Lots of interesting reaction — including my first Chinese death threat! — to my Los Angeles Daily News column this week on China’s game-playing (and we’re not talking about the traditional Olympic variety).
It seems there have been some new events added to the Beijing Summer Olympics!Adding the Asthma Run through the city’s smoggy streets would be no surprise. But blocking live broadcast feeds from Tiananmen Square could be a sure sign that China plans to add the Running of the Tanks to the events schedule. Journalist Shi Tao would be there to cover it, but unfortunately he’s in prison for reporting on restrictions on uttering a word about that 1989 Tiananmen blip.
Recent events also indicate authorities may be considering moving the sharpshooting contest to Lhasa. And when global outrage rears its head, just whip out the new event called Blame the Holy Man. The goal? Convincing people around the world that this wise, placid, saffron-robed guy is the devil incarnate.
The games might not kick off until August, but the Tibet crackdown has inspired an early exhibition of the Chinese government’s favorite event: P.R. Gymnastics.
Bold-faced lies fly through the air with the greatest of ease in this event, like when slamming the Dalai Lama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for trying to bring attention to the repression in Tibet.
“`Human rights police’ like Pelosi are habitually bad tempered and ungenerous when it comes to China, refusing to check their facts and find out the truth of the case,” state-run Xinhua published in a Sunday editorial.
Human rights being such a bad thing and all. Tibet’s government in exile said Monday that 130 Tibetans had been killed in China’s crackdown. In the Communist Party Math Bowl, the figure was whittled to 22 deaths.When will the time come when we refuse to play China’s games anymore?
How many more people have to die like Wei Wenhua, who was beaten to death by officers in Hubei province in January for filming villagers protesting against Chinese authorities dumping garbage in their neighborhood? (A little pre-Olympic “housecleaning” on China’s part.)
How much longer will Tibetans have to suffer under forced “re-education” and, as the Dalai Lama aptly put it, “cultural genocide”? How many more journalists and bloggers have to be thrown in prison? How many dissidents must disappear? When the world wows at the Olympic spectacle, will they care how many poor people had their homes razed or how much migrant labor was exploited for “beautification” projects or gaudy stadiums?
The time has come for action. Not as members of any political party, or adherents to any particular religion, but members of the human race who respect the dignity and inherent freedom of each and every individual.