The Beijing Olympics And Chinese Human Right
Sure, the 2008 Olympic Games will proceed but China's behaviour in terms of its commitments as well as the processes through which it gained the bid are open to serious questioning.
The questions the International Olympic Committee must answer in relation to the Chinese bid are numerous, the processes of the bid highlighting the fact that Olympic host city selection processes are open to 'incentive and encouragement' processes which can better be described as 'blatant graft and corruption'. What did China offer certain members of the International Olympic Committee should be one question for instance in terms of such 'offers' not being included in the official bid documents. Did money and gifts to Committee members change hands for instance? Were two Olympic Committee members offered scholarships for their kids at a Beijing university and were Olympic committee members offered free first-class flights with Chinese registered airlines anywhere in the world? These are just a few questions to which answers are now known and proven, and the documented 'in black-and-white' answers go to the heart of what are essentially 'open to manipulation and corrupt' selection processes that are in need of a drastic and transparent overhaul. The International Olympic Committee must either overhaul its selection processes or close down.
Then we come to the commitments that China made in terms of its appalling human rights record remembering that China is a 'one-party' State in which the Chinese Communist Party is essentially accountable to no-one except itself, remembering also that, as a member of the UN, China is responsible to uphold human rights laws and conventions.
For instance, no-one has yet been called to account for the Government-instructed brutalities of Tiananmen Square when hundreds of people were killed and when hundreds more simply disappeared, a number never to be seen again. Some of the then protesters are still in jail today convicted of charges that would not stand up for five minutes in a properly constituted legal system.
Free speech is China does not exist with the State running the Chinese media and other institutions, including internet services, and any notions of free speech are discouraged through processes of harassment and jailing.
Freedom of religion also does not exist and China's record of dealing with non-Government approved religions speaks for itself. Again processes of harassment, jailing and even executions are used by the Chinese regime to control those with a different view other than the official Communist Party line.
China boasts the highest execution rate in the world, the recipients of such treatment often being opponents of the Chinese regime either on political or religious grounds and it is a proven fact that a number of those executed thus far were Communist Party members. It is also a proven fact that China deals in the harvesting and sale of body-parts such body-parts being harvested off executed persons and then sold to often wealthy or international recipients.
The treatment of Tibet and Tibetans in Tibet and elsewhere has been less than impressive and the oppression of Tibetans continues today as recent events has more that adequately been proven. It should be noted that a substantial number of the Tibetan protesters involved in the Lhasa protests have not been seen since those events.
And then there are China's friends. I mention Burma, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and a number of other countries where human rights abuses and corruption are a thriving business.
Should China been awarded the 2008 Olympic Games? Given its record, the answer would clearly have to be 'No'. Was corruption and other pressure involved? The answer is clearly 'Yes'.
In all, if China wishes to be a legitimate and respected member of the international community, major changes will need to be seen to be taking place within China as to warrant such recognition. Until then, I continue to view China as a rogue State, run by a grubby little regime.