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Old April 28th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #41
hkskyline
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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
If you live in Australia yes. If you live in Hong Kong, maybe. If you live in China, hell no. I have no problem with the "Oh, those bloody Tibetans are protesting, me must do the same" argument but don't you see the irony of Chinese people not being able to do the same in the PRC?
In China, the Tibetans were rioting, not protesting. The news footage we saw around the world showed monks looting, setting fires, and tearing down businesses and government buildings. In China, these types of actions are strictly dealt with, not like in the West where they can do the damage for a while, then the police may move in to slow it down. Now, regardless of whether the starters are separatists, villagers, and the like, Chinese police deal with any protest much more harshly than in the West. What happened in Tibet isn't much different from what happened with protests elsewhere in China. In fact, had this happened a decade ago, we probably won't hear much about it in the West at all. It would've been state secret back then.

In the West, anyone has the right to protest. Hence, you see Tibetan protesters, and you will see pro-China protesters. No surprises there. If you have one group, then you expect the other.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
1.3 Billion Han Chinese vs. A few million Tibetans. Han Chinese Win!!!!1! No honey, it doesn't work that way. The international community isn't saying anything. It doesn't care about the Tibet, or China, and will pay only a little attention to the Olympics. Don't get yourself deluded mate.
I don't think it's a game of numbers either. It's like saying Al Qaeda will never win because their numbers are far smaller than the US Army. Clearly that is not entirely true given the terrorism we've seen in the past few years.

Well, if the rest of the world doesn't care about the issue, then I doubt there would be much need for protest around the world either. That is clearly not the case. The international community has been saying something about all this though. There have been rumblings about boycotting the opening ceremonies, so it's not about delusion, mate.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
That's the problem with some Chinese people. (And some people of every other country, mind you.) They're lead to believe by Beijing that they're the ones being attacked by "TEH WEST!!!1!". No they aren't. A few guys in government isn't the same as 1.3 Billion people. Let's be a little sophisticated. CITIZENS. GOVERNMENT. SEPARATE. If we can't attack countries in the fear of being portrayed that we're attacking the peoples of that country then we better not criticize any governments at all! Wouldn't that be great?
It's the same argument when the American public was misled by Bush to believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the only way to be safe is to go bomb them without asking the international community first.

In fact, there hasn't been a propaganda drive in China to rise against the West. We don't see these pro-China protests in China. We're seeing them in the West, ironically, where many foreign-educated Chinese are now rising against this anti-China wave to give the other side of the story. Sorry, I don't believe all these people are acting as pawns of the Communist party. I doubt so many spies will get together to have a party for all to see.

Then there is the question of what type of criticism is appropriate when we're talking about a sports event like the Olympics. Some of the Tibetan protesters don't seem to understand that the Games are about atheletes, and the way they have behaved to steal and douse the torch is everything against the values of the Olympic movement. It's not surprising that special interest groups would want the publicity of such a huge event to raise awareness of their cause, much like what terrorists have tried to do in past Olympics - to raise awareness of their cause, only in more extreme ways such as actually setting off a bomb.

While Tibetan protests have every right to make their voices heard, my problem is whether the Olympics, which is not just a Chinese event, should be used as a pawn for them to reach their objective? I doubt the athletes are so appreciative that their hard work has gone un-noticed and will be overshadowed by all this noise. I compare it to setting off a bomb to kill a cockroach. It does the job, but it's not exactly the most appropriate or reasonable means.


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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
Politics and sport are not meant to mix? That's such a stupid and naive statement, especially one coming from a moderator.
Then you should re-examine what the Olympic movement is about.

Here's a press release from the IOC last week :

