On air: Did China get away with it?

Did you watch the closing ceremony? It might be east to forget with Phelps and Bolt seared on our minds, but many people didn’t expect these Games to turn out like this.

Let’s think back to all those days we talked about the Olympic torch relay and the row over Tibet, to Spielberg pulling out over Chinese inactivity over Darfur, to the hoo-hah over which leaders would attend the opening and closing ceremonies. Major protests during the Games were predicted.

There were promises from journalists to use this opportunity to get into China and tell us how it really is. We were told in 2001 when Beijing won the Games that the spotlight would overtime prompt concessions from a government that’s not too keen on democracy and human rights. Did these things happen

In the words of Olympic chief Jacques Rogge – “The Beijing Olympics proceeded smoothly’. And it’s impossible to disagree.

So what happened here?

Was the glory of the sport always going to knock everything else into the background? Did China simply do a brilliant job and it was that that was the story, not human rights or Tibet? Or did China just do a brilliant job of keeping the media very happy, and controlling the Olympic environment very well?

Or maybe most of you are simply not as outraged by China and its policies as some campaigners would have us believe.


I vowed my gruelling final week in front of the box would end with an overdose of basketball, handball, waterpolo, the men’s marathon and some boxing. I wanted to make my Olympic escape before the fireworks, mass gymnastics, multi-lingual speeches and the ever-present Placido Domingo got underway.

But sure enough a couple of hours I’ll never get back were spent watching Beijing say goodbye with hundreds of gymnasts on a large cylindrical thing, and London say hello with Leona Lewis on a large pole. I’m guessing the vast majority of you either saw it live or later in the news.

And whatever you thought of the closing ceremony, the end though has given a lot of us a reason to consider the whole event – what it achieved and what it failed to do. We’ll talk about this later.

113 Responses to “On air: Did China get away with it?”

  1. 1 Sheikh Kafumba Dukuly
    August 25, 2008 at 14:30

    Get away with it? NO. While it is true that there were many ethical issues glossed over for the purpose of the game, the end of the Beijing 2008, has given way for more serious reform and human rights issues to be looked at. China whether now or later will have to face the depth of reasoning that the people of tibet and other occupied areas cannot continue to live in servitude. There will be rude awakening to reality.

  2. 2 Brett
    August 25, 2008 at 14:32

    … ‘Get away’ with what? Providing an awesome spectacle of sport and competition? Well they surely did.
    What happened to that spirit of leaving politics out of the Olympics, which was so rampant on the blog well before the games? Are we upset with ourselves for actually enjoying the games? As if we were supposed to be pouty and begrudging throughout?
    Congrats China on a job well done!

    [/Olympic Games]
    [Back to blog-bashing China]
    There, now, all better? Breathe a sigh of relief and resume.

  3. August 25, 2008 at 14:40

    I think historic success of Beijing Olympics has left us many significant messages. In the beginning we saw game of politics at the same time all over the world especially during torch rally. But China did a brilliant job in spite of world’s pressure regarding Tibet issues and Human Rights. The huge success of Beijing Olympics with many controversies gives us message that game shouldn’t be politicized in at all.

  4. 4 Erin
    August 25, 2008 at 14:40

    While I don’t really think much about Tibet one way or another, I was a little angry by the Olympics. The world had these high hopes for China – journalists would be able to see the country for what it was, the Chinese were hoping to show the world that they are ready to compete on the international stage.

    All we got were athletes forced to wear protective masks outside, potential cheating for gold medals on the part of the Chinese, fake fireworks and a lip-synching little girl to replace an ugly one. None of this really proved to me that China is ready to emerge from years of reform to be an international powerhouse. I just don’t get it.

  5. August 25, 2008 at 14:42

    China totally got away with it…

    Not only did they manipulate the media by controlling every outlet during the games, but they practically defrauded the entire world in several ways.

    First there was the faked fireworks during the opening ceremony.

    They created a fake building in Beijing to present the best face possible to the world – note how the truth really makes them look, what a metaphor.

    and finally the scandal over the Chinese gymnasts ages.

    What really surprised me was how quickly the fakery showed through. I would have thought they had better control over things than that. But I still notice how major news media has not picked up some of these stories….

  6. 6 Pavel Oreski
    August 25, 2008 at 14:45

    I have no idea with what did or did not China got away. I did not watch Olympics as a protest, that it was granted to China in the first place. I think it is a shame that so many people were disgusted of what was happening before and during the games and they were still watching. I am looking forward to the next olympics in London and I hope I will not have to boycott another games in my life.

  7. 7 Xesenta!
    August 25, 2008 at 14:46

    Nice provocation! But … no. The only thing China got away with was NOT being treated like an inferior race and culture. They also further proved what Lenin asserted long ago: that you can drag the West in public, prod her mother in open court, and she’ll STILL pay to see the spectacle!

  8. 8 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 14:46

    I didn’t watch much, but did watch a bit, and I thought they were good Olympics. I’m glad the US won in the medal count as well. There was good and bad, as always with the olympics. The volleyball coach’s cousin was murdered by a crazy man who then jumped off a building. His wife was also stabbed. A cuban athlete kicked a referee in the face….

  9. 9 Christopher
    August 25, 2008 at 14:52

    The short answer is “Yes”…and China did so because we collectively let it do so, and, ultimately, wanted it to do so. The Beijing Olympic Games were, more or less, an athletic success – but, as a political success, far from it. The Games showed that, on the surface, China could clean up its act, and the city, for a short time, to put on a good show for the rest of the planet, but it was a spectacle, a show, only. Ask the repressed and displaced of China how they truly felt about China’s staging of these Games – and they’ll either be afraid to respond, and give the State line, or, if they can respond honestly, a scathing review will invariably surface.

    For me, sport should be sport. This time around, it was not – it was used very intentionally as a political springboard (not to say that hasn’t been done in the past, seig heil) – and we were all sucked in by the spectacle of it all.

    For me – and maybe just for me – a very tainted, asterisk-marked Olympics.

  10. 10 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 15:00

    Oh yes they got away with it and in grand style. First they conned the IOC into granting them the hosting right for the Olympics, then the much promised improvement on Human rights and press freedom, never really got off the ground. The access the International media was granted is just a flash in the pan. By the end of this week, when the world takes it’s eyes off China, it’s back to business as usual. The games were well organized so they get full credit for that except for the fake fire works and the replacement singer plus suspicion of using under aged atlethes.

  11. 11 Andre
    August 25, 2008 at 15:13

    The Chinese did a superb job and provided the best Olympic Games of the modern era – period. Whatever the arguments about Tibet or Taiwan, they were successfully trumped during the Games by the sheer grandeur of the show that the Chinese put on and the wonderful and sometimes unbelievable displays from the athletes themselves.

    The XXIX Olympic Games will be remembered as a great triumph for the Chinese people and state. As we all know by now, the Chinese won the most gold medals, and came second in the total medal count. Bejing proved to be less polluted than initially feared and the accomodations by all reports were excellent.

    The Chinese also partially opened their national firewall to facilitate the foreign press but did so in a manner that still enforced their national policy (that’s their choice to make – not ours).

    I am personally glad that the Games were not spoiled by major demonstrations over Tibet, the Russo-Georgian War or any other conflict. Surely, just for a period of two weeks, we can leave the politics behind!

