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Commentary: In the name of "human rights"
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08:19, April 21, 2008

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When Democratic presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama urged U.S. President George W. Bush to boycott the Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony, they either forgot or ignored the big applause that the Americans gave to China when the world's most populous nation decided to participate in the Los Angeles Games despite the Soviet Union-led boycott.

Fourteen countries boycotted that Games in 1984, in an action seen as retaliation for the U.S.-led snub on Moscow four years earlier. Cold War thinking hurt two Olympics and the Olympic spirit.

But suddenly, to boycott the Beijing Games becomes an "in" thing as more people are jumping onto the bandwagon, acting as human rights defenders to woo voters or peddling the idea of "Free Tibet".

How come is it justified now to turn the Olympic Games into a political battlefield?

Right, because all untold political purposes could be disguised in the name of "human rights". Then, you have an opportunity to see what is double standards.

When the amputee young girl Jin Jing from China was assaulted on her wheelchair by "Tibet independence protesters" who violently and repeatedly tried to wrench the torch from her, wasn't her human right trampled and even personal safety was endangered?

Strangely, even the appalling scene live on TV did not arouse due sympathy and attention (some western media seized the chance to show how embarrassing the torch relay was to China) until International Olympic Committee president Jacque Rogge blamed it "unacceptable".

"What shocked me most is when someone tried to rob the torch off a wheelchair athlete, a disabled athlete who was unable to defend the torch. This is unacceptable," said Rogge.

Just imagine what a big fuss will be made if that happens to a disabled British athlete when London 2012 Olympic torch relay is going on.

However, the Chinese torch guards were frequently mentioned as "thugs" by some British media because, during the troubled London leg of torch relay, an important figure got unintended pushes from those young men who were simply trying to do their jobs of protecting the torch and the torchbearer.

Simply because they "don't speak English", they are inhuman and "robotic"?

A San Francisco teenager had to give up the glory to hold the sacred flame due to fears of possible dangerous situation (according to a CNN report) and some other torchbearers were also forced to pull out because of the increasing pressure unfairly inflicted on them.

Do they still have free choice?

When over one fifth of the world population are facing boycott threats to the Olympics they have been longing for and making so much effort to prepare, is it for or against their human rights?

Even the world is deprived of the joy only once in every four years. But again, who cares?

Among those who protested loudly, who expressed their anger towards "oppression and torture" that Tibetan people are "suffering ", how many of them have been to Tibet, or to China even?

Presumably most not. Then you can not help wonder why all of a sudden everybody becomes a China or Tibet expert.

Over this issue, thousands of comments have been made and heated debates are continuing on Internet, with "Tibet Independence"/Olympic boycott supporters vs Chinese and pro-China/Olympic westerners.

Those who believe most Chinese are "brainwashed" by the media censor system now have to think it over: Why do overseas Chinese, who are accessible to all "uncensored" information, become the major voice supporting China in this debate?

An interesting fact can be found that many of the "Free Tibet" western supporters do not have basic knowledge that China has 56 ethnic groups - they thought Tibet was the only one different group from the majority Han people. Not to mention the history of Tibet when the 14th Dalai Lama, as the biggest serf-owner like all his predecessors, owned every inch of land and every head of cattle in Tibet and was free to sell off his serfs and slaves.

In contrast, most westerners who apparently take more open-minded views have had China-related experiences.

A netizen named James Hewlet posted a comment below an article of Ms Fu Ying, China's ambassador to Britain, on The Sunday Telegraph's website last week:

"A friend of mine who worked for a medical charity in Tibet completely changed his views during his 2 year stay there. His view now is that the general well-being of the Tibetan people is far better under the Chinese than it would be under the Buddhist theocracy that existed before. The ordinary people were treated as serfs in what was effectively a feudal system of government. Now Tibetan people all get a level of education, health care and material comfort that would be impossible under a Dalai Lama regime."

Ambassador Fu Ying wrote on The Sunday Telegraph that "the wall that stands in China's way to the world is thick and heavy."

The Beijing Games is a great opportunity for the west and China to better understand each other. It creates a green passage for westerners to see and feel a real China and Chinese life.

Then, why should this opportunity be wasted and passage be blocked?

Source: Xinhua

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