Athletes passionately express their feelings on Beijing 2008

24 April 2008
http://www.olympic.org/uk/news/media...p?release=2549

Gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, athletes from around the world who represent the voice of sportsmen and women on the International Olympic Committee, met to discuss how to address the challenging international backdrop into which the Olympic Games have been drawn in recent weeks.
The Athletes’ Commission members [1] spoke passionately and from their own experiences about the inappropriateness of manipulating and using athletes as political tools.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
Sport is always going to be political. Especially the Olympics. You are, after all taking about countries bidding against one another to host the games, and then states competing each other for medals. These countries are political entities. They're not "nations" or "ethnic groups" or "religious groups. Countries.
What is being practised does not make it right. The Soviets and the Americans played that game in the 1980s, and nothing stopped them from making sports political. It happened, and it was wrong, just as things are happening now that are also wrong and contrary to the objectives of the Olympic movement. After the meddling to award the games, ultimately it's not about politics when the athletes go into the field and get to the podium.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
"Olympic movement". What bullshit. The olympics are so commercialized it's hilarious. No matter how many lame slogans (Celebrity Humanity!!!) you create for it it's not going to change the fact it's a tool used and abused by populist politicians, Western corporations and the Elite Athletes for economic and political gain. The Olympics are a joke.
Are athletes being impeded by the commercialism such that their involvement is no longer a fair game? Are the Games now no longer about atheletes striving for the best and competing against each other? The existence of commercialism, terrorism, or politics, are undeniable, but doesn't mean they actually should have an impact on what atheletes do, as ultimately the Games are about athletes, not about Tibet, Al Qaeda, and Coke. I doubt Coke is trying to exploit the Games to the extent that they have to make the flame out of Coke and have athletes stop and say a slogan before they get their medals. Ultimately, the athletes aren't affected. They compete as usual.

Just because the Olympics are increasingly being exploited by various interest groups doesn't mean we should be complacent and allow it to continue and get worse either. The Atlanta Games are a great example of how the IOC balked at the changing nature of the Games. The subsequent reform over how bid cities are evaluated also show the need to reduce the political wrangling happening behind the scenes that threatened to strangle the Olympic Games and strip more credibility out of them.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
But having said that, I recognize that fact many Chinese see this moment as China's reawakening and something they've been waiting for years after Sydney snatched it in 1993 for the 2000 bid. I recognize that organizing the Olympics means a lot to countries like the PRC, and their citizens, and to have a few morons try to hijack it makes them angry.



Why do you contradict yourself?

Line 1: NO THE OLYMPICS AREN'T POLITICAL.
Line 2: IT'S A SYMBOL OF CHINA'S NEW POWER.

Riiight. Not very bright are you?
Power doesn't have to be political. The whole world knows China is already a major political power, easily affirmed by the fact that China is on the UN Security Council. The Games were meant to showcase China's new economic might (power) by proving that now the country is rich enough to stage such a huge international event and welcome the world to see the new China. I don't think China's political position in the world would change because of it. Free trade disagreements will continue and I doubt China's position will suddenly become more favourable because of the Olympics. It's more an image and perception change in the rest of the world who may continue to hold outdated ideas of what China is like today.

In fact, that's what happened in Seoul in 1988 - the emergence of a new economic miracle. It didn't help the political wrangling with North Korea, but it certainly did great things to change the world's perception of the South.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
Ethnic Chinese people around the world are proud to be Chinese, and the PRC government is trying to exploit this to legitimize their regime. They aren't elected by the their citizens after all so their grip on power is based on purely nationalistic sentiments.
Pride and ignorance do not always come together. In fact, many ethnic Chinese fled overseas because they didn't like the Communist government. Being educated in the West, I doubt they will fall victim to 'Chinese propaganda' when they are supposedly exposed to the 'free Western media'. That argument falls apart right there. Now if you can show that all these pro-China protesters are flown in from China to stage the counter-demonstrations, then you may have a point there.

The excuse that these foreign-educated and foreign-residing ethnic Chinese who are not subject to China's propaganda drives are blindly following the Communist Party's orders to stage counter-demonstrations is quite silly and ignorant.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
Yup, living standards are improving for millions of people on a scale unseen in human history. It's a big achievement. I want to see more political reform, however. It will be great if citizens are able able to elect their government and another party other than the CCCP runs the show every now and then. You know, like the Republic of China (Taiwan) had elections in 1996. That would be fantastic.
Actually, Taiwanese politics aren't exactly a good example of democracy either, unless you think fistfights, death threats during election campaigns, and the anti-Chen protests that were ignored are a healthy part of democracy. In fact, in the West, we see many countries with dwindling participation rates at elections. It seems these preachers of free elections don't seem to enjoy practising what they preach either.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
I agree. Western media, when it comes to China, is always focusing on the negatives. I'm not sure why, but I still believe "western Media" (such a broad definition it's almost useless) is more balanced than the crap you see on CCTV 1, 2, 3, 4....
The biased Western media may look good when compared to CCTV, but that doesn't mean the likes of CNN are great examples of professional journalism either. You can pick a few less rotten apples from a garbage can, but the stuff is still garbage.

