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Posted by on Feb 17, 2008 in Politics | 1 comment

The Olympic Games and the U.S. Elections: Bad Timing for Beijing

The Times, U.K.
What do the Olympic Games and Steven Spielberg have to do with the U.S. elections? It all has to do with the calender. According to Pierre Rousselin, deputy editorial page editor of France’s Le Figaro, The rage of Steven Spielberg is not in itself conclusive. But it’s significant for what it announces. Spielberg is Hollywood. And Hollywood is an arm of the Democratic Party … The Chinese have no luck with the calendar. The Olympics open on August 8th, shortly before party conventions in the United States, when the political temperature across the Atlantic will be running very high.’

By Pierre Rousselin, Translated By Sandrine Ageorges February 15, 2008, France – Le Figaro – Original Article (French)
The Olympic Games is the greatest event of global sport and one of the human activities that can best bring together the races and the continents. This summer the event is taking place in Beijing, and marks China’s return as one of the world’s major powers. A boycott of the event would be like rejecting a quarter of humanity.
Of this there can be no question.

For the organizing country, the Olympic Games hold out the promise of unparalleled international visibility. And the media coverage is such that sport is merely an excuse for where to shine the spotlight. The domestic situation of the host country, in regard to human rights and its foreign policy, among other issues, cannot escape; in China even less than elsewhere.

The Chinese regime knew when it sought to organize the celebration that it would be an opportunity for the country to flaunt its success. Impervious to any notion of democracy, it owes its legitimacy to the phenomenal growth rate of its economy and the covetousness that such a performance elicits. And what could be more motivating for the Chinese masses than the spectacle of the entire world assembled in Beijing at state-of-the-art facilities?

But for the Chinese Communist Party, this huge celebration comes at a price. Tibet, Taiwan, the death penalty, the fate of dissidents or the Falun Gong sect, and lastly, Beijing’s role in Darfur are all issues that mobilize human rights activists around the world and the Olympic Games offer them, too, unparallel visibility. And they, too, will obviously benefit from it.

China has prepared for this. It is muzzling its opponents now to avoid doing so in six months.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated foreign press coverage of the U.S. election.