    Well done China! Superb games – far, far better than I personally had ever dreamed to be possible and I think that the world ought to be grateful for the vast efforts of the Chinese state to put on such a good show.

    PS: Now that the Games are over, you can return to politics as usual.

  12. 12 Dan
    August 25, 2008 at 15:23

    @ Xesenta!
    WoW!! that was a mouthful but your assertion is incorrect. You need to read Chinese history to know that China withdrew from the world. They perception the world had was “Made in China”.
    Nelsoni is right. Not one protest permit was granted and an elderly woman trying to get justice for her village was sent to a “reeducation” camp. In their bid to show Communist perfection they simply displayed a Government is so fragile it cannot stand any criticism. Communism fails again.

  13. 13 sun
    August 25, 2008 at 15:33

    I said it before and will say it again, the ‘western’ countries are responsible for many things just as bad if not worse than what China is accused of doing. The west fluffs it up with pretty words of peace and justice… Justice for who??? The Chinese mentality is different, socially is it different and the west still has not took the time to really look at how and why. China is based on survival, preservation and to be united at all costs. A crack in the bowl leads to further damage. The ‘western’ countries have lost any real self respect for themselves and exactlly how this society is made up it does not have anything better to do but put others down intead of build itself up. Easier to do right, blame others than correct self. In Chin I felt a sence of unity, people looking after one another with a genuine heart as a general community feeling and not like in the west where people are tearing one another down to make way for self to rise to the top. No such concept of help one another along the way. Look at American elections so much time is spent on putting on another down they hardly spend any productive time saying what they will do in positive light… easier to pull other down than raise ones own profile. Its dirty here in the west, all fake justice, fake concern and no real community. everyone is shooting and stabbing one another in the back, focused on big houses cars and how great we are.

    The west is in trouble morally and socially and its only way of dealing with it is to put others daow, so it seems natural to put down the next best thing. Many people will come back from China saying how the world is not seeing the reality of what China is really like and I say just beacause China protects itself it is being punished over and over…. west accusess eatern countires of being negligent for not letting western aid in when they are in trouble. NO its the east seeing what a mess this side of the world is and kepping it out of its walls…

    Open your eye ignorant ones in the west, if you dont wanna be haters really have a look at what is real and question why dont just accept and belive all you read and see in the media.

  14. 14 Venessa
    August 25, 2008 at 15:37

    There was good and bad associated with the games but I don’t think this is the first time there have been scandals. I’m just glad the hoopla is over.

  15. 15 Justin from Iowa
    August 25, 2008 at 15:45

    I like to fall back on the occasional Science Fiction quote every now and then. I believe the Borg sum it up well with “Resistance is Futile”…

    Come on, its not like anything we do or wanted to do was going to effect China. It would be like world protests being held at something the US was doing… like the War in Irag or something… its not like the US has really changed policy because of all that “international Pressure”

    We all like to think we are powerful and can make a difference. The reality is that, by and large, change happens slowly. “Real change (TM)” is a process that occurs over long periods of time (there are exceptions to every rule, of course, though fast change is usually like an earthquake… the violent release of slow pressures that have been building over long periods of time).

    So, surprised? Not at all.

  16. 16 John in Salem
    August 25, 2008 at 15:46

    -Polluted air.
    -Lip-syncing because the real singer “wasn’t cute enough”.
    -Faked opening spectacles.
    -Underage gymnasts.
    -Gold medal awarded to Chinese when scores were identical to Americans.
    -Over 70 applications for protests with none approved.

    For people like myself who were not distracted by watching any of the actual games, these are the things we will remember.
    From where I stand, the China of today is little different from the China of 20 years ago.

  17. 17 Justin from Iowa
    August 25, 2008 at 15:46

    I should have said “immediate difference” rather. I’m not saying that people can’t make a difference, just that immediate gratification is not in the cards.

  18. 18 Nick in USA
    August 25, 2008 at 15:53

    Yep, they got away with it. Moreover, the journalists really seemed to drop the ball. There were plenty of stories there, but I think most of the journalists just glazed over them. I wouldn’t say everything went smoothly though, I mean, a man did get stabbed to death. His wife and tranlator were also attacked. It seemed to me that this story would be in headlines throughout the olympics, but they just touched on it and let it fade away. I think people wanted the games to go well, so the media didn’t focus on the bad stuff.

  19. 19 Gretchen Eldrich
    August 25, 2008 at 15:56

    China totally lied to the Int’l Olympic Committee to get the games and then bulldozed half the city displacing thousands, walled off entire neighborhoods, promised protest zones and arrested all who applied, censored the internet after promising not to, and basically fed the world a sanitized view of China as the central committee preferred it to be seen.

    Press ate it up. Bad Press! Afraid of being tossed out Press!

    You know and I know that once the last foreign satellite uplink truck leaves China, the reprisals against anyone who made them look bad will begin. Heck they didn’t even wait for the games to end. Largely, they did whatever they wanted because it was too late to move the games somewhere else, so what was anyone going to do to China?

    Certainly the US will have nothing to say, considering China owns most of our debt. And we rely on China for a steady flow of shoddy, toxic goods for Walmarts everywhere.

    Even a little girl couldn’t sing her own song because her teeth weren’t perfect enough for the Chinese image.

  20. 20 Bob in Queensland
    August 25, 2008 at 15:58

    I’m pleased that the games themselves went ahead so successfully. Perhaps China shouldn’t have been allowed to be host but, once they were selected, politics shouldn’t have spoiled the games for the athletes.

    That said, I’m not sure what China is supposed to have “gotten away with”. Everyone knew their record on human rights and freedoms before they got the Olympics–and they turned out to be no better or worse than expected.

  21. 21 Shaun in Halifax
    August 25, 2008 at 16:00

    I think that by ‘get away with it’ they mean ‘did China fulfill the commitments it made in order to be awarded the games?’

    Seems to me that they promised a bunch of other stuff besides building the facilities, but they didn’t deliver on those promises.

    What’s the lesson here? Imo, the takeaway lesson is that a country can promise anything and everything in order to GET the games, but when it comes down to fulfilling them, all that is really necessary are the facilities and the flash.

  22. 22 Shaun in Halifax
    August 25, 2008 at 16:02

    @ Bob

    What Gretchen said.

  23. 23 Livia Varju
    August 25, 2008 at 16:10

    China certainly did not get away with it in the eyes of conscientious people. I refused to be bedazzled by the dazzling closing ceremony and kept thinking it was all delusion. Of course to people who value show and lights and glitter and the glory of sport above human beings, it was a success. But sport is just a small part of human life, while the respect of human rights is vital. I could not forget the thousands of Tibetans, Christians and various opponents who spent the Games in prison, deprived and tortured. I could not get out of my mind the 77 people and groups who asked for permission to demonstrate, many of whom were arrested for asking – despite promises to the contrary by the Chinese Government before the Games. I kept remembering the people who were expelled from their homes to make place for the Olympics, with so little compensation that they were living in tents or shacks, often too far from their places of ! work.

    The Chinese are no better worse than the rest of us? There are certainly no human rights violations in Western Europe to even remotely compare with what goes on in China.

    Livia Varju

  24. 24 Henry
    August 25, 2008 at 16:17

    The Chinese did a magnificent job in showing the world that the days of Mao are over. The games were beautifully choreagraphed and on the whole there seemed to be enough freedom of movement as I do not recall hearing anyone, except protestors, complaining. Congratulations China.