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Originally Posted by cowface View Post
Those Tibetan supporters in the West are nuts. Being Chinese-Australian myself, it's a shame to see Chinese people going down to that level. I thought we were more restraint that that
I think the pro-China counter-demonstrations are quite timid compared to what the Tibetan protesters are doing. The fact that these didn't appear until very recently show that it wasn't an orchestrated event, but rather a reactionary one following the outrage over the tactics the Tibetan group have used to derail the celebrations leading to the Games.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
In China, the Tibetans were rioting, not protesting. The news footage we saw around the world showed monks looting, setting fires, and tearing down businesses and government buildings.
I wasn't talking about those riots/protests by the Tibetans. I referring to protests in general in the PRC. Do think a mass demonstration (like the ones in Hong Kong in 2003) would be allowed in Beijing? What about those lonely Falun Gong protestors?


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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The international community has been saying something about all this though. There have been rumblings about boycotting the opening ceremonies, so it's not about delusion, mate.
Rumblings about boycotting? Yeah maybe a few suggestions here and there, politicians acting all concerned, but generally the public aren't marching out in millions like they did in 2003 before Iraq.

Quote:
Some of the Tibetan protesters don't seem to understand that the Games are about atheletes, and the way they have behaved to steal and douse the torch is everything against the values of the Olympic movement.
Either side can't seem to see each other's point of view, it's nothing new.

So the Chinese protestors can't seem to see what the problem with Tibet is, after so many economic concessions give to them, and naively believe the games all about peace and happiness (that values of the Olympic movement bullshit) completely ignoring human rights abuses.

The Tibetan protestors don't understand how important the Olympics are to the Chinese people feeling good about being Chinese in the world for once (that feeling of "5000 years of civilisation, we are finally taking our place in the world for once" bullshit) and stupidly believe Tibet will be a magical spiritual place once the Chinese leave.

Let's face it - both sides seem to have some lots of extreme nutters. The sheer number of Chinese over the Tibetans means more extremists on the Chinese side.

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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Then you should re-examine what the Olympic movement is about. Here's a press release from the IOC last week ... What is being practised does not make it right.
Press release from the IOC? That's gotta be less credible than CNN. I think it's obvious that the Olympics of 2008 are being staged as a political event by the PRC. All olympics are political to an extent.

Quote:
It happened, and it was wrong, just as things are happening now that are also wrong and contrary to the objectives of the Olympic movement. After the meddling to award the games, ultimately it's not about politics when the athletes go into the field and get to the podium.
I know a lot of about the individual athlete, but State flags are raised, state anthems are played, and states are represented by athletes. When a athlete from Taiwan wins gold who's flag is raise, who's anthem is played? It's fundamentally political. The more resources a state has devoted to sport, generally the more athletes they have and the more chances they have at winning medals. To say it's all about individuals competing for sporting glory is idealism at best and naivety at worst.

Quote:
Power doesn't have to be political.
That doesn't make sense. Politics is the struggle for power.

Quote:
The Games were meant to showcase China's new economic might (power) by proving that now the country is rich enough to stage such a huge international event and welcome the world to see the new China.
Everyone in the West knows China is an economic power because they can't live without using a least ten things made in China in their daily lives. While a lot has changed in the last 30 years, most of the PRC is still a very poor place with millions still living in poverty. That's the truth Olympics aren't going to change.

Quote:
It's more an image and perception change in the rest of the world who may continue to hold outdated ideas of what China is like today.
What outdated ideas do people have of China?

- A authoritarian One-Party State. Hasn't Changed.
- Not the best human rights record. Hasn't Changed.
- The Great Wall is a world wonder. Hasn't Changed.
- A rich and proud culture stretching over thousands of years. Hasn't changed.
- Lots of products made are made there. Hasn't changed.
- China is poor. Change heaps, China has shiny cities with tall high-rises, bourgening middle class but millions still trapped in poverty. Lliving standards expect to reach to that of the West by mid century.

Quote:
In fact, that's what happened in Seoul in 1988 - the emergence of a new economic miracle. It didn't help the political wrangling with North Korea, but it certainly did great things to change the world's perception of the South.
That's not exactly easy to prove. I have a feeling not many people remember Seoul had the Olympics in 1988 but they may know Samsung is from there.

