Archive for the ‘Beijing Games’ Category

China might bar Tiananmen broadcasts

March 21, 2008
By CHARLES HUTZLER, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – China might bar live television broadcasts from Tiananmen Square during the Beijing Olympics, apparently unnerved by the recent outburst of unrest among Tibetans and fearful of protests in the heart of the Chinese capital.

A paramilitary officer stands on duty near the Tiananmen Gate ...
A paramilitary officer stands on duty near the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, in this March 18, 2008 photo. Note the pollution which fills the air daily.  China might bar live television broadcasts from Tiananmen Square during the Beijing Olympics due to Tibetan unrest and fearful of protests.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

A ban on live broadcasts would wreck the plans of NBC and other major international networks, who have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcast the Aug. 8-24 games and are counting on eye-pleasing live shots from the iconic square.

The rethinking of Beijing‘s earlier promise to broadcasters comes as the government has poured troops into Tibetan areas wracked by anti-government protests this month and stepped up security in cities, airports and entertainment venues far from the unrest.

In another sign of the government’s unease, 400 American Boy Scouts who had been promised they could onto the field following a March 15 exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres were prevented from doing so by police.

“It was never specifically mentioned to me it was because of Tibet that there were extra controls, but there were all these changes at the last minute,” said a person involved in the Major League Baseball event who asked for anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The communist government’s resorting to heavy-handed measures runs the risk of undermining Beijing’s pledge to the International Olympic Committee that the games would promote greater openness in what a generation ago was still an isolated China. If still in place by the games, they could alienate the half-million foreigners expected at the games.

Like the Olympics, live broadcasts from Tiananmen Square were meant to showcase a friendly, confident China — one that had put behind it the deadly 1989 military assault on democracy demonstrators in the vast plaza that remains a defining image for many foreigners.

“Tiananmen is the face of China, the face of Beijing so many broadcasters would like to do live or recorded coverage of the square,” said Yosuke Fujiwara, the head of broadcast relations for the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting Co., or BOB, a joint-venture between Beijing Olympic organizers and an IOC subsidiary. BOB coordinates and provides technical services for the TV networks with rights to broadcast the Olympics, such as NBC.

Earlier this week, however, officials with the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee, or BOCOG, told executives at BOB that the live shots were canceled, according to three people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

“We learned that standup positions would be canceled,” one of these people said. “No explanation was given for the change.”

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China says Tibet protests have spread

March 20, 2008
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – China acknowledged Thursday that anti-government riots have spread to other provinces since sweeping through Tibet last week, as communist authorities announced the first group of arrests for the violence.

Tibetan protesters burn motorcycles, cycles and goods from shops ...
Tibetan protesters burn motorcycles, cycles and goods from shops belonging to Chinese residents as they give vent to their frustration and anger against Chinese rule in Lhasa, China, Friday March 14, 2008.(AP Photo/Jonathan Brady )

In India, the Dalai Lama told reporters he was “always ready to meet” Chinese leaders, in particular President Hu Jintao, though he said he would not travel to Beijing to do so.

But China has ignored calls for dialogue, accusing the Dalai Lama’s supporters of organizing violence in Tibet in hopes of sabotaging this summer’s Beijing Olympics and promoting Tibetan independence.

The Foreign Ministry said it was “seriously concerned” about a planned meeting between British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Dalai Lama, urging Brown not to offer support to Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader.

Armed police and troops poured….

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China: Tibet a ‘Life-and-Death’ Battle; Dalai Lama an Evil “Wolf”

March 19, 2008
By Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writers  

BEIJING – China called the Dalai Lama a “wolf in monk’s robes” Wednesday and said it was locked in a “life-and-death battle” with his supporters after protests marking the biggest challenge to Chinese rule in Tibet in almost two decades.

State media, meanwhile, reported more than 100 people had surrendered to police in and around Tibet’s regional capital of Lhasa, where peaceful protests turned violent Friday.

The protests, which Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating, have focused international attention on China’s human rights record ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing. The U.S. has called on China to address Tibetans’ grievances and engage in direct talks with the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures as he speaks ... 
China’s “Big Bad Wolf,” the Dalai Lama.  The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was speaking to the media in Dharmsala, India, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. The Dalai Lama threatened Tuesday to step down as leader of Tibet’s government in exile if violence committed by Tibetans in his homeland spirals out of control.
(AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

But China has angrily rejected all calls for dialogue, and Tibet’s hardline Communist Party chief was quoted Wednesday in a particularly viscous attack on the Dalai Lama.

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Tibetan monks shout slogans during a protest in New Delhi March ...
Tibetan monks shout slogans during a protest in New Delhi March 17, 2008. China said on Monday it had shown great restraint in the face of violent protests by Tibetans, which it said were orchestrated by followers of the Dalai Lama seeking to wreck the Beijing Olympics in August.REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA)

Calls mount for Olympic ceremony boycott

March 18, 2008
By JOHN LEICESTER, Associated Press Writer 

PARIS – Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony.
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere, seen here in ... 
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere Saturday called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games if China “does not act in the proper way” in handling protests in the Himalayan region.
(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jim McIsaac)

Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing ...
Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Tibetans called on IOC President Jacques Rogge to speak up about the Tibet crackdown and ask for the withdrawal of the torch relay in Tibet.
(AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)

Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China’s Communist leadership.