    Henry Karnilowicz

  25. 25 nelsoni
    August 25, 2008 at 16:23

    @ Sun. Interesting comments. If China’s hands are clean on all fronts, why the tight grip on the media, why don’t they show they world the “real china” so that we all know? I think you are happy that you are not in China else you would not have access to this site in the first place. Every country has question marks but some have more question marks than others.

  26. 26 gary
    August 25, 2008 at 16:31

    Most young people find new and different things to be very interesting. Thus, closing the door will be a bit harder than was openning it. I believe the Chinese people will show a net gain from their Olympic experiences. I congratulate them for a job well done.

  27. August 25, 2008 at 16:41

    It was evident that the political issues in China that were widely publicised prior to to the Olympic Games melted as the games were proceeding. the majority of people following the games were interested in their countries’ participation.

    China proved able to make the games a success. It came top of winning gold medals, ousting the USA as the first country to win gold medals. There were little reports of protests. Perhaps the world attention was towards the events in Georgia, raising the fear of kindling cold war between Russia and the West, especially NATO members.

    The games were moments of glory for many countries and China provided the opportunity for them to show their best.

    The Olympic Games were ironically a cover hiding the hot issues in China like the situation in Tibet and human rights. The glamour of the games charmed the majority. But as the games are now over, China still has to improve its image with the rest of the world as it has to improve the living standard of its citizens in terms of income and the exercise of their human rights.

  28. 28 1430a
    August 25, 2008 at 16:42

    hello everyone,
    very interesting topic(even though i also suggested one).
    Well,yes i do think that they got away with it.i mean before the games started there were speculations regarding the human values(global warming,tibet crises and my favourite darfur)of the Games.As soon as it commenced it seemed as if all these problems vanished.
    But yes the real picture of ‘China’ has not been framed into our minds,because the whole tournament seemed ‘fake’.
    how often could we see what the real china is???they just impressed the media and a few other VIP guests i assume.:)

  29. 29 Ros Atkins
    August 25, 2008 at 17:11

    Hi, WHYS Team,

    China might have hoodwinked a few billion people but I was a cynic from the day China was awarded the games. I never believed for a moment that China’s dictators would allow a free press nor permit demonstrations no matter what those dictators promised and I was correct to be cynical, as events proved.

    All the best,

    Donnamarie Leemann
    Lavigny, Switzerland

  30. August 25, 2008 at 17:15

    Ros, whether China got away with it or not remains to be seen. Naturally, the flares, pomp and pageantry that marked both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics couple with the breaking of world records by Phelps and Bolt made this Olympics special. The success of the games overshadowed the pro Tibet, Dafur and human rights protests. Maybe those protests can now resume because there is no more attention on the games.

  31. 31 Katharina in Ghent
    August 25, 2008 at 17:17

    I remember the day when I heard the news on the radio that China was awarded the Olympic Games. I was at work and I talked to a colleague from Russia, and I said naively that China would have to change for the better now because of all the media attention. My Russian colleague replied that the opposite would happen, as it happened 1980 in Moscow. According to her the reprisals were countless and basically the Games left the people worse off than before. I can’t quite imagine that the same will hold true for China, but I don’t think that all of a sudden everything will be wonderful and democratic, either.

  32. 32 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 17:47


    China won the medal count, since they had the most gold, which is and has been the yardstick for ever.

    usa won the most, but that is secondary to the amount of gold.

    i don’t think china got away with anything. we all knew what china stands for and gave them the olymics anyway. it is western hypocrasy to cry foul and critizise china for it’s actions prior to the games. it is almost as if the west wanted to set-up china for this and that is wrong.

    the games clearly showcased china’s potential and that is why they wanted them. period.

    i certainly do not support chinas human’s right record, but then there are enough other countries that are not as squeky clean as they portray, gitmo anyone?

  33. 33 steve
    August 25, 2008 at 17:49

    @ Jens

    Last time I checked, 110 is more than 100. I could be wrong though.

  34. 34 Ana Milena, Colombia
    August 25, 2008 at 18:07

    Hallo! 🙂

    In my opinion, China did well as the hosts for this event; they demonstrated that their tidy organisation, their lively spirit and their brilliant imagination could overcome, at least for a moment, all these issues about Tibet, human rights, etc.
    I’ve always disagreed with mixing these problems and the Olympic Games. After all, it would be such a pity to spoil an importantand inspiring event that takes place only every four years. I guess China made it, and the perception of most of us as viewers is that China was amazing!

    But we can never take those issues for granted. Life goes on, and there are lots of things to solve; perhaps this experience of the Olympics would let us (even China) see all these aspects in a practical way, to conclude it’s possible to overcome all these international and even national bareers by thinking as one.

    I hope we don’t ever forget people in need in China after the event came to an end. They need our attention!!

    😉 Cheers!

  35. 35 Scott (M)
    August 25, 2008 at 18:10

    China got away with it a long time ago, when the rest of the world starting manufacturing almost everything in China because of cheap labor.

    China got away with it again when the IOC awarded them the games. The actual Beijing Olympics—they just simply happened—the damage was already done long before.

  36. 36 Mahder Tewolde, New York
    August 25, 2008 at 18:11

    The Olympics were great. However, I think China will revert to its previous state as soon as the flurry over the games settle. It is the duty of the Chineese people not to let China go back but move forward

  37. 37 Kwabena
    August 25, 2008 at 18:13

    I don’t think the Olympic games has caused and will cause much change in the attitude of china, for one thing the communist state has proven to the world that it can successfully host the Olympics and still keep a tight control over its own affairs.

  38. 38 Richard
    August 25, 2008 at 18:14

    it is said to see that big powers do get away with almost whatever, see the US in iraq, see Russia in Georgia.

    in the case of the olympics, the Chinese succeeded by putting on a big show and making everybody willing not to cause trouble happy.

    the olympics are a showcase for the fact that the old mantra: “we`ll work with powers who do not share even minimum values about freedom and human rights because this cooperation will make them take steps towards those freedoms and rights” does not work in reality.

    compare the situation at the point of time when giving the olympics to beijing was justified with exactly those arguments with the situation today: not many of hese expectations have been fulfilled. but indeed, a lot of money has been made by those wiling to compromise.

  39. August 25, 2008 at 18:15

    During the Olympics I kept thinking of the parents in Sichuan who lost children in the schools that collapsed in the earthquake. Some 10,000 school children died. As a comment on the world media, I as sad that follow up on that tragic situation simply died out. I suppose editors were preoccupied with the Games. I hope the world press will pick up this thread again, and cover the parents’ request that there be a thorough investigation of why these schools collapsed. In this way, future loss of life can be prevented.

    Concerning the Chinese party and state, I just have this question. With its top-down control over such vast financial resources — as seen by the huge investment in these Games — what could be done to ensure the safety of all schools in China?

  40. August 25, 2008 at 18:16

    These were the greatest Olympic Games in history! China did a tremendous job and they should be proud for making such come to life.

  41. 41 Tom D Ford
    August 25, 2008 at 18:16

    We have two opposing sides here, the people who are for human rights and on the opposite are the businesses that make their money because they get to abuse human rights by doing business in China.

    China accomplished a great Olympics and set a standard that probably won’t be met for a very long time.

    And the businesses that advertised during the Olympic coverage make their money in partnership with and because of abuse of human rights.

