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.
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.
Above: Children of the nomad yak herders in Tibet.
As a consequence, people all over the world are speaking out in support of Tibet.
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.
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.”
China’s selection to host the Olympics
this summer has riled human rights
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
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.