many wars that will take, how many lives that would cost, thinking about that, makes me sick.

    If we are to don the badge of this madness, and without due reflection, this chaos will grow on all of us. We must be aware of all kinds of violations but we must be keen enough to drop off the plague of race, religion, nationality , creed and prejudice and begin to care enough for the entire human race. I know this makes a pretty nice speech, but that is genuinely what I believe in.

    With that Vijay, its really a pleasure to have this exchange and conversation with you.

    Till the next topic, all the best mate 🙂

  79. 79 Vijay
    August 13, 2008 at 13:17

    @Marty Lee
    Agreed there is no perfect system, however one system is not the same as another and systems do not have equal worth.
    Anyway what is you nationality and what is your native language.

  80. 80 Marty Lee
    August 13, 2008 at 15:29

    Dear Vijay,

    The answer is plain. I am simply a human being.

  81. 81 Vijay
    August 14, 2008 at 18:47

    @Marty Lee
    You could be a computer programme for all I know,a weak algorithmn that can not follow an argument or think in a logical manner.
    Did someone switch you on for the Olympics?
    If you are Chinese ,why do use an English first name,what is wrong with using your real Chinese forename.

  82. 82 Marty Lee
    August 16, 2008 at 07:28


    What is your indian name spelt in English Alphabets then ?

    You need to get yourself reprogram too 🙂

  83. 83 Nyambati Aori
    August 24, 2008 at 00:02

    The world is still indefferent with Chinese communism. Let’s not be impetuous and querulous over a system has taken The Republic of China thus far. Every student of Niccolo Machiavelli will certainly tell you that every political orientation is about ‘power’. Power as a means and as an end in itself. At the center of it all is the ‘the prince’. Communism has its own good and evils as Democracy does. Let’s take heed not to point our fingers too much on China! The Chinese people have a have chance like any other! In any way, change will come.

    Nyambati Aori, Fl USA.

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