  42. 42 Luci
    August 25, 2008 at 18:17

    After hearing about the manipulation of the fireworks and the singing girl being not beautiful enough to be shown in the opening ceremonies, I decided to drop all manipulations in the final round.
    This is easy to say, since I live in Copenhagen and not London. Had I lived in London, I would have probably tuned in to see the link up.
    That said, I sure do miss Ken Livingstone. I have already seen too much of Boris the Mayor. I find him a little too self-important, in the same way as those spectacles that are staged for the opening and closing ceremonies. Kind of like cheesecake with fruit topping. Piling on too much for my taste.
    Respect to all those who competed in the games. Respect.

  43. 43 Devadas
    August 25, 2008 at 18:20

    Definitely china got away from all controversies for the time being during the Olympics at Beijing as they wished. The cancerous wounds of Tibet, Darfur and poor human rights all were well covered with nice bandaid plaster but even more amazing was the brilliant way china hushed up the serial blasts which occured during olympics some 3000kms from the venue werein nearly 25 chinese including large number of policemen were killed and coverup didnt finish there. Right at the heart of olympic venue the american men’s volleyball coach’s father-in law was stabbed to death but chinese olympic authorities saw to it that it didn’t get that much flareup comment and made it a trivial matter.

  44. 44 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    August 25, 2008 at 18:20

    They did get away with it. When you spend a LOT of money and have your people work hard (for little money) to build the Birds Nest and Water Cube it can get done.

    All the things that could have gone wrong did not because the government did not let people protest, no permits were given out. And most of all, we only see the greatness not the hardship caused by the factories being closed, restriction on travel, and most of the people who were displaced for the building.

  45. 45 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 18:20


    you are wrong. china won more gold therefore THEY won the medal count. Only the USA counts amounts of total medals, the rest of the world, PLUS the olympic comitee counts amount of GOLD won. sorry to burts your little bubble.

  46. 46 Rob
    August 25, 2008 at 18:20

    Yes, China got away with it. If there were any complaints the complainants were jailed. If there was an unflattering report it was cut off. If the best singer wasn’t pretty enough, they faked it. If there weren’t enough fireworks they added illusions.

    Yes, they got away with it and the rest of the world let them because they are an upcoming economic power. It’s all about cash.

  47. 47 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 18:23

    Did China get away with it? Absolutly!

    Didn’t even notice the fake fireworks, lipsinging little girl who replaced an ugly one, falsified passports to be allowed to compete or athletes to wear protective gear outdoors. Who read the reports about the 70+ applications for protest that were denied and sentenced to house arrest? Not me…. it was a prefect Olympics.

    China totally got away with “it”, the world did not notice the many ethical or human rights issues.

  48. 48 Igor
    August 25, 2008 at 18:24

    That most of us simply are not as outraged by China and its policies as some compaigners would have us believe that is why human rights and Tibet did not become central story during Olympic Games.

  49. 49 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 18:24

    I didn’t watch the closing ceremony. I had not interest in watching more of China’s fake hoopla.

  50. 50 Kofi
    August 25, 2008 at 18:26

    Of course they did.

    The world has woken up to realise even the “rest of us in the free world” can be hypnotized with the Chinese government and forget all our obsession with democracy, freedom and everything we think is right and the Chinese people deserve.

    Now we can no longer blame the ordinary Chinese for not standing up to their leaders and demanding freedom and democracy.

  51. August 25, 2008 at 18:27

    The World Olympic ended and the only thing I learn is that a communist tyrant nation can masquerade wherever they want in order to continue with their Human Rights abuses.

    I don’t care how many more world activities would come from China because at the end of the day their people would continue be the slaves of a criminal political establishment.

    China spent millions and millions of dollars in the greatest communist party ever, but
    the Chinese’s people remained ignorant of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Why?

    Salt Lake City, utah

  52. 52 Kalypso
    August 25, 2008 at 18:28

    Yes of course China got away with it!
    I was always sure that these games will change absolutely nothing in China. The games should never have been awarded to China in the first place! It was ridiculous that people believed China’s promises. It was clear that they would not deliver! The games itself were great of course. I am very very happy for the 7 medals that Ethiopia got, especially for the two double golds. Bravo Kenenisa!! Bravo Terunesh! you are the best!

  53. 53 Jamie
    August 25, 2008 at 18:29

    So should we put the same expectations on the London Olympics? Should we expect the jobless rate to go down, the homeless to be housed and the air quality raised. Will corruption and racism be fixed. Probably not, so lets just keep the Games out of politics. It was great to see all the countries mingling in the opening ceremony. I think if we had the Olympics every year we would have a more peaceful world.

  54. 54 Mason
    August 25, 2008 at 18:31

    China definitely “got away with it”, they promised a free and open Olympics, even though they had protest areas as required, they approved no applications to use them, they deported or even jailed people who tried in anyway to speak their mind, breaking promises they had made… many say “don’t politicize the Olympics”…that is ridiculous, the entire process of the Olympics, including the judging of sports, is politicized…the Chinese should be happy and proud of the show they put on, but they need to keep working toward gaining human rights for all people.  Improvements are great, but you must keep moving forward.

  55. 55 Mark
    August 25, 2008 at 18:34

    The success of the Chinese Olympics and the participation of so many volunteers, etc., is due to two things – nationalism and yes, racial pride. Over and over I heard interviewed Chinese express their national pride and refer to “the Chinese people.” There was little expressed desire to be loved, in contrast to the West, where that desire has made us so pathetic and divided.

  56. 56 helarson
    August 25, 2008 at 18:34

    This is all crap China got away with the games, high tech electronics ultra modern design venues amazing opening and closing ceremonies how could they not? That still misses the fact that China is really two trains on the same track, you can’t have a free market society run by a totalitarian government it just will not work. The press did not hold up it’s reporting goals but when have they in last twenty yrs.? Marx and Engels said religion was the opiate of the masses for their time it was, they never envisioned this high tech world. Sports are now the opiate of the masses and if you want the people to be good citizens you give them their drugs. It might take a decade or two but China is headed for a showdown which it may not survive all the west can do is keep up the pressure and wait.

  57. 57 Rashid Patch
    August 25, 2008 at 18:36

    Didn’t watch the Olympics. Didn’t read any press reports about it. Not in the paper press, not online. None of it. Could not care less.

    Doesn’t even have to do with athletics anymore. Nothing but an overblown and ultimately sleazy spectacle to sell corporate / government self-congratulations.

    Total waste. Worse than a waste, a misdirection of attention and resources from important issues.

  58. August 25, 2008 at 18:37

    YES!!!, Russia got away with it. SHEME to BBC. CONGRATULATION to Russia.

    I wish that I were a Russian.

    Prince Awele Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria

  59. 59 Scott
    August 25, 2008 at 18:39

    Two points:

    1) It’s very difficult to take seriously what we hear from Chinese supporters when China suppresses speech. One of the Chinese supporters said that Asian societies have different values which allow for occurences like those surrounding the official protesting areas. However, given Chinese media policies (including those surrounding the official protesting areas!), we have no idea if the views of the Chinese supporters represent those of the Chinese people.

    2) One of the commentators said that comparing China to the West is like comparing apples and oranges. China itself, though, attempts to compare itself to the West by hosting the Olympics and making claims about it being “the best Olympics ever!” Is that not immediately an invitation to compare China with other countries that have hosted this international institution (including many Western countries)?

