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Cool as cucumber in face of fault-finding media
17:36, August 05, 2008

Earlier this year, a senior IOC officer said half jokingly that it has been customary for the media to make as much noise as they can in a bid to grab the spotlight in their Olympic coverage, and their fault-finding attempts and practices were revealed at almost all Olympic events. Olympic host cities—from Seoul to Atlanta, Sydney and Athens—have without exception suffered media bombardment. This year it is the Beijing's turn to deflect the spitballs.

It seems that they have expanded their scope of criticism and denouncement this time: anything related to the Games to things irrelevant to the Olympics and even to sports, such as human rights, religion, and international aid. To further vilify China, natural disasters like the massive earthquake in Sichuan and unpredictable winter blizzards are cited by some media in their attempts to denigrate China's government. Consequently, the biased reporting has not only distorted the facts, but also manipulated Westerners' opinions.

In the period leading up to the Olympics, some spiteful media are stepping up their tests of China's tolerance by fabricating stories and turning out slanted reports in the areas which they see China has not lived up to international expectations. In response, China is doing its utmost to straighten things out, but meanwhile vows not to be engaged in a war of words. With 30 years of reform and opening up to the outside world, China now looms as a more mature and rational country; and people's confidence grows alongside the growing national strength. The nation's confidence is evolving into a tolerant, open and more mature mindset among ordinary Chinese.

Chinese people remain cool-headed in the din of differing interests, and remain bent on preparing for the Olympics to honor the promise to present to the world a successful and unique Olympic Games.

With this great event drawing near, Beijing as the host city is stepping into the international limelight; and inevitably is moving into the forefront of media attention. As a result, assorted dissonant voices will be played in high pitch; and criticism and even baseless condemnation will escalate. China still faces a tough road ahead, as it is a developing country that has yet to overcome its many weaknesses. But we will never cover up de facto conditions in China's society, nor will we whitewash our existing flaws. What we want to present to the world is a true China, like many other emerging countries, with progress and backwardness existing side-by-side in one arena.

Tens of thousands of media staff are expected to flock into Beijing to cover the event; and China will give a warm welcome to all those objectively reporting on the Olympics and on China. But any hooligan behavior and conducts by the media that deliberately make trouble for the Games and the host will not only mar the Olympic glory but also spur a general indignation within and outside of China. Nobody with integrity would cheer for a poor show plotted to challenge or disturb the time-honored Olympic Games.

By People's Daily Online

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