The Naked Truth

Stopping the world’s spin.

How the Beijing Olympics got their logo

There’s mounting talk about boycotting the Beijing olympics. One the one hand, it is the world’s stage and any message sent would be very clear. But do we really want to hold our athletes hostage? They’ve trained for most of their lives and too take away the opportunity of going to the Olympics would be a real shame. And for what, so China can win more gold metals than they should? Boycotting just the opening ceremonies, I guess, can be another option.

Where do you stand? Please comment.

March 25, 2008 Posted by | beijing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uprising in Tibet

Jonathan Kay, of the National Post writes:

I see that Tibet is a flame, with at least 100 dead in street protests. (edit – The unrest in Tibet began on March 10, 2008, the anniversary of a 1959 uprising against China’s rule of the region.)

The broad narrative here is eerily similar to another, somewhat less obscure “conflict zone”: Local activists rise up against a power they regard as a brutal colonial occupier. The occupier fights back. Blood flows in the street. The Tibetans haven’t yet started blowing themselves up in restaurants or mowing down Chinese students with machine guns. When they do, the Palestinian precedent shows, the world will solemnly pronounce them to be locked “in a cycle of violence.”

Tibet protests

The Tibetans have a far better claim to the world’s sympathy than the Palestinians. After China’s 1950 invasion, Chinese troops killed a million Tibetans — that’s about two decimal orders of magnitude above the total number of Palestinians killed by Israel over the last six decades. (Which means that, if Islamist claims of a “Holocaust” in Gaza and the West Bank are to be believed, then Tibet has suffered at least 100 holocausts. Wow — that’s a lot of Holocausts.) On top of that, there’s the massive flood of ethnic Chinese migrants, who’ve made the Tibetans a minority population within their own territories (for some odd reason, the media never refers to these folks as “settlers”); not to mention the destruction of 6,000 Tibetan monasteries (a figure that is roughly 6,000 more than the number of mosques destroyed by Israel). And on and on it goes — though you never hear about any of this in the media most days.

This coming from a pro-Israel paper of course. Alright, we support both the Palestinians and the Tibetans. Happy now? After all, whether it’s “Liberation” or “Terrorism” depends on your perspective.

Please comment.

March 17, 2008 Posted by | china | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

US drops China from worst human rights list

The United States has dropped China from its list of the world’s worst human rights violators, offering the communist giant a propaganda coup ahead of the Beijing Olympics. The US State Department’s Human Rights Report for 2007 removed China from the same category as countries such as North Korea, Iran and Burma.

tibetprotest.jpg

No reason was given, but China has been a partner in talks with Washington to remove nuclear plant from North Korea. Beijing’s staging of this summer’s Games has raised hopes that it will improve its human rights record.

The government is concerned that the event will be used by activists, and athletes, to criticise China over its treatment of Tibet, its support for the Sudan regime and other areas of concern.

However, the report acknowledged that China’s “overall human rights record remained poor”. It described alleged torture, including the use of electric shocks and beatings. There is an account of a prisoner strapped to a “tiger bench”, which forces the legs to bend, sometimes until they break. It also notes claims that people were forced from their homes to make way for Olympic projects in Beijing.

Syria, Uzbekistan and Sudan have been added to the list, with Zimbabwe, Cuba, Belarus and Eritrea completing the top 10.

March 17, 2008 Posted by | china | , , , , , | Leave a comment