    Akron, OH

  60. 60 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 25, 2008 at 18:41

    IF there IS an issue of China getting away with it, then that had already happened when the Olympics were awarded to it!

    The most important point to note is:

    At the highest levels of society (in terms of ‘Money Wealth’ [NOT intellectual wealth, e.g.]) and Power) there is ONLY ONE RELIGION.

    The Religion of ‘Money Wealth’ & Power!

    At this level everybody is in bed with everybody else regardless of the hate, fighting, differences in values, morals & ethics which the ordinary people of each ‘group’ stand for/represent/are!

    Don’t waste time! Get on with your life!

    The capitalist MNCs and politicians are very comfortably in bed with the Commies! Let them enjoy!

  61. 61 James
    August 25, 2008 at 18:42

    First, China pulled of a coup with the Olympics. They were the first country to have foreign leaders attend their opening ceremony, they clamped down instead of opening up, and really just proved the West’s patronizing perspective upon the non-western world. to paraphrase Hotel Rwanda, they’re just Africans.
    secondly, I’ve heard a lot of Chinese commentators complain of the western press being too rough on china, but if they ever look at how brutal the press in the US and even more so in Britain is on their government, they should be proud that they are held in such a high regard.

  62. 62 Nonie Chan
    August 25, 2008 at 18:44

    The opening and closing ceremonies are both breathtaking and scary- really, there’s probably only China on planet earth that can put on such a grand and large scaled performance. They are so good at making its people more robot-like and precisely controlled while in the Western culture the mentality is to make robots more human-like instead. What China has is human capital and the way it is ruled keeps it in one piece- look at other continents that have way more uprisings and instability with what’s a tiny portion of China’s population. I say China’s come a long, long way. To complain more about China’s human right situation and other topics is like complaining… like eating fish and dismayed to find bones in the flesh- the bones are essential for the survival and existence of the fish and so is the ruling style for the existence of China as it is today.

  63. 63 Solomon
    August 25, 2008 at 18:44

    The Olympics have ended and the only thing I learn is that a communist tyrant nation can masquerade wherever they want in order to continue with their Human Rights abuses.

    I don’t care how many more world activities would come from China because at the end of the day their people would continue be the slaves of a criminal political establishment.

    China spent millions and millions of dollars in the greatest communist party ever, but the Chinese’s people remained ignorant of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Why?

  64. 64 Ken, Berkeley, California
    August 25, 2008 at 18:46

    Yes! The Chinese government managed to turn the Olympics into an unprecedented propaganda event for themselves by throwing immense financial and human resources at the facilities, ceremonies, and preparation for their athletes, and clamping down on free expression. By dazzling the world, the Chinese government has managed to seriously detract attention from its appalling human rights and environmental practices.

    But, they have not fooled everyone. In my view, their handling of the Olympics has brought indelible shame on the country: all of the deception and suppression of other voices; the message of conformity in their ceremonies; suppression of demonstrations; suppressing news of a dancer paralyzed in rehearsals; forging documentation to change the ages of several of their female gymnasts; dubbing the voice of their star child singer in the opening ceremony; most important, failing to meet their obligation to improve their human rights records.

    Do not let China get away with it!

  65. 65 Inge
    August 25, 2008 at 18:50

    The ‘confection’ of the Games was exactly what it was meant to be: world shattering visuals; obviously great achievements individually, & I would not wish to detract from these efforts, but the prolonged farewell said it all – we are going to go on & on & on, & we will not let you forget it!. The ‘add ons’ were awful I thought, splicing in Placido Domingo was such an insult, I am surprised he agreed to do this false ‘shoe in’! But i guess money is money isn’t it?. I am very disappointed in him, but I think ‘The Voice’ would have done it too!

  66. 66 alia
    August 25, 2008 at 18:50

    It is ridicules to hear the journalist from the US laments on the lack of independent reporters in China. What is she talking about? Does she consider media conglomerates such as BBC, CNN, NBC, etc. examples of independent media?

  67. August 25, 2008 at 18:53

    YES!!!, YES!!!, YES!!!, China got away with “it” — your very enormous and desperate propaganda in violation of the sovereignty, independence and human and cultural rights and freedom of the government and people of China, intended to impose more corruption than Chairman Mao dealt with during his time on present Chinese.

    I am very happy that you did not succeed. Shame, shame and shame to the BBC and Congratulation, Congratulation, and congratulation to the government and people of China.

    I sang and danced for the success of China and wished that I were a Chinese.

    Prince Awele Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria

  68. 68 Jessica in NYC
    August 25, 2008 at 18:53

    I do think Tibet were able to bring more attention to their situation.

    @ Katharina

    I was, as well, a little naive in thinking when the IOC awarded China Olympic Games that “things” would have to change. I blame it on youth.

  69. 69 Tom D Ford
    August 25, 2008 at 18:56

    Here in the US the NBC Opening Ceremony commentators made it clear that the firework “footprints” were computer generated so I just appreciated how well they were done.

    And here in the US no singer is even allowed to sing on TV unless they are physically beautiful, so the complaints about a lip synch-ing little Chinese girl is just hypocrisy. The Chinese put their best face forward just like any government in the west does.

  70. 70 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 25, 2008 at 19:00

    Re: Scott August 25, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Well said! BOTH your points have split apart the argument of whoever made those two statements!

    To stay in Power & to amass ‘Money Wealth’ EVERY justification to suppress, exploit & abuse ordinary people is being made; has been made in the past and will be made in the future!

  71. 71 rash
    August 25, 2008 at 19:04

    point is China was, is and will be a communist country now and in the future. and they have achieved good things and exprianced both good and bad stuff. Communism is part of their success, i mean comeon, tell me of one great country who was led to their greatness due to DEMOCRACY?

    don’t get me wrong, democracy would bring China better lifestyles etc, etc, but face it not even the USA can challenge China and it’s activities. they only say ” we don’t approve this or that” and that’s it, so yea China is getting away with every thing they do and unless the change initiative is brought from with in China, there is no chance for “outsiders” to influence what China will do or is doing.

    then again, there is be the negetive baggage that democracy could bring….

  72. 72 Keith
    August 25, 2008 at 19:06

    Did you guys see that closing ceremony? I was about ready to forgive and forget all the human rights violations! Just kidding 🙂

  73. 73 Devra Lawrence-Jamaica
    August 25, 2008 at 19:07

    I was never really ‘moved’ by China as a nation. But since they have hosted this year’s Olympics, I view them in a different way. I don’t care much if they had fake buildings, underaged olympians etc. the point is that they have been one of the most spectacular hosts of the best games held worlwide!

    Mi gi dem full hundred ratings!!!


  74. 74 Keith
    August 25, 2008 at 19:08

    On a more serious note, though, China’s been getting away with whatever they want for years. As if it would change for the Olympics. Whenever anybody would bring up the subject of Tibet, the Chinese would basically say “…mind your own business”. THAT BEING SAID, I agree with Brett. I am glad that politics did not interfere with the Chinese hosting a wonderful Olympics. They did a great job.

  75. 75 Doug McCarthy
    August 25, 2008 at 19:08

    Fascinating discussion but you’re answering your question by broadcasting it. In other words, no China did not get away with it.

    1. The tiny minority of people in the world who follow international events and try to understand what is really going on already knew the facts and didn’t have them magically obliterated from their minds by the Olympics broadcasts.