France‘s outspoken foreign minister, former humanitarian campaigner Bernard Kouchner, said the idea “is interesting.”

Kouchner said he wants to discuss it with other foreign ministers from the 27-nation European Union next week. His comments opened a crack in what until now had been solid opposition to a full boycott, a stance that Kouchner said remains the official government position.

The idea of skipping the Aug. 8 opening ceremony “is less negative than a general boycott,” Kouchner said. “We are considering it.”

Asked about Kouchner’s statement, China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said: “Certainly I think what he said is not shared by most of the people in the world.”

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said last month that he expects many heads of state — including President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy — to attend the opening ceremony.

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Chinese restraint urged on Tibet

March 18, 2008

By David R. Sands
The Washington Times
March 18, 2008

China yesterday scrambled to contain the global fallout from days of bloody clashes in Tibet, as protests around the globe put the spotlight on Beijing’s human rights record just months before it hosts the Olympic Games.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union all urged China to show “restraint” after days of rioting in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and neighboring provinces that left more than a dozen dead and scores injured.

Local government officials clear up burnt items on a street ...
Local government officials clear up burnt items on a street in Lhasa, Tibet March 16, 2008, in this picture distributed by China’s official Xinhua News Agency.
(Xinhua/Soinam Norbu/Reuters)

A midnight deadline set by Beijing for protesters to turn themselves in passed yesterday with no evidence of mass surrenders or arrests, the Associated Press reported.
There appeared to be little official support for a boycott of the Summer Games, even as scores of pro-Tibetan activists planned a protest today outside the Swiss headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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On Tibet, Darfur: Hold China Accountable

March 17, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

China is facing the wrath of some very poor and helpless people today: the yak herders of Tibet and the displaced people of Darfur in Sudan.

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Above: Displaced Sudanese children eat at the Sakali Displaced Persons camp in the city of Nyala in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region. China must persuade Sudan to halt atrocities in Darfur and reduce executions on its home soil if next year’s Olympics are to be successful, leading human rights activists have said.  (AFP/Mustafa Ozer)

China invaded and occupied Tibet. The communist government of China has basically overwhelmed the population of Tibet with Chinese merchants, workers and business people. There are more Chinese than Tibetans in Tibet today.

The spiritual leader Dalai Lama has called this “cultural genocide” which is exactly what it is.
Tibetan nomad children, August 2001 

Above: Children of the nomad yak herders in Tibet.

As a consequence, people all over the world are speaking out in support of Tibet.

Protesters, many from Tibet, shout chants during a rally sponsored ...
China won an opportunity to host the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing this summer. As a result, a lot of people who had previously ignored China’s record on human rights became more aware. Steven Spielberg accepted an invitation from China to assist them in a paid capacity to orchestrate the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympiad. When other Hollywood activists like Richard Gere began to call the Olympics the “Genocide Games” due to China’s human rights record at home, in Darfur and in Tibet; Speilberg dropped out.
Steven Spielberg 
Above: Steven Spielberg, seen in 2006, cut his ties with the Beijing Olympics. The director believes China is not doing enough to help end the conflict in Darfur. (Associated Press photo).The bottom line is this: by hosting the Olympics China has invited upon itself greater scrutiny. China has said it wants to be a “player” on the “world stage.” So be it. Now China realizes there are rights and there are responsibilities too.

National Public Radio correspondent Rod Gifford, who lived in China for many years said, “China now knows the Olympics are not just about sports. The unrest due to their treatment of Tibet and Darfur are teaching China that there are certain rules of behavior and expectations of those on the world stage. We should not boycott the Olympics but we should continue to hold China accountable.”
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China’s selection to host the Olympics
this summer has riled human rights
activists world-wide.
******
Rod Gifford is the author of CHINA ROAD. 

China Road is an enthralling tale as you ride shotgun with NPR correspondent Rob Gifford along his nearly 3000 mile journey across the heart of China. The people, the geography, the food, politics and history all come alive – with a bit of humor .

This is a must read for you before this summer’s Olympics.

Most westerners need to pay more attention to China’s problems because there could be a crunch coming. The less the Communist Party deals with its pressing social problem and political problems now, the bigger that crunch will be if it comes. pXVII

Are the skills of Chinese software engineers really as good as those of their American counterparts?… Can you really become a player in the knowledge economy if you restrict your teaching and flow of knowledge? P70

The word “democracy” leads us to attribute certain advantages to India that don’t necessarily exist. Similarly the word “dictatorship” leads us to attribute terrible things to China that don’t necessarily exist there. P72

You’re twice as likely to lose a child in India before age 5 than in China… There is only a 60% chance that you can read, while in China the chance is 93%. If you are an adult woman, that goes down to 45% in India, and 87% in China. Per capita income is double in China than India’s. And life expectancy is 9 years lower in India (63 vs. 72). P73.

