By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 8, 2007
Today marks one year from the official start of the Beijing Summer Olympics 2008. But “Truth harbingers of evil inside China darken the day.”
Today China started the 365 day countdown with a grand event in Tiananmen Square.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge marked the start of the one-year countdown with a lavish Chinese-style ceremony that stared on the 8th day, of the 8th month at 8 PM and 8 minutes 8 seconds.
Eight is a lucky number in China.
But to the Chinese, Tiananmen Square has not always been lucky — especially for those seeking democratic and human rights reforms.
Chinese tanks mowed down pro-democracy demonstrators 18 years ago right where tonight’s Olympic ceremonies commenced.
“Not lucky place” a Chinese friend said to me as we watched events unfold.
There may have been other “unlucky” omens for China today.
A thick layer of brown smog has engulfed Beijing for weeks. The smog is so severe that some of the Olympic athletic trainers have voiced concern. Perhaps China scheduled tonight’s ceremony in the evening to avoid showing the smothering air pollution to western TV viewers.
Some in attendance at the ceremony wore face masks to protect against the pollution.
Another bad omen, the first among the most dreaded things China’s leaders fear: protesters appeared.
Chinese authorities arrested six protesters descending part of the Great Wall with a 450-square-foot banner reading, “One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008.”
There are more Chinese people in Tibet than Tibetans. China invaded Tibet and relocated the nomad herders to cities where they have no jobs.
In the west, contrary voices could be heard.
In the United States Terence Jeffrey wrote, “The first Gold Medal of these games should be awarded to the Chinese Politburo for its Olympian achievements in religious persecution.”
In the UK The Telegraph ran a story under the headline “China Threatens ‘Nuclear Option’ of Dollar Sales.” The story said China had threatened to melt down the U.S. economy if pressure from the US Congress continues.
American lawmakers have said they would issue sanction upon China unless China makes currency adjustments.
The Washington (D.C.) Times ran a lead commentary essay outlining Chinese deceit during the poisoned food scandal.
Also in America, Democratic Presidential hopefuls started what has often been called “China bashing” at a political debate last night.
Front-runner Senator Hillary Clinton warned the United States must deal with China’s “currency manipulation.”
Mrs. Clinton also said, “I don’t want to eat bad food from China or have my children having toys that are going to get them sick.”
Senator Barack Obama, who runs second to Clinton in national polls, branded China a “competitor.”
Mr. Obama said, “We’ve got to have a president in the White House who’s negotiating to make sure that we are looking after American workers … it means that, if they’re manipulating their currency, that we take them to the mat on this issue.”
Despite China’s grand Olympic kick off in Tiananmen Square, there were several indications that this will be an interesting year of controversy for China.
A Chinese dissident living in exile told Peace and Freedom, “China cannot avoid the fact that there are truth harbingers exposing evil” about China emanating from the west.