    2. The vast majority of people in the world only continued to do what they always do: swallow everything that most of the media feeds them.

    3. As far as I can tell, no one has even alluded to the historical fact that China slid into chaos at the beginning of the 20th century, remembers this and above all wants to avoid anything that might lead to a repetition of the first half of that century. That’s why by Western standards, they’re autocratic. Let’s not forget either that it’s the precious West that triggered China’s descent into chaos by their colonial greed.

    4. I live in France, and it’s perfectly obvious that all the over the top protest the day the flame went through Paris was totally and absolutely counter-productive: it has allowed the CP of the PRC to marginalise France’s voice among the Chinese population. It probably also allowed them to intensify repression.

    So let’s have a little realism here please.

  76. 76 Joy in Ohio
    August 25, 2008 at 19:14

    Regarding the Olympics, the IOC awarded the games to China knowing the political situation there and the likely controversy that might arise. Any fallout about the decision to have the games in China should be directed to the committee. That said, China did an outstanding job in hosting the games. Yes, they presented the best of themselves, and why not? I think some of the nay-sayers are the type of American who goes abroad and stays at Holiday Inn & eats at McDonalds.

  77. 77 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 19:15

    well, anyone look at the approval rating of the chinese people regarding their country. wonder how many countries get an 86% positive approval rating.

    yes tibet is an issue, but do you seriously think the usa has never oppressed a country. while we do many great and good things, we also have a checkered history and should not throw with stones while sitting in a glass house.

  78. 78 Tonda Praha
    August 25, 2008 at 19:15

    This is the beginning of a trend. Of course China “got away with it”. Totalitarian countries are uniquely qualified to produce fault-free Olympic games. Why? Because they require “trains running on time” precision, massive security, quashing dissent and an absolute disregard for the return on investment. 2016? Go Belarus!!!

  79. 79 James in Portland
    August 25, 2008 at 19:16

    Give the chinese government a break!!
    Surely there are problems but this is only half of the story.
    40 years ago 30 million people died of famine during the “great leap foward”. Over the last 20 years 100 million have been lifted out of poverty and recent polls indicate 80 % approval of the government. What liberal democracy has come near this? Chinese actions in Tibet and Sudan seem beign when compared to U.S actions in Iraq, Iran, South America

  80. 80 Alan
    August 25, 2008 at 19:17

    For a country that executes hundreds of people at a time and sells their organs to foreigners needing transplants. They did a wonderful job!
    Hopefully they will open their eyes to the possibilities for their people and country by continuing human rights reforms and come into the present day culture of the world!

  81. 81 Daniyel
    August 25, 2008 at 19:18

    With respect,
    those who claim that China is making progress aren’t defining what progress is.
    Either people are being disrespected, or they are being treated fairly.
    What is a middle ground or progress with regard to human rights?

  82. 82 Stephen in Boston, USA
    August 25, 2008 at 19:19

    I feel that China’s current leadership has made great strides in increasing the welfare of their population. Remember back to the days of Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Millions starved and millions more were killed by the whim of Mao. The current political system while repressive by our (the west’s) standards, is much more tolerant than back in the dark days of the 60’s and 70’s. I suspect that things are getting and will continue to get better. Patience

  83. 83 Paul in the Netherlands
    August 25, 2008 at 19:23

    As long we talk about “human rights” instead of “colonialism”, we are being kind to Chinese imperialism. Of course Tibetans’ rights are not always respected, but this distracts us from the bigger picture: China invaded & colonised Tibet. Please call a spade a spade.

  84. 84 Peyton in the USA
    August 25, 2008 at 19:25

    I just got back from the Olympics and all though I had a blast there were many things that popular media and television coverage failed to expose. Ticket scalping was widespread and many China police blatantly ignored it. Security at the games was odd in general as they had no tolerance for fans who just wanted to say hi and congratulate their athletes. A companion of mine at the games explained it as being as if the Nazis and Disney got together to stage the Olympics. A joke obviously but with some truth. Also, many tourists seemed to never leave popular districts and ignored the neighborhoods that were hidden by large walls and contained massive poverty.

  85. 85 Bod
    August 25, 2008 at 19:30

    I am listening on the radio and heard the Chinese guy claim Tibet has been their internal colony for centuries. But until the Chinese communist army of Mao started occupation in 1949, Chinese have never ruled Tibet! The claim is an imperialist myth. Tibet and Tibetans have always been totally separate neighboring people.

    PLS ask the Chinese guy: Since the Han Chinese didn’t actually rule Tibet before the communist invasion, isn’t the CCP’s claim of centuries of possession very simply an imperialist act against a peaceful neighboring state.

    (Tibet had it’s own independent government, army, flag, postal system, currency, language, religion, culture, ethnicity etc etc)

    Since Chinese are taught to violently hate the past foreign colonianism, why should the totally non-Chinese Tibetans have to remain subject of genocide. Manchus have already been wiped out by Chinese, and there are nearly 90% Chinese now in the Chinese-occupied Mongolia.

  86. 86 Space
    August 25, 2008 at 19:32

    It is the tunnel-vision mentality of the media. Being a commercial venture, the media is only intersted in that which draws viewers before the next station over, and so the media’s efforts are limited to one focus at a time- the breaking story. Any news article only lasts until the next one breaks, and apparenty the Chinese commercially independent enough to have recognized this. Now, back to whatever pop up next…

  87. 87 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 25, 2008 at 19:32

    Re: Tom D Ford August 25, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    And here in the US no singer is even allowed to sing on TV unless they are physically beautiful, so the complaints about a lip synch-ing little Chinese girl is just hypocrisy. The Chinese put their best face forward just like any government in the west does.

    My foot! Utter tosh!

    By ‘conventional standards’ of beauty neither Whitney Houston nor Celine Dion are beautiful. An Indian playback singer by the name of Lata Mangeshkar plus the male playback singers Mohd. Rafi and Kishore Kumar would ALL fall in this category.

    BUT as far as their voices are concerned & their ability to sing: par excellence! The emotions invoked and visions generated in your mind by the beautiful voice of such singers is known to all who enjoy their music.

    Haven’t you seen any of the singers mentioned above on TV?!

  88. 88 Dennis
    August 25, 2008 at 19:33

    I think that China, got away with the Olympics.


  89. 89 Vitaly
    August 25, 2008 at 19:34


    All those talks about dictatorship in China, human rights’ abuses and so on are only another attempt of Western “democracies” to rock the boat, set up a puppet regime and then fish in troubled waters as just like they’ve been doing all over the World.

    They didn’t allow some actions against? It’s not in every nation tradition to wash its dirty linen in public. And they don’t have to.

    Chinese people are hardly in need for your ‘protection’, Iraqis are already gifted.

    Good luck

  90. 90 Nicola
    August 25, 2008 at 19:39

    yes and no – we are all still very aware of what China has to do to bring itself up to world democracy standards and they are aware too..so it’s up to us in a OneWorld to ensure this happens..Meantime, the athletes performed beyond expections and brought us all together for 16 days loving each other and appreciating the rewards of years of hard work..Nicola, Jamaica

  91. 91 Keith in Oregon, USA
    August 25, 2008 at 19:44

    I think we should note that the event is called Olympic GAMES…not promoting democracy or feeding the starving……worthwhile as this may be. It is a sporting event. As such, China produced a magnificent event, despite the apparent wishes of much of the media which for months persisted in forcasting doom & gloom. Congratulations to China.

