Well done those Parisians, for having managed to extinguish that Olympic flame a few times. But I can’t help feel this is like the last gasp before the world learns to shut its mouth in front of China.
But before I get onto that, I have a question. Who still supports that anti-terrorist legislation then?
From Paul Lewis yesterday on CIF:
Several protesters were dragged away. I saw one woman asked to place her anti-Chinese posters in plastic bags. She told me she had been told by two officers that her materials, which complained about China’s treatment of animals, were “inflammatory”.
Demonstrators who did not obey police requests to stand in designated areas were repeatedly threatened with anti-terrorist legislation.
That should be a nice slap in the face for all those who still think that our government is only likely to use its mountain of anti-terrorist legislation against potential terrorists. So much for allowing the protests to be a “triumph of democracy” eh?
Anyway, we knew this was going to happen. And shame on Duncan Goodhew too.
But is there something amiss here? Aaron says:
You see this is the problem with challenging the Beijing Olympics: itâ€™s so thoroughly hypocritical. Western life is utterly intertwined with the behemothic and authoritarian Chinese state . Our homes are filled with products made by those who suffer under the Chinese communist party and its poisonous and corrupt polity.
Itâ€™s not just our politicians – and their sycophantic engagements with Chinese officials – that help justify this brutal regime, itâ€™s all of us. Weâ€™re all part of the system that crushed the nascent Tibetan uprising. We support the Chinese system of political and religious oppression by buying its products. We help justify it.
I’m not sure I entirely agree. After all I watch American television (an export) but that doesn’t mean I have agreed to buy into GW Bush’s policies. Aren’t we allowed to separate out the two?
But regardless of whether we’re hypocritical or not, it feels almost like a last gasp. We’re almost doing it because it will be the last time we can.
China is an economic giant already. In a decade it will be more powerful than ever, and then the leeway that European governments have on Tibet or human rights abuses will be even less. There isn’t going to be any liberal intervention in China, though George Galloway will probably head over to tell them what fantastic revolutionaries they are.
Hillary Clinton can urge Bush to boycott the Olympics, but if she were elected President, there is no way in hell she’d be able to do the same.
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Filed in: China,Civil liberties,Current affairs