China has the highest rate of female suicide in the world, and it is the number 1 cause of death for women aged 18 to 34. p74

One might find it scary that 2000 years of history might have done nothing to change the political system of a country. Imagine a Europe where the Roman Empire had never fallen, that still covered an area from England to North Africa and the Middle East, and was run by 1 man in Rome backed by a strong army. There you have roughly, ancient and modern China. P102

One reason why there is still so much attention paid to education in China and in all Confucian based societies is because there is no aristocracy, just as there is in the similarily meritocratic society of the US. Europe, where the university was historically a preparation for the church or finishing school for the hereditary upper classes. When I told people in Europe that I was going to attend graduate school in the US, the response was generally ‘Why? Haven’t you been in school long enough?’ No Chinese or American would ever ask such a question. P106

China produces 35% of the world’s coal, but reports 80% of the world’s mining deaths (over 5000 annually). And those just the ones reported. This is over 100 times the rate in America. P134

There is a departtment of the Government of China Police that enforces the family planning laws in China. They go to the woman’s house and if she will not come, she is taken to the clinic by force. They make no exceptions, even if a woman is 8 months pregnant when discovered to have violated the rule. She is forced into giving birth to a still born (murdered) baby from her womb. P180

Some Chinese characters are made of interesting combinations of radicals (picture symbols). A pig under a roof is the character for home. A woman with a son is the character for good. P236
Nomads near Namtso.jpg
Tibetan nomads live on the plains and herd yaks.  The communist government of China says they are relocating these people to the cities because they are “a threat to the environment.”  In the cities, the nomads have no skills or jobs.

Leading China rights activist to stand trial next week: lawyer

March 14, 2008

By Robert J. Saiget

BEIJING (AFP) – Chinese dissident Hu Jia will stand trial next week for subversion, his lawyer said Friday, in a case that is being seen as a litmus test for China‘s vow to improve human rights ahead of the Olympics.

Chinese dissident Hu Jia, seen here in 2007, will stand trial ...
Chinese dissident Hu Jia, seen here in 2007, will stand trial next week for subversion, in a case that is being seen as a litmus test for China’s vow to improve human rights ahead of the Olympics.(AFP/Frederic J. Brown)

Hu is facing charges of “incitement to subvert state power” and will be tried on Tuesday morning at the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court, lawyer Li Jingsong told AFP.

Officials answering phones at the court Friday said they had no information on the case, but cast doubts on whether the trial would be public.

“Depending on the circumstances, cases dealing with subversion may not be public,” one official said.

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Beijing Needs A Lesson in Public Relations

March 13, 2008

By Christian Toto
The Washington Times
March 13, 2008

China, an emerging superpower with a booming economy to match its military might, appears to need a lesson in good, old-fashioned PR as it struggles with its international image prior to hosting the Olympic Games in August.
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The country’s latest public relations fiasco involves one of the country’s newest movie stars, Tang Wei. The actress starred in last year’s critically acclaimed “Lust, Caution” from director Ang Lee. This week, China unofficially blacklisted Miss Wei for her role in the movie as a student activist who displayed unpatriotic behavior during the Japanese occupation, according to numerous press reports.
Taiwan-born film director Ang Lee (L) escorts Chinese actress ... 
Taiwan-born film director Ang Lee (L) escorts Chinese actress Tang Wei during a Japan premiere event of their movie “Lust, Caution” in Tokyo January 24, 2008. Lee has come out in support of Tang, whose advertisements have been blacklisted in China following her steamy turn in Lee’s “Lust, Caution”. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
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“I am very disappointed that Tang Wei is being hurt by this decision,” Mr. Lee said Tuesday. “We will do everything to support her in this difficult time.”

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China-bound copper thefts stop Australian trains

March 13, 2008
By Rob Taylor

CANBERRA (Reuters) – With stopped trains, stolen phone lines and pilfered power cables, Australians are paying a hefty price for China‘s pre-Olympic building boom, police said on Thursday.

Beijing National Stadium
Bird’s Nest

Organised gangs are being blamed by authorities for stealing copper cabling worth millions of dollars, selling it to China to help construction of buildings including Beijing‘s “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium, site of Olympic ceremonies and track events.

“The theft of this stuff has caused the train system to shut down for between five and seven hours. They are not just taking small lengths. They are taking up to 500 metres at a time,” Victoria Police detective sergeant Barry Hills told Reuters.

In recent weeks police in Australia‘s second most populous state have seized more than 15 tonnes of stolen copper cabling stashed in shipping containers and warehouses.

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CIA Director: China “Strangling” Smaller Entities

March 13, 2008

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
March 13, 2008

China is “strangling” emerging island democracies in the Pacific in pursuit of narrow goals such as friendly votes at the United Nations, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said in an interview in which he criticized Beijing’s failure to act as a responsible global power.

CIA Director Hayden

Mr. Hayden also criticized China’s pursuit of Sudanese oil supplies, even at the cost of backing a government that the United States accuses of participating in genocidal activities in the Darfur region of Sudan.

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NATION/330455152/1001