    One more thing, the word ‘democracy’ is bandied around so freely, but what is that? Is it the pro-wealth philosophy here in USA, in Britain or European Union? Or is it – or should it be- what is best for the citizens? I opt for the latter. China has accomplished an enormous amount of good for its citizens during the last few decades.
    Of course, in China, there are still some really problematic events but gradually these will be solved but it wii take time. Meanwhile let’s compliment China.

    And let’s hope London can do a better job of promoting itself than that embarrassing
    singing/ musical event at the closing. The London Bus was a good touch; the technology great, but the rest of it was too long, too disorganized – almost unrehearsed-compared to the discipline that China displayed.

  92. 92 Buchi from Awka, Nigeria
    August 25, 2008 at 19:46

    The fact that protester and terrorist attacks did not disrupt the games in China does mean that the Chinese government has set their humanitarian record straight. It is simply a clear indication that sport is the Worlds main language.

  93. 93 Sunil
    August 25, 2008 at 19:51

    I was censored by the BBC after soending ~10mins of my precious time;o(
    I was just comparing China and Singapore.
    I retract my earlier comments (which had no vulgarities etcetera).
    And I say Adieu to World Have Your Say.

    (PS: I dare you to post this;o)

  94. 94 Andre
    August 25, 2008 at 19:52

    I think that we need to make a conscious effort to seperate the Olympic Games from politics. Almost every country that has the capacity to host the Olympics has some type of ongoing controversy over its foreign or domestic policies or has a historical problem.

    Examples include China’s Tibet policy, the USA and UK’s intervention in Iraq, the Russian intervention in Georgia, the World War 2 crimes of the Germans and Japanese; the treatment of women in some Islamic states, French interventions in Africa; the past and present treatment of the indigenous peoples in Canada and Australia … I could go on but I think the point has been made.

    Every major country has some issue in its past or present that is objectionable to other people. If we use the Olympic Games as an opportunity to fill the host country with protests then the Games themselves will gradually fade out of existence as they become political instead of about sport.

  95. 95 Brett
    August 25, 2008 at 19:55


    Your post violated WHYS guidelines. It was entirely too long, I try to be understanding but it was quite a read! If you would like to break it up into segmented posts with individual points, let me know I will email the post back to you so you may resubmit it.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

    PS I have emailed you the post.

  96. 96 Ole in Kenya
    August 25, 2008 at 20:03

    The Western World tried to put all the propaganda to descredit China but surely, She(China) remains a great united nation. For the Olympics, it’s indelible mark.

  97. 97 Chris
    August 25, 2008 at 20:07

    Thinking about South Korea, Republic of China (Taiwan), during the 1980s, 1990s, these oriental area, they all experienced a time when economics were growing hugely, but the political system is still authoritarian. Thinking about the 1988 Olympics in South Korea, it opened South Korea, and promoting South Korea to be not only a better economic, but also helping the democracy path of it. After the Japan’s Olympic, also things are promoted.

    Give China time and best wishes also like what South Korea had, Japan had.

    Remember oriental countries, Confucius culture is different. People need peaceful and harmony lives and families first, rather than democracy. Of course, democracy is preferred when things and people are ready enough. But before thinking about politics, developing more people’s real lives is more important and needed in these oriental countries.

    Chinese populated Republic of China, Taiwan, also experienced a totalitarian time. When the beginning of so called democracy, chaos happened before peaceful democratic discussion, which also happens recently. But after 20 years, things are getting better. So to the mainland of China, things may be similar. It takes time. Chinese population like more free nation, but firstly a peaceful and prospectus country and good lives.Mainland admires Taiwan’s democracy systems sometimes, but not wanting the chaos and division of society.

    Remember, in eastern country, when you want to give suggestion to someone. Be friendly and gentle to the one you wish to talk to and be friend. Being a friend and gain the trust from the one first, then he will listen to your gentle suggestion. But if you are a far way man, even a not friendly one, so hard to promote your opinion and suggestion.

    Like IOC president Rogg said, China learned more from the world, also world learned about China more. And the mutual understanding is needed, if people really wish to have a better world. Be friend and go to oriental world, learn the difference and reality first, then talk in the understandable way.

    People in China hope China to go to become like UK or US, a multi ethnics country, Tibetan is one of many ethnic groups living together in China centuries, even thousands years. If you think Scotland and Northern Ireland are being well and melting in UK, American Indian and African are living well in US, then China wants to do the same thing.

    It’s up to you to promote and support China to be another free, colorful and prospectus country, or make another USSR or British Imperial Empire.

    Peaceful and nicely talks and understandings work more when you want to give suggestion and promote some ideas.

  98. August 25, 2008 at 20:15

    Get away with what? I understand that China has amassed an outstanding record of human rights violations, but the Olympic games aren’t about politics. Every four years (now every two) we set aside our differences and bring our best athletes to a world-wide competition. In the process of that, we get to know each other a little better and find that we’re not so different. I look forward to the games, in which athletes from all over the world do outstanding work, and I am just as excited to see an outstanding performance from athletes from other countries than from my own.

    Human rights are important, but they have their context. The games are about the games, they are about the athletes and having a platform from which we can take pride in the achievements of those who share our nationality. There are other platforms for human rights: commerce, diplomacy, art, literature and entertainment. The Chinese deserve to be condemned for their human rights record, but it seems that in his haste, Ros Atkins is condemning them (among other things) for their pagentry. Ros, please don’t take this the wrong way, but being as you are British, isn’t your complaining about the excessive pagentry at the end of the games rather like the pot calling the kettle black? This is not to stereotype you, of course, but we all endulge in it from time to time.

  99. 99 Jens
    August 25, 2008 at 20:19


    the current UK goverment is infinitly less popular in the UK, than the current chiniese goverment in china. that should tell us something, plus the fact that they are still hanging one.

    the next olymics will be a shables compared to these ones. i lived in london for over 10 years and i can tell you the words “piss-up and brewery” come to mind. just look at all the troubles with wembley stadium and now they want to build even bigger things. i cannot stop laughing, when i think that all that stuff will be build by lager swilling louts driving white vans. i have already a name for the olympic village “CHAV CITY”.

    oh dear oh dear…..

  100. 100 Chris
    August 25, 2008 at 20:25


    Thanks about your concern about China, but learn more. What happens in China’s history is more complex than just saying who oppress who. Before 1945, Mongolia is united in the Republic of China, which is now in Taiwan (Which now officially still holds the map including Mongolia).

    Manchurian is not swiped, but melted with other ethnics groups in China, like Tibetan, Hui, Miao Things are just similar what happended to UK or US. What about Scottish now, Welsh now? they are melting and united in UK, or you wish them fight for split UK. In US, American Indian and African live together with European offsprings. Which do you think better, fight or harmonic lives.

    I have Tibetan and Manchurian classmates since I was young living in China before I came abroad for studying. We live well, no big differences, just like in multi culture Australia.

    Go to find out how many Emperors in China dynasties give proof of reincarnation of Dalai Lama since Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty, search how many officers in Lhasa, the central government had. Search during the opium war, Tibetan troops was summoned by central government for fighting British invasion with other Qing Dynasty armys. Go to China, ask Tibetan and Manchrian Chinese living in Beijing or Shanghai, they feel China is home or like the western media tried to alienate.

