Monday, June 23, 2008

China's Olympic torch puppet play in Tibet reaffirms why world leaders should boycott the Olympic opening ceremony

How long will it take the international community to respond to the fact that the Olympic torch procession is a political propaganda tool aimed at shoring up internal domestic support for the dictatorial hold exerted by the Chinese Communist Party?

The farcical torch procession in Lhasa confirms the worst fears of regime critics. While Tibetans were ordered to stay away from the ceremony a conga line of regime apparatchiks demonized the 'Dalai Lama clique' as the cause of unrest.

Whilst an Olympic boycott may not be the most appropriate gesture it is beholden on the world leadership to do something to signify the regime's violations are unacceptable. The mealy mouthed appeasement that passes for 'human rights dialogue' with China is clearly inadequate. The apologists tell us that human rights are improving. In a relative sense they are, but this is from such a low baseline that it beggars belief that the international community is satisfied. The situation of client states such as Burma and North Korea are a clear manifestation of what a world run by the Chinese dictatorship would look like.

As a recent article published in Canada put it, "Let's not forget that China bears a major, albeit indirect, responsibility for the ongoing genocide in Darfur. And only China would bestow an honorary degree on Zimbabwe's tyrannical dictator, Robert Mugabe." This latter point is not quite true as a Western University did the same to Mugabe when he was considered a genuine democrat. However, the university has recently rescinded the degree.

The opening ceremony of the Olympics should be boycotted as this is the regime's showcase. Do not provide these autocrats with an unfettered propaganda vehicle to trumpet their hyper-nationalism.

1 comment:

Eilleen said...

While I truly get the reasons for engaging rather than boycotting, I have to say what happened at Lhasa was just disgusting. The torch being used in that way was an insult not only to the Games but also an insult to the rest of the global community.

...and I have to say, I was saddened by what happened in Zimbabwe recently.