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China, Human rights and the Olympics

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Tuesday August 28, 2007 09:19author by Geraldauthor email gerald.oconnor3 at mail dot dcu dot ieauthor phone 0872789969 Report this post to the editors

Can China host the Olympics when there are so many question marks over there human rights record

Can the Olympics take place in a country with no respect for human life

In 2001 china made a number of promises to the western world to improve its human rights situation in order to secure the Olympics in 2008, with a year to go before the start of the Olympics the Chinese Communist party has kept few if any of its promises.

In the last year in Ireland claims of organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners in China have been heard in the Irish parliment in the committee on Human Rights. The author of the report also spoke to officals in the department of Foreign affairs, and following the meeting the department asked the Chinese Embassy to answer a number or questions and said offically that they take the report 'seriously'.

In the last year we have been brick klins in china that had slaves in them, these people were so badly treated that some of them even forgot their own names when they were rescued. It was discovered that the brick Klins had links to Chinese Communist party Officals. The communists tried to show it was an isolated issue but similar reports turned up through out china in the north which showed that it was to a degree wide spread.

In the last year we have seen the terrible examples of exploitation in Chinese factories even factories that are producing offical Olympics Chinese goods ( We are now seeing in different parts of the world a retraction of goods that are made in China because these factories are cutting costs at every corner. A number of children's toys 'made in china' have had to be withdrawn because of high levels of lead, a number of medicines 'made in china' have had to be withdrawn because they were believed to be unsafe. The BBC did a report a little while ago about dublings that were made from cardboard in Beijing, the communists repsonse, jail the reporter!!!!!!! ( This sad story goes even further, in the Communists sad attempt to blame some one for their falling standards and the blemishs on the made in China brand they then sentence State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu to death. Personally I think not only is this a CCP way to solve the problem and is this guy made a scape goat, but more likely it is the settling of some scores in the back ground CCP style. There are much worse things happening in China and nobody is ever tried and convicted.

There have also been reports of the Communists closing news papers and Amnesty and the Irish Government have expressed concern about this. The Irish government has pressured the chinese Communist party to relax restraints on the media, (

Amnesty International has expressed concern about the cleaning up of 'undesirables' from the streets of Beijing ( This is not homeless people or beggars which would be bad enough. It is any group which does not toe the party line and may protest during the Olympics. They have also used the global anti terror situation to their advantage by installing security camera's to cover much of Beijing similar to the situation in London, but the Communists say these are to target Falun Gong and other such groups.

And then there is the environmental issues and how the Chinese Communist Party is preparing for the Olympics. I remember I was in Beijing in 2002 and it was very funny to see offials painting grass green and sowing new grass because it would not grow naturally. Now apparently they have found solutions to get rid of clouds, by firing chemical bombs into the air. there have also been a few stories about people who did not want to more from their properties when the CCP decided that they were going to build a stadium or park for the Olmpics, there was one highly publicised story about a woman who did not want to move and they demolished everything around her. The story rolled on for a while in the international press until one day, she agree, house demolised over night and then she disappeared. Was it above board, who knows? An Irish times reporter in Beijing told me some time ago about the demolision of certain old China tourist sites such as markets and old suburbs. Unlike in Ireland were we have years of delay in building roads because of hold ups with tara, in China these places disappeared nearly over night.

Bottom line there are some many signs that the Olympics in China have not been a good thing for the people of China. All this will achieve is that it will be a badge of honour for the Communist party and help to validate its rule for another few years until the next man made communist disaster. Personally I think the Beijing Olympics may bring a few shocks from inside China yet, there were over 100,000 riots or mass events reported by the Communists last year, that is alot of disgruntled people and the Olympics gives them an international stage to air their grievances. Will the communist be able to keep a lid on things?

Any thoughts out their on the Beijing Olympics?

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author by Geraldpublication date Fri Aug 31, 2007 08:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Cathal,

From the title of your reply I guess you think communism has its merits and should be viewed with its good and bad points.

I think countries that have never had communism may still see it through rosy coloured glasses. Now there are so many Polish people in Ireland it may be worth asking one of them what they think of communism. It is in their constitution that the system is illegal and communist organisations are illegal. They take it very seriously and are very clear on it, communism is not good for people.

I am not as clear on the situation in Cambodia, Vietnam, East Germany or other such failed reigms but I dont think history judges them too kindly. I think all of these countries including Poland are still in the shadow of communism and suffering because of it. Many of the people in power in Communism are the same people in power now in these states.

As for existing communist states such as China, North Koea and Cuba (i think), I dont think any of them are a great example to follow for communism.

So from Europe, to Asia to South America communism has brought great distruction to the people who were governmed by it. Nobody has made a successful governing model of it. There have been many many examples of how it brough devestation and destrcution to people.