    China is similar long history and multi ethnic country like Britain or France. Scotland united in UK, Corsica in France, so did to China. You prefer more conflict and troubles or more peaceful better lives?

    Of course China is not perfect,democracy, which it needs later and when it’s time. But encouraging things positively is much better than just accusation.

  101. 101 Thomas Murray
    August 25, 2008 at 21:56

    Criticize them all you want, but every country makes mistakes. (What are we doing in Iraq, for Pete’s sake?)

    But the opening and closing ceremonies were spectacular. I’m just glad everything went off without any one getting killed.

    I’m already suffering Oympic withdrawal. One question though. What the heck is Michael Phelps doing in London?

    Regards, Louisville, Kentucky, US

  102. 102 Marty Lee
    August 25, 2008 at 22:49

    Far from getting away with anything, this whole thread is evidence that Sinophobia, is here to stay.

    The hypocrisy just reaches the heaven for this one. The US, UK and the mighty west all sent their contingent and yet choose to howl foul play when they were accorded the best in hospitality and sincere outreach by China to show its goodwill.

    If folks are indeed so indignant, why did they allow their respective government to send their teams in ? Ahhh, time for some reflection indeed.

    And for that matter, perhaps its time to now switch our attention back to the burning issues about illegal warmongering in Iraq and the blatant torture of the detainees in Guantanamo bay.

    For starters, perhaps the bleeding hearts that howls foul should start by planning to boycott the UK games in 2012 to protest the UK involvements in the Iraq war which the UN have frown upon.

    Time to step up to the pedestal and show China how the great democracy in the west operate. Anything less, is pure gurgle and choke.

  103. 103 Vijay
    August 25, 2008 at 23:42

    Did China get away with it?Get away with what, all they had to do was put on a Sports tournament whose ideology and behaviour are more similiar to China than modern western democracies.

    Are we trying to help China or harm it, when human rights abuses and government failures are pointed out.China will always remain inferior if political and social reforms are not initiated,if we see China as a threat, we should not help them by highlighting their deficiencies ,let them stay backward.

    Let me tell you Boris Johnson is a cyclist,I have seen him bicycle through Bloomsbury.

  104. 104 Vijay
    August 26, 2008 at 00:19

    The paralympics will be staged next month,will there be the same “atmosphere”?

  105. 105 T
    August 26, 2008 at 02:02

    I didn’t watch any of it (followed the results via the news) as I couldn’t not think about the disregard for what I would consider due procedure when it comes to evictions and the like, for what is essentially entertainment.

    But from what I gather it was all quite spectacular. It will be interesting to compare this to the next Commonwealth Games in India, which being a democracy can’t possibly manage the efficiency of China.

    With regards to whether they ‘got away with it’, there was a cartoon by Guy Body that I though captured my sentiments fairly well.


  106. August 26, 2008 at 02:58

    This is by far the most of an Olympics I have ever watched. I don’t believe that any country will ever spend this much heat and money on putting on a spectacular. Surely no county, or empire has spent three billion dollars a day to entertain for two weeks?

    My biggest problem with China was that they expected the whole world that five tiny girls were sixteen because they said so. The whole world knows that they are liars. If you will lie about a child’s age, what won’t you lie about?

  107. August 26, 2008 at 04:01

    With the vast population of China and a huge mountain of money which is visible in all the shops around the world, it appears approximately 80% of goods have been made in China, Whilst they must be complemented on the administration and spectacular show of the closing Olympic games, we must remember the many people who have died during demonstrations prior to the commencement of the games. I do believe many of the inhabitants of China have different views as to how the country should be governed. Accordingly the past examples of Iraq and Afganistan which resulted in many deaths simply because outside powers thought it better to change them to follow a more democratic way of life. It is now obvious the peoples of these countries were better of under dictators and enjoyed a better quality of life than they find themselves in today. Therfore China is better off with its present government and keeping its people in check.
    However if China had any good sense left, they should withdraw from Tibet as they are not justified to occupy the country. Perhaps they should meet the problem in another way and grant Tibet autonomy with China and let the Delai Llama return to Tibet, then China would regain some respect from the rest of the world.

  108. 108 Tom
    August 26, 2008 at 04:09

    If the world is expecting the extinguishing of the Olympic flame will herald in the fall of the Communist government and instant freedom all over China, then definitely China has got away with it and the world failed miserably.

    In terms of increasing the pressure on China in addressing its ongoing problems, in increasing the awareness among the Chinese people of these problems, and in containing the people’s hunger for real freedom and reform, China definitely did not and will not get away with it.

    Has the Olympics been a trojan horse that will gradually result in real awakening of the leadership and freedom for the people? I am confident that it has and the world will see results in time.

    The impression I get from the ways the activists pressure China, in protesting and chaining themselves in the heart of Beijing while a major event is being hosted, is like that of an adult grabbing a problematic bully by the throat, screaming and cursing at him expecting him to be a good boy overnight. Is the bully going to change? What kind of change does the adult expect from the bully? And will the bully simply be so put off that he turns inward and become more hardened? As much as I’d like to see fundamental changes in China, I’m also seeing that the protests have hardened the resolve of many Chinese.

    A story I’ve learned during childhood is that the warmth of the sun will make a man take off his coat much easier than the force of the cold wind.

  109. 109 Tom
    August 26, 2008 at 04:27

    @ Bob,

    The Manchu issue is more complex than the Tibetan one. The Manchus were a nomadic warlike steppe people who invaded China in the 1600s to set up the Qing dynasty. They represented the ruling class until 1912 when the republic was founded. As members of the ruling class, the Manchus have settled down and over time absorbed much of the local culture. Another problem they faced was that much of their homeland, aka Outer Manchuria, was annexed by Russia in the 1860s and those who remained in China are now more or less indistinguishable from the Hans. Gone are their traditional nomadic lifestyle and the Manchu language is today close to extinction.

  110. 110 Tom
    August 26, 2008 at 04:41

    @ Elias,

    “However if China had any good sense left, they should withdraw from Tibet as they are not justified to occupy the country.”

    That is assuming that the Chinese people and the rest of the world are on the same page in terms of history. This is clearly not the case.

    “Perhaps they should meet the problem in another way and grant Tibet autonomy with China and let the Delai Llama return to Tibet, then China would regain some respect from the rest of the world.”

    That I think is a far more likely way that this problem will be resolved. Tibet could then be autonomous like Quebec and Scotland.

    However, I do not believe that the Dalai Lama should be a leader of Tibet. He is an un-electable spiritual figure and mixing that with a powerful political role will likely to breed sectarian violence. Literatures on Tibetan history written by both Chinese and Westerners have reported that past Dalai Lamas have used violence to resolve internal conflicts. That should also not be repeated.

  111. 111 ben's younger brother
    August 26, 2008 at 12:51

    Hi everyone

    I thought the games were magnificent but without soul or humour.

  112. 112 Emile Barre
    August 26, 2008 at 16:31

    You could ask this question about any country hosting a global event. To be genuinely global any host country should accept the joint planning of the rest of the world in the construction of the event. Global culture must be globally expressed if it is to be convincing in shaping a global event. A quintessentiallly Greek or Chinese or whatever global event is guaranteed to fail.

  113. 113 Peter scliu
    August 26, 2008 at 18:13

    Tibet belongs to whoever rules it. Remember the late Pancheon Lama. He called in the army to stop the dai lama from staging an uprising with the help of the CIA

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