On the 8th of August the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics will commence. And over the next seventeen days the games becomes the focus of the world’s attention. And as much as we’d like to think the focus will be on the athletes themselves and their pursuit of excellence. I somehow think this’ll be the furthest thing on the minds of many of those athletes competing as well as the viewing public from around the world.
The Olympic symbol and all that it entails.
Much has been made of the political unrest and the fact that China has been mistreating the citizens of Tibet and their support of the Sudanese government. Where in the region of Darfur in the western part of the country, there has been scenes of genocide and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives over the past decade.
The closing Olympic gala of the Athens Olympics in 2004. picture courtesy of msnnbc.com/olympics/athens2004
And though the feeling is that the Chinese government may well use this extravaganza as a propaganda exercise to show the world that it is finally opening up to the West. The thinking also is that the Chinese have much to hide in terms of reforms within the country itself. We’ve been told that the country is an oppressor of human rights and religious freedoms. Be that as it may it may well be no different than the troubles a fledgling democracy or a country that purports to espouse those ideals.
The main arena where the track and field events will be held and where the commencement of the Beijing Olympics will unfold. picture courtesy of videobeijing.com/olympics …………
China as a developing country with an astounding economy and immeasurable wealth will see the Olympics as the legitimacy that it seeks to finally become adept politically and diplomatically. Those concerns at this juncture aren’t going unnoticed to others around the world. And whilst there’s the feeling that the event was awarded to China by the IOC through backroom dealings and the wish of IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge. It remains to be seen as whether or not the controversies that are unfolding will subside once the event gets underway.
Tibetan Buddhist monks walk the streets in Xiahe close to the Labrang monastery in Tibet. One can clearly see that with the unrest the police keeps a watchful eye on any type of disturbance or unrest that’s created. picture courtesy of afp/getty images/ Mark Ralston ……………
China’s meddling and so called influence peddling in many ways is no different that than that of the so called diplomatic machinations that’s often carried out by countries in the West. However as the view of the country is that of a domain that still remains Communist in its ideology with some smattering of economic reforms. There’s still that mistrust of a nation that still keeps itself closed to an extent to the outside world. Even though there are now Western companies now sprouting up all over the major provinces of the country. Their interest are as varied as one would expect. Ranging from retail, to heavy industry , construction, automotive to manufacturing and finance. And though these companies have led to economic growth and wealth therein. The usual seeds of corruption have followed along with the calls for China to open its in internal markets to companies from the West. As well as the country now being called one the major environmental polluters on the planet because of its lack of controls on many of its industries.
A refugee camp in the Darfur region of Sudan. Sudan being an oil rich nation is one China’s major partners in terms of its oil imports. picture courtesy of johnfenzl.com/typepad/darfur/images …………
At this juncture the questions posed and what materializes are answers that we can either agree or disagree with. The commercial expense and the willingness of the country to proceed forward shows us that the Chinese are more than determined to go ahead no matter what criticism will be levelled at it. The Chinese government and its citizens have their pride at stake and they’re not about to take what they believe to be unfair criticism that’s now being placed at its very door . Without answering back as the best way it knows how. And that it is to produce sporting extravaganza that the whole world will enjoy.
Liu Xiang China’s sole gold medalist from the Olympics in Athens Greece in 2004. Xiange won the the men’s 110 m hurdles in world record time of 12.91 seconds. picture courtesy of beijingolympics.com/images/xiangliu ………..
There are bound to be utterings of criticisms by countries participating . And no doubt there’ll also be athletes who’ll choose to express their views in ways that they’d deem apparopriate. But somehow there may well be orders given to them by their respective governing bodied that any undue criticism will not be viewed favorably themselves or the Chinese government in particular. The country will no doubt look favorably upon those who are there just to compete. And to those who choose to detract from the event. They may well be doing so at their own peril.
The cyclists from the Olympic road race event in Athens , Greece in 2004. picture courtesy of quebec.com/Dimitri Papadopolous ………………
China’s wish it’d appear is to join the world openly but under its own conditions. One where it’ll not be dictated to how it conducts its business diplomatically and economically. And whatever restraints placed upon the country may well be equally met with the same sort of stubborness one would expect from a child that has been rebuked. So one can either play nice or one can vent at them in whatever way one might feel appropriate. But in doing so, one has to be sure that they’re quite prepared to meet whatever fate that they’re sure to reciprocate in return.
So at this juncture let the games begin in whatever form it takes. It’ll either be a spectacle worth watching . Or an endeavor that we’ll choose to forget merely because of the scenes that one senses will unfold .