Quote:
Being educated in the West, I doubt they will fall victim to 'Chinese propaganda' when they are supposedly exposed to the 'free Western media'. ... The excuse that these foreign-educated and foreign-residing ethnic Chinese who are not subject to China's propaganda drives are blindly following the Communist Party's orders to stage counter-demonstrations is quite silly and ignorant.
Quote:
We're seeing them in the West, ironically, where many foreign-educated Chinese are now rising against this anti-China wave to give the other side of the story. Sorry, I don't believe all these people are acting as pawns of the Communist party. I doubt so many spies will get together to have a party for all to see.
Most of the protestors weren't foreign-residing ethnic Chinese. They were PRC citizens over in Australia for a tertiary education. I didn't say they were blindly following their government's orders to protest, I said the government loves exploiting their nationalistic sentiment because they don't have a elected, democratic legitimacy. I doubt many ethnic Chinese people in Australia went to protest or to see the flame, most of them were too busy unlike those students, however they aren't pro-tibet either.

Quote:
Actually, Taiwanese politics aren't exactly a good example of democracy either, unless you think fistfights, death threats during election campaigns, and the anti-Chen protests that were ignored are a healthy part of democracy.
They're not a shinning example of democracy, but who is? Taiwan is a good model for China to follow because they were a One-Party state before 1996/2000 (?) and peacefully transitioned itself to a democratic model. South Korea is probably yet another example but it wasn't exactly peaceful in 1987 if I recall correctly

Quote:
In fact, in the West, we see many countries with dwindling participation rates at elections. It seems these preachers of free elections don't seem to enjoy practising what they preach either.
Oh come on, that's a lame excuse. Are you seriously saying the Chinese people shouldn't have the right to elect their government? BTW, Australia has one of the highest participation rates in elections because of compulsory voting.

Quote:
The biased Western media may look good when compared to CCTV, but that doesn't mean the likes of CNN are great examples of professional journalism either. You can pick a few less rotten apples from a garbage can, but the stuff is still garbage.
No matter how you try to twist the argument the alleged CNN bias is a lot less worse than government controlled censorship. Americans can choose watch news to watch and the Chinese can't. Why not?
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Old April 28th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #43
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well - to put in the perspective to the world that this wa a poignant image of how the giant powerful government (with rows of tanks) disprespect its own people - unarmed... just like that - like an insignificant being
My feelings would be slightly more closer to yours if that man had been crushed underneath the tank. In fact, I have more respect for the tank commander who didn't run him over.

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Originally Posted by Alibaba View Post
i can fully understand people like you may think the tank man is being idiot... it is a rather sad to see next generation will have this kind of the respect to others just like that...your own people
Well, I'm afraid that you are quite mistaken. I have very little respect for mindless bravado which was exactly what the tank-man did. He played chicken with a column of tanks, and had the tank commanders been more like him, he'd have been crushed on the spot. I don't have much respect for people who risk everything because they have nothing to lose.

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I like the way the gvt maintained that there was no casualties.. .lol (despite estimate of more than 3 thousands people feared dead)
I have no idea what you are talking about.

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i think i rest my case - no point to go further where you see no other lights on other opinion
It really depends on how informed the opinion is.

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but IMO - i think Australia should stand stronger and i reckon they should track down and in need deport those overseas students from this country if they behave inappropriately in this land ....
Well sure. Every visitor should respect and be subjected to the laws of the country that they are visiting, and should they break the law, they should be punished according to the law.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #44
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I wasn't talking about those riots/protests by the Tibetans. I referring to protests in general in the PRC. Do think a mass demonstration (like the ones in Hong Kong in 2003) would be allowed in Beijing? What about those lonely Falun Gong protestors?
Every society has it's limits on what's allowed in terms of protest. Here in Canada, we limit where people can protest, what day they can protest, and what type of protest they can have (gathering, march down the street, etc). Frequently in the western world we have protests which are 'unauthorized' and have to be put down by police with force (see every single WTO meeting in the last 15 years).

China is actually slowly increasing what is allowed in the country as a form of protest. You cannot expect China or any country to change overnight. People do protest frequently in China now, and in fact China had more protests last year than any other country in the world. Did all these people get crushed with tansk? No. But still there are limits, and when protests become violent riots, the police still step in.


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Rumblings about boycotting? Yeah maybe a few suggestions here and there, politicians acting all concerned, but generally the public aren't marching out in millions like they did in 2003 before Iraq.
That should tell you something. The public generally knows or feels that Tibet really isn't as big an issue as say... invading Iraq. I think generally people are smart enough to realize that China isn't actively going around bombing Tibetan cities and fighting a war in Tibet, but that in fact they are developing the area economically while some citizens there have political disagreements with the government.



