Archive for the ‘Summer Olympics’ Category

Tibetans Protest & China Awaits Olympic Torch

March 30, 2008

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Several dozen Tibetans in India on Sunday unveiled an “independence torch” in New Delhi that will be carried around the world in an anti-China protest ahead of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Tibetan activists carry an “Independence Torch” during a rally in New Delhi on March 30, 2008. Several dozen Tibetans in India on Sunday unveiled an “independence torch” in New Delhi that will be carried around the world in an anti-China protest ahead of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.(AFP/Manpreet Romana)

The torch was brought from the northern Indian town of Dharamshala — home to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, and the government-in-exile.

The next stop for the protest flame is San Francisco, where the real Olympic torch is expected on April 9.

“This relay is to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. We also don’t want the Olympic torch to go to Tibet because it is not a part of China,” said Urgyen Chophel, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress.

China has come under increasing international pressure over its crackdown against protesters in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and Chinese provinces bordering the Himalayan region.

Tibetan activist groups have put the death toll from weeks of unrest at 135-140 Tibetans. China says rioters killed 18 civilians and two police officers.

Protesters disrupted the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Greece last Monday.

Read the rest:


China awaits Olympic torch amid Tibet tensions

By Dan Martin Sun

BEIJING, March 30, 2008 (AFP) – China on Sunday stepped up security on the eve of the arrival of the Olympic torch from Greece, where protesters angry over Beijing‘s crackdown in Tibet tried to disrupt the handover of the flame.

Authorities in Beijing clamped down on Tiananmen Square, where the torch will be officially welcomed to the country on Monday before a worldwide relay expected to be dogged by protests over the deadly unrest in Tibet.

Tensions continued to simmer in the Himalayan region, with activist groups reporting a fresh protest in Lhasa at the weekend, while in neighbouring Nepal, police baton-charged Tibetan protesters Sunday, detaining more than 100 people.

In Athens, Greek officials handed the Olympic flame to the head of the Beijing organising committee, Liu Qi, after police arrested a handful of protesters shouting “Free Tibet”.

Read the rest:


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….

Read the rest:

Beijing Olympics organizers face problem of too many squat toilets

March 20, 2008

BEIJING, China (AP) — Among all the protests, pollution concerns and talk of boycotts surrounding the Beijing Olympics, a more basic problem has arisen for organizers: the toilets.

At the more than 30 test events held by organizers, the presence of squat toilets at many of the new and renovated venues has drawn frequent complaints.

“We have asked the venues to improve on this, to increase the number to sit-down toilets,” Yao Hui, deputy director of venue management for the Beijing organizers, said Wednesday. “Many people have raised the question of toilets.”

The issue came up again over the weekend when the San Diego Padres played the Los Angeles Dodgers at the new Olympic baseball venue. The portable toilets trucked in were of the style used widely in Asia, but rarely in the West.

Yao suggested it would be difficult to change every permanent toilet in the 37 venues, 31 of which are in Beijing. So he said the focus would be on satisfying three groups of visitors: athletes, journalists and the Olympic family, meaning primarily VIPs.

Security guards stand in line during a regular practice session ...
Security guards stand in line during a regular practice session in front of the National Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing, in this November 27, 2007 file photo. Alfred Cheng Jin (CHINA)

Read the rest:

Problems creep out past official front in China

March 20, 2008
BEIJING — Last month, Olympic organizers were showing off a new basketball arena and denied that any residents were forcibly evicted to build the many sites for the Summer Games. But the Olympic Media Village sits where Li Yukui and his neighbors had to leave their homes.

Olympic officials promised to clean Beijing’s severe air pollution, but an Ethiopian runner said last week that he won’t run the marathon because breathing the air could harm his health.

And the neighborhood volunteers touted for learning English to give directions to visitors instead spend their time monitoring residents and even confronted one pregnant woman about whether she was violating China’s one-child policy.

Five months before the Olympics, China is discovering the difficult line between promotion of its many successes and concealment of deep problems that dog the communist nation.

China’s crackdown on pro-independence protests in Tibet is just one front of this struggle. The world’s most populous nation wants to present a united image of harmony and prosperity. But the ruling Communist Party, which bristles at outside criticism, sometimes contains dissidents and ignores human rights complaints.

Riot police take a rest on a street in Tongren, in China's Qinghai ...
Riot police take a rest on a street in Tongren, in China’s Qinghai province, March 17, 2008.(Kyodo/Reuters)

Read the rest:

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).