Therefore I draw the conclusion it is not good for people. I strongly suggest you to have a read of , have a read of it and please share your opinion I would be very interested to see what you think.

author by Cathalpublication date Fri Aug 31, 2007 01:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Bottom line is communism is not good for people..." so says Gerald. If you want to call the economic U-turns that the China state has made since Deng Xiaoping came to power in the early 1980s "communism", then you might as well call Bertie Ahern a "socialist" - as he called himself. Words, as the Mad Hatter said to Alice, mean whatever people want them to mean.

As I said previously above, China has a lot of contradictions (good marxist word that) like low safety standards in coal mines and sweatshop factories, with terrible accidents. Migrant workers are extremely vulnerable. The village schools are underfunded and mudwalled hovels in many places. Farmers who protest spontaneously against land speculation and low prices for produce are beaten away by the cops and army.

The superpowers USA and Soviet Union played political football with the Olympic Games in the 1970s and '80s - to no avail. It was business as usual with American foreign policy (ignoring apartheid, supplying armaments to fuel the crazy Iran-Iraq war) and business as usual with regard to human rights in the USSR.

Olympic boycotts won't work. "Hitler's Olympics" in 1936 (when Afro-American long jumper Jesse Owen won a gold medal and thereby threw mud on the master race theory of nazism) were no comparison to the L.A. Olympics, the Moscow Olympics, or the coming Beijing Olympics.

author by Geraldpublication date Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I saw in the news that the flames in athens were approaching Olympus the birth place of the Olympics. The didnt quite reach there but they did competely destroy the place were the Olmpic torch is traditionally lit. (any superstitious people out there?)

For the superstitious aswell have a read of this quatraint from Nostradamus (search the web I didnt write (or interpret) it):

The year of the great seventh number accomplished,

it will appear at the time of the games of slaughter,

not far from the age of the great millennium,

when the dead will come out of their graves.

Now all that superstitiousness aside. (I dont take the above seriously its just an aside)

My thinking of the games at the moment is that it is going to put a huge spotlight on China. There are going to more and more disturbing stories coming out of China as the games approaches and as noisey reporters uncover stories. I think at the end of the day atheletes governments and other groups may be faced with a decision whether they like it or not. In 1936 German Olympics people were faced with a choice, some bouycotted, some didnt, everyone had to live with their choice afterwards.

What athlete would take out their medal in years to come and say 'I won this in Hiltlers Germany, amnt I great!'

Of course it is not the athletes fault where they are held, but because the Olympic Committee made a mistake of giving the games to China does not mean every one has to follow in their footsteps. I do believe this year for the Chinese people may be pivotal.

Bottom line Communism is not good for people and the games may just present Chinese people the rare chance to get shut of it. I optimisticly expect huge pressure from inside and outside of China as the games get closer.

author by cc o madagain - ...publication date Wed Aug 29, 2007 17:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

yes, the olympics is actually quite an opportunity to shed light on what's going on in China. given that these activities would have continued olympics or not, the fact that so much attention has been brought on china because of the olympics could in fact be a great opportunity to turn the tide against their very obvious human rights violations. I saw one of those brick works... who knows, the people I saw working there could have been slaves, quite a scary thought.

author by Cathalpublication date Wed Aug 29, 2007 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Of course workers' rights are trampled on in China. Terrible accidents happen in the coal mines. Farmers who protest in the provinces about low prices for produce are beaten off by the army or police. USA and Soviet Russia played politics with the Olympics during the Cold War, with successive boycotts. Look, we could urge a boycott of the 2012 London Olympics on the grounds that Britain oppressed the Catholics in the North, or it turns a blind eye to Shell-BP friendly relations with the Nigerian military government. Were there boycotts against Greece during the 2004 Olympics over Greek interference in the rights of Turkish Cypriots?

People can find political fault with any country that hosts the Olympic Games. The athletes from around the world just want to wear their own nations' colours and compete for glory.

You can hold protests outside the Chinese embassy any weekend you choose - and some groups do. Tibet and Falung Gong are among the protest topics.

author by RogerCpublication date Wed Aug 29, 2007 09:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have long since despaired at this choice for the olympics, and agree with what is said above. There seems to be no organised protests but I srongly feel Irish and Britsh atheletes should think long and hard before competeing in these games. Well actually don't think long and hard and then go, just don't go. The para olympics will also be held in China and I have heard Dame Tani-Grey talking them up, which is quite amazing considering the Chinese's track record on dealing with children born with disabilities.
I am a great lover of athletics and can't wait for the London 2012 event, but I feel the olympic movement have scored a terrible own goal with this ridiculous choice. I for one will not watch any of it and will do my best to ignore the whole event.

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