Thursday, August 14, 2008

Broken Promises

I'm speechless (almost). This typifies why I hate the communist government in China. All politicians stretch the truth here and there but this is blatant beyond belief. How do these people sleep at night?

BBC Article
Speaking at a press briefing, Mr Wang said that when he was secretary-general of the Beijing Olympic bid committee, he was "confronted with many questions".

"I did say that the Olympic Games coming to China will help China open up further and reform better," he said.

The fact that China had set up protest areas for its citizens during the Olympics showed it was heading in the right direction, he said.

"I think China has been stepping forward, and if you ask the ordinary Chinese on the streets they will give you the same answer," he said.

In hindsight, it's pretty apparent that China had no intention to keep its promises about human rights reform. They pretty much said whatever it was necessary to win the bid to host the Olympics. Even now, he is still lying about allowing protests.

BBC Article
Just before the Olympic Games began, officials said ordinary Chinese people would be able to apply for permission to vent their feelings.

But several would-be demonstrators appear to have been detained by the authorities after trying to apply for that permission.

New York Times Article
Like scores of other aggrieved citizens in China’s capital, Zhang Wei was stunned last month to learn that the Chinese government would allow demonstrators to air their complaints during the Olympics at specially designated protest zones around the city. All they had to do was fill out a form at their local police station.

In an authoritarian country that bans almost all forms of public protest, the newfound openness seemed too good to be true. And it was.

Ms. Zhang, a Beijing resident who has been seeking redress for what she claims was the illegal demolition of her house, applied for a protest permit in early August and began planning her public demonstration. On Aug. 6, police officers came to her home — not to deliver the requisite license but to take her into custody. She is now serving a monthlong sentence for “disturbing social order,” according to her family.

Sigh... so in order to "fulfill" their promise of allowing protests during the Olympics, the Chinese government designate three parks as protest zones (mentioned once during a press conference). However, you still need to apply for a permit to demonstrate. Not only are permits denied, some people are arrested and detained just for applying for a permit. It's a win-win-win situation for China: they effectively block all dissent, identify and detain potential protesters, yet get to brag about providing forums for protests.

People's Republic of China... how ironic.


Anonymous said...

never trust a chinese guy when he says "mayo wenti"

the IOC probably heard it so many times during the negotiations for the games being in Beijing that they didn't need a translator.

i can see them saying mayo wenti to every IOC request and then renege later on. the IOC can't play victim to this. they either had to be stupid or incompetent or both not seeing this coming. unfortunately, the only real hammer is to have a substitute site ready in case Beijing wasn't complying. that would have been pretty expensive.

Anonymous said...

by the way, i think the government officials sleep pretty well at night. i wouldn't expect any soul-searching or guilt.

after all, they did prevent a not so cute-looking girl from disgracing China's national image during the opening ceremonies. everything was "perfect".

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at how much China is still concerned about the image it presents to the world, rather than being a real agent for change.

The temporary abatement in smog in the area probably goes away as soon as the Olympics are over the factories get fired up again & all the cars are allowed back on the roads.
All the people that applied to protest will probably going to be detained, and there's probably little the international community can do about it after the Olympics.

I still can't believe they would actually provide passports with false information on gymnasts' birth dates in order to meet minimum age requirements... See NY Times Article here

totochi said...

The CCP does not want change. They don't care about the average citizen; it's all about maintaining power and control so they can enjoy the perks of the ruling class. Otherwise all these useless government officials will need to get real jobs.

As for faking it, one of the constants throughout history is the need for communist states to justify their existence by "proving" they're as good or better than capitalist countries. For some reason, they all view Olympic medal count as some kind of vindication of the superiority of communism. You see this with USSR and East Germany with their huge state sponsored sport training system and the focus on doping drugs. This is exactly what you see in China today. Individuals don't matter, only