Read the rest:

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.


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.”
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.

China warned over Tibet turmoil

March 15, 2008

By David R. Sands
The Washington Times
March 15, 2008
The United States led an international chorus yesterday urging China to show restraint after two protesters were reportedly killed in Tibet in the largest anti-government demonstrations in nearly two decades.

El mapa sit

A map showing Lhasa in Tibet where troops have surrounded the ...

The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the remote region’s Buddhist natives, dismissed as “baseless” charges by Beijing that he was behind the violence that has erupted after three days of demonstrations marking the 49th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

The White House, the European Union and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour all pushed China to ease the crackdown in Tibet, amid reports of Chinese police firing on crowds of protesters who were burning cars and shops in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Beijing needs to respect Tibetan culture and multi-ethnicity in its society, according to the Associated Press. “We regret the tensions between the ethnic groups and Beijing,” he said, adding that President Bush has said consistently that Beijing needs to have a dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

Tibetan Buddhist monks shout slogans after being blocked by ...
Tibetan Buddhist monks shout slogans after being blocked by riot police at a protest near the historic Labrang Monastery, in the town of Xiahe, Gansu Province, on March 14. China said Saturday that 10 people had been burnt to death during violent unrest in Tibet, which has added to the pressure on Beijing just months before it hosts the Olympic Games.(AFP/Mark Ralston)

“Nobody benefits from violence,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. “But we believe that it is very important that in responding to these protests that the Chinese government turn away from the use of force or violence in responding to the protests.”
Mr. McCormack said U.S. Ambassador to China Clark Randt, in a previously scheduled meeting with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, pressed Beijing to act with restraint and to conduct talks with the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since 1959.
Details from Lhasa were sketchy, with some reports putting the number of those killed as high as 13. The U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia quoted witnesses yesterday who reported seeing two bodies on the streets of the capital, after police reportedly fired live ammunition into crowds of protesters.

Read the rest:
Demonstrators protest the treatment of Tibet by the Chinese ... 
Demonstrators protest the treatment of Tibet by the Chinese government in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York March 14, 2008. Police arrested six pro-Tibet protesters outside U.N. headquarters on Friday after an impromptu demonstration in support of the independence protests in Tibet grew unruly. About 40 or 50 protesters engaged in a standoff with New York police who threatened to arrest them all if they did not move from a traffic island in front of the U.N. building in Manhattan.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)

Nike reports persistent problems at China factories

March 14, 2008

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Nike Inc (NKE.N), the world’s biggest sneaker and sportswear maker, said falsified documents, underage workers and unpaid wages were problems encountered at suppliers in China, despite what experts say is one of the top social compliance regimes in the industry.

A worker holds a Nike shoe at a shopping mall in Jakarta July ...
A worker holds a Nike shoe at a shopping mall in Jakarta July 17, 2007. Nike Inc, the world’s biggest sneaker and sportswear maker, said falsified documents, underage workers and unpaid wages were problems encountered at suppliers in China, despite what experts say is one of the top social compliance regimes in the industry.
(Dadang Tri/Reuters)

The Oregon-based company’s difficulties highlight the deep roots of some of the problems businesses face in manufacturing in China, particularly at a time of sharply rising costs and a stiffening legal environment.

In its first country-specific supply chain report, which it said focused on China because of the upcoming Beijing Olympics, Nike detailed the efforts it has been making to get suppliers to comply with its code of conduct and Chinese law, including a scheme to monitor Olympics-related suppliers this year.

Read the rest:

Protests In Tibet Turn Violent

March 14, 2008
By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – Angry protesters set shops ablaze and gunfire was reported in Tibet’s regional capital Friday as the largest demonstrations in two decades against Chinese rule turned violent just months ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

In this photo released by the International Campaign for Tibet, ...
In this photo released by the International Campaign for Tibet, police are seen in Jokhang Square in Lhasa, Tibet, where protests broke out Monday March 10, 2008. Angry protesters set police and army cars on fire in the center of Lhasa Friday March 14, 2008, as the latest protest by monks against Chinese rule in Tibet turned violent, witnesses said.(AP Photo/International Campaign For Tibet)

The protests, in their fifth day and led by monks supporting Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, threatened to cast a shadow over China‘s efforts to portray a unified and prosperous nation in the run-up to the games.

Read the rest:;_ylt=AgtDVocIy1

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.
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

“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.”

Read the rest: