Discussions of Beijing Olympics boycott

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  GTF 11 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #6518

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Germany rejects US calls for boycotting Chinese Olympics

    The German government opposes US calls for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, China, over the human rights in that country.

    Asked about his reaction to demands by the US Congress to boycott the Chinese Olympics, the human rights coordinator of the German government, Guenter Nooke told the Hamburg-based Welt newspaper on Thursday, “I think nothing of it at all.”

    The German official stressed China had fulfilled the criteria of the International Olympic Committee (OIC) to host the Olympics.

    US legislators have introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing unless it “stops engaging in serious human rights abuses,” American news reports said Tuesday.

    Mathaba.net article

    Former (Canadian) MP wants to ignite Games boycott

    OTTAWA — At the birthplace of the Olympic movement, a former Canadian member of Parliament will today ignite what he hopes will become a global movement to boycott next year's summer Games in Beijing.

    Calling the 2008 Games the “Bloody Harvest Olympics,” former Edmonton MP David Kilgour is inviting the media to Athens, Greece, to cover a Global Human Rights Torch Relay. Once lit in Athens, the torch will travel through 100 cities around the world.

    The year-long relay is designed to draw attention to allegations of crimes against humanity committed by the Chinese government against practitioners of Falun Gong.

    Canada.com article

  • #23390

    r-at-work
    Member

    why does the Olympics, which were founded to bring the world together beyond politics get targeted… the ones who hurt are the athletes for whom this may be there one & only shot at this level…didn't we learn from the Russian boycott…

    as an employee of the government that deal with imports, duties & quotas on foreign goods I see our congress bending over backwards (for the WalMart lobby I'm sure) to lower import duties for China and other countries with similar rights issues… money talks and the sports organizations just don't throw enough at congress, except maybe pro sports… I think the world could improve those issues by economic means more powerfully than by withholding the Olympics from their own people…

    interesting that it's Germany & Canada… I wonder if they were pushed by the US…I've never heard of GErmany being into human rights..

  • #23391

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Rita, agreed. Targeting their goods, which in some cases are a result of the human rights abuses, would do a lot more than boycotting the Olympics. Unfortunately, boycotting the Olympics hurts the athletes more than anyone else. These people work their whole lives, many who will only get one opportunity, and politics gets in the way.

    Actually, as for Germany, note that it states that Germany is rejecting calls from the US to boycott. That article also mentioned that a resolution was introduced in the House calling for a boycott. Hopefully, for the sake of the American athletes, that resolution doesn't go very far.

  • #23392

    WI MTP
    Member

    Or having Beijing as a back drop could allow a huge educational opportunity of the Human Rights Issues – To the World.

    I agree – I do not support a boycott

  • #23393

    GTF
    Member

    Why do the Olympic Games get targeted?  Because they are a symbolic display, which also happens to be exactly what a boycott is.  This is exactly why China bid for and will spend so much money hosting the '08 games, as a symbol to the world of their national might.  Remember the articles about all of the resources they have thrown into their national sports programs to try to win the medal count?  Mention of the original foundations and intents of the Olympic Games is ridiculous and pollyannaish, it is trite and irrelevant in the modern world.  Those ideals were scuttled by officials long ago.  Forget Moscow, did no one learn from Munich and Montreal?  It is simplistic to focus on one boycott to the exclusion of other (earlier) precedents.  Did the boycotts targeting South African inclusion in '72 and '76 not draw the world's attention to the ugliness of apartheid?  The boycott was not a solution in and of itself, yet a whole lot more awareness and thus action resulted.  As mentioned already in this thread, it allows a huge education opportunity regarding human rights issues on a world stage.
    “The sporting boycott has often been cited as the most powerful of the tactics taken to isolate South Africa.” 
    Money may talk, but if consumers are ignorant of the gravity and scope of the situation (and I suspect some here are among the ignorant) then they are not making informed decisions with how money (their own, the nation's) is being spent.  “Targeting their goods” will not happen unless and until there is greater education as to China's past, current, and ongoing human rights abuses, and for whatever reason(s) that is not happening in the land of “Singing Bee” and whatnot.  Even then, targeting their goods only hurts the Chinese people, not the government, just as the archaic Cuban embargo hurts Castro and his cronies none at all, it only hurts the citizenry of that country.  The best way to hurt the government is to target expenditures (travel permits, etc.) that go directly to it and symbols that support their policies (Olympic Games, etc.)  Also, if Germany and Canada could not be pushed into Iraq by the US then it is likely that they would not be pushed to a boycott by the US.  Anyway, there is a greater good to consider here that goes well beyond the desires of some (chiefly) privileged athletes, and if a boycott could help further humanity towards that end (it would), then I am all for it.  Personally, I prefer something more like the what Tommie Smith and John Carlos did in '68, though of course that demonstration had a very personal aspect for both of them and such motivation would not exist for any non-Chinese athlete so therefore it would be quite unlikely in this situation.

  • #23394

    r-at-work
    Member

    Personally, I prefer something more like the what Tommie Smith and John Carlos did in '68, though of course that demonstration had a very personal aspect for both of them and such motivation would not exist for any non-Chinese athlete so therefore it would be quite unlikely in this situation.

    or maybe something like Jesse Owens demonstration… send our athletes and bring home the gold

  • #23395

    GTF
    Member

    That might work if China's ideology regarded anything about the superiority of their 'race' over any and all others.  Winning medals unfortunately has zero relevance to human rights.

  • #23396

    ed
    Participant

    I am torn between the two sides of the issue –

    Many athletes train their whole lives for this one shot – and should not miss it.

    Attention – both bold and screaming needs to be brought to human rights issues.  I say all goivernments that want China to improve on Human Rights should send their athletes with a T-shirt to wear on the medal stand with stats and facts about China's human rights issues.

    If a country boycots – it will not be remembered much at all – but a shirt on the medal stand would be huge!

  • #23397

    GTF
    Member

    And yet unrealistic.

  • #23398

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    The question in my mind is how the media will cover the Olympics. The independent media has been increasing its coverage of many of the various situations in China for various reasons but some have stated outright because the Olympics is raising interest in China. People are interested in China because the Olympics will be there, so they are watching these shows that expose much of what goes on there.

    Will NBC have the guts to do some of these stories with the hours of human interest stories and stories of Chinese culture and history that they will surely do or will they just broadcast the Chinese government propaganda about how they are making great strides on human rights issues?

  • #23399

    GTF
    Member

    Why would NBC take any chances now?  Their major sponsors and owners no doubt have strong ties to Chinese trade.  Why would the Chinese government let them (or anyone else)?  If anything, the theme of the Beijing Olympics will be censorship. 

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