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Ten Things to Remember about China (as you Watch the Olympics)

John on August 6, 2008 at 10:36 am

This list could really go on for many more entries than a measly ten but, hey, it’s a start:

  1. China denies a Visa to former Gold Medalist speed skater Joey Cheek. Cheek is also a campaigner for Darfur (see #2). The Chinese explanation: “The purpose is to provide a proper, secure environment for people watching and attending the Games.” Those speed skaters are dangerous.
  2. China has been fueling the conflict in Darfur by selling arms to the Sudanese government. This is in direct contravention of a UN embargo on arms sales to Sudan.
  3. Chinese police murdered protesters for Tibetan independence as recently as March, 2008, by firing into unarmed crowds (mostly made up of monks). They then blamed the conflict on the Dalai Lama.
  4. China uses executed prisoners as an organ farm. This is big business as foreigners pay a premium for these organs. Coincidentally, the right organ with the right blood type is always available at just the right time. Amnesty international estimates that more people are executed in China each year than in the rest of the world combined. How many of these prisoners are being executed for their political views? Don’t ask.
  5. There is no religious freedom in China. In 2001, China whipped up charges against Gong Shengliang the leader of a house church movement that included rape and torture and sentenced him to death. In fact, the women who claimed to have been raped later admitted they were tortured into making the claims by the Chinese authorities. Gong has since had his sentence changed to life in prison. Amnesty International has monitored his case and is aware of him being tortured on at least one occasion. His case is representative of religious freedom as a whole in China.
  6. The one-child policy in China mandates forced abortions for some women and, in other cases, insures that those who willfully have more than one child can never get a decent job to care for their family. As an example, in 2001, a crackdown in one county resulted in an abortion/sterilization quota of 20,000. Officials took wages from local workers to purchase portable ultrasound machines so they could carry out their mandate. Reports of infanticide are relatively frequent and credible. Sex-selection abortions are extremely common and have wrecked havoc on demographics. In remote areas there simply are no little girls. [It's worth noting that the UN has commented favorably on China's success dealing with its population "problem." Idiots.]
  7. Chinese treatment of journalists is little better than its treatment of Christians. In 2004, the government arrested Shi Tao for “providing state secrets to foreign entities.” In reality, Shi had sent an e-mail to a pro-democracy website in the US discussing China’s plans to downplay an upcoming Tiananmen square anniversary. He remains in prison four years later.
  8. China’s internet is run like something out of the novel 1984. Photos, like this one…

    …can not be found on the Chinese version of Google, as if it never happened. Many of the Tiananmen protesters were murdered, imprisoned, tortured. Some are still in jail nearly 20 years later.
  9. In addition to using its prisoners as an organ farm, Chinese prisoners are also slave labor. Of course China has signed agreements to prevent this (back in the early 90′s) however experts agree that it is still going on. Lots of those “Made in China” Christmas tree lights come from prison labor.
  10. Frankly, ten doesn’t cut it. Just read the US State Department’s report on human rights in China for 2007. It covers everything from torture to child labor. I’m only part way through it as it is very long (nearly 50,000 words!).

Now having looked at all of that, doesn’t the “One World One Dream” tagline on the official 2008 Olympics website ring a bit hollow?

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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