Beijing Olympics And Human Rights

July 26th, 2008 by Jerry Kott

The picture says it all:

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
The Chinese police state doesn’t like the world to see inside China – and rightly so. According to this article in The Globe And Mail, some 400,000 police informants and ‘security volunteers’ are being recruited to ensure the ‘safety’ of the Olympics. Of course, the communist regime in Beijing highest concern is the well-being of the athletes and the visitors. That’s why this top headline is on the Czech Radio website today:

China complains about Czech PM wearing Tibetan flag badge

The Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic has complained about Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek’s decision to wear a badge bearing the Tibetan flag at a news conference last week. Mr Topolánek wore the badge when he announced to journalists that he would be visiting this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, but not attending the Games’ opening ceremony. On Saturday, Mladá Fronta Dnes reported that the Chinese ambassador to Prague, Huo Yuzhen had lodged a formal complaint about the incident with the Czech Foreign Ministry. Last week, the Czech ambassador to China was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, to talk to officials about Mr Topolánek’s conduct. According to a Czech government spokesperson, China was concerned that Prague might have changed its political position and begun to advocate an independent Tibet. The spokesperson stressed that this was not the case.

So – what to do about the Beijing Olympics? All past attempts at boycotting the games seem to have been outmaneuvered by the Chinese, even as they keep tightening up their grip on the country.

It just so happened that I spent part of today assembling some furniture for my living room. I bought it at Leon’s – the quintessential Canadian furniture store. Guess where the furniture was made? Right, in communist China. And here lies the problem – as long as we are willing to buy Chinese products, no boycott of any sort will achieve anything. Sure, the Chinese people have better standard of living today than ever before. But they are as enslaved as they have been for the past sixty years of the communist rule.

The only way to achieve anything with China is to stop buying their products. Easier said than done, I am afraid.



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