Exposing the ‘Weak Rib’ of Olympic Politicization
The degree to which Beijing yearns for international approval in its handling of the Olympic Games cannot be underestimated, which is likely the reasoning behind the timing of the recent unrest in Tibet. In this tongue-lashing of actress and human rights activist Mia Farrow published just before the unrest in Tibet broke out and after Steven Spielberg withdrew from the Olympic Games, the author suggests that the West has fundamental misunderstanding of China which requires Chinese to speak up for themselves and engage in ‘heated debate with people like Mia Farrow.’ In this op-ed which refers to an article in The Wall Street Journal legally unavailable to any of the readers of this state-controlled magazine, Shan Ren-ping writes for China’s Global Geographic Times:
“The article written by Mia Farrow confuses right and wrong and relentlessly discredits China, but even more frightening, it has begun to change the atmosphere of public opinion in the West. … She has wantonly brainwashed the public’s thinking by seizing the moral high ground. … Now is the time to expose the weaknesses of Mia Farrow and her ilk. They cannot be permitted to wantonly brainwash public opinion. This is not only unfair to China but to the entire world – and especially to Mr. Spielberg.”
By Shan Renping
Translated By Mark Klingman
February 29, 2008
Global Geographic Times – People’s Republic of China – Original Article (Chinese)
For the Beijing Olympic Games, the West seems to be showing us two completely different attitudes. On the one hand, most Western countries have given the Beijing Games a positive evaluation and oppose the “politicization of the Games.” But on the other, some non-governmental organizations and members of civil society still clamor to resist the Beijing Olympic Games.
Among these people, one cause of dissatisfaction is that they believe China hasn’t acted played a positive role in resolving the Darfur problem. So despite the fact that to date, the leaders of over sixty countries have announced that they will attend the Beijing Olympics; and opposing the “politicization of the Games” has become the message of the mainstream of global public opinion – we cannot ignore the voices of average Western people in this matter – especially the negative voices.
Not long ago, American director Steven Spielberg resigned as art director for the Beijing Olympics. On the surface it seems as though he had no choice, and although there is no chance that this will affect the success of the Beijing Olympics – the act does tell us something of the Western misunderstanding of China.
It’s fair to say that for some time now, the director has been under tremendous political pressure. Last year, on March 28, the American actress Mia Farrow wrote a commentary in The Wall Street Journal with language that maliciously accused the Beijing Olympics with being the “Genocide Olympics.” This article was the first time that the Beijing Games and Sudan were hung on the same hook – and beside condemning China, she sought to persuade Spielberg.
She wrote: “That so many corporate sponsors want the world to look away from that atrocity during the Games is bad enough. But equally disappointing is the decision of artists like director Steven Spielberg … to sanitize Beijing’s image.” Even more provocatively, she linked the Beijing Olympics to Spielberg’s own Shoah Foundation for Holocaust-remembrance which he founded in 1994, asking him to be aware that “China is bankrolling Darfur’s genocide.”
Mia Farrow’s article not only confuses right and wrong and relentlessly discredits China, even more frightening is that she has begun to change the atmosphere of public opinion in Western societies: the question of supporting the Beijing Olympic Games has become a moral issue. Once again, Spielberg’s resignation undoubtedly proves that the pressure of public opinion is very strong. It can be inferred that in the next five months, these same people will turn up the pressure on athletes and sponsors alike.
People like Mia Farrow think they have found China’s soft rib – that is, they believe they have found the most opportune place to apply pressure to China. They are wrong! In fact it is their proposed solution to the Darfur problem that is the real soft rib! Now is the time to expose the weaknesses of Mia Farrow and her ilk. They cannot be permitted to wantonly brainwash public opinion …
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