Quote:
Either side can't seem to see each other's point of view, it's nothing new.

So the Chinese protestors can't seem to see what the problem with Tibet is, after so many economic concessions give to them, and naively believe the games all about peace and happiness (that values of the Olympic movement bullshit) completely ignoring human rights abuses.

The Tibetan protestors don't understand how important the Olympics are to the Chinese people feeling good about being Chinese in the world for once (that feeling of "5000 years of civilisation, we are finally taking our place in the world for once" bullshit) and stupidly believe Tibet will be a magical spiritual place once the Chinese leave.

Let's face it - both sides seem to have some lots of extreme nutters. The sheer number of Chinese over the Tibetans means more extremists on the Chinese side.
I think you are generalizing this way too far. I believe most people are in the centre. They probably recognize that the government isn't exactly the greatest in the world (I mean who really loves the government anyway in any country?), but they also realize that things are slowly getting better and have hope for the future.


Quote:
Everyone in the West knows China is an economic power because they can't live without using a least ten things made in China in their daily lives. While a lot has changed in the last 30 years, most of the PRC is still a very poor place with millions still living in poverty. That's the truth Olympics aren't going to change.

What outdated ideas do people have of China?

- A authoritarian One-Party State. Hasn't Changed.
- Not the best human rights record. Hasn't Changed.
- China is poor. Change heaps, China has shiny cities with tall high-rises, bourgening middle class but millions still trapped in poverty. Lliving standards expect to reach to that of the West by mid century.
Actually this is precisely the kind of thing that will change in terms of perception of China thanks to the Olympics, or at least for those who visit the country. When I visited China last year I was completely expecting a Soviet Russia type place, police at every corner, and people living their lives scared and heavily influenced by propaganda. What I saw was the complete opposite.

Not only did people generally ignore the police (can't believe the number of cars I saw that cut off police cars with sirens on in Shanghai), the presence of the police and the military especially was not very menacing at all (all mostly scrawny 18 year old kids from the boonies who were a zillion times less well armed than the 20 machine gun toting serious looking police at the Eiffel Tower).

As well, our hotel had full access to CNN, western TV stations and Hong Kong news. At first I thought it was a bit of a trick, but I quickly realized that Chinese people who could afford to stay at the same hotel had the same services (it just wasn't that advanced to be turned on only for Western guests). After chatting with a few locals, I realized that they had access to a lot of Western media, that internet firewalls were easily breached, and that they generally didn't trust Western media anyway. Most who had enough money had access to Hong Kong television news which they knew to be much more trustworthy than CCTV. The fact is, in the big cities the government doesn't even bother trying to hide these things anymore because there are so many foreign visitors that it would be impossible to just lie about things in this day and age. They will do their best, but basically those who want to know, know what's happening for real.

While it's hard to argue that the government does not attempt propaganda and police actions, I think the effect is MUCH less than what we believe here in the West from what our media reports. The actual China is very different, and is getting better and better all the time.

I think the Olympics will change the perception of a lot of people, at least those who have visited the country in person as it does to most people who visit China for the first time. Furthermore, the fact that all these visitors are going to China will open up the views even more of those living there as they come into contact with more foreigners. A little talked about fact is that the Olympics are also sparking a huge tourist boom (and hotel and infrastructure necessary to support tourists building) in Beijing and other parts of China. As China opens up even more, they will be more exposed to the rest of the world, and no matter what has happened to Tibet in the past, this can't but be a good thing.

Quote:
Most of the protestors weren't foreign-residing ethnic Chinese. They were PRC citizens over in Australia for a tertiary education. I didn't say they were blindly following their government's orders to protest, I said the government loves exploiting their nationalistic sentiment because they don't have a elected, democratic legitimacy. I doubt many ethnic Chinese people in Australia went to protest or to see the flame, most of them were too busy unlike those students, however they aren't pro-tibet either.
This is just purely conjecture.


Quote:
No matter how you try to twist the argument the alleged CNN bias is a lot less worse than government controlled censorship. Americans can choose watch news to watch and the Chinese can't. Why not?
Sure the poor rural people who can't afford cable/satellite/internet can't choose, but for the hundred million or so people who can, it's not that one sided anymore and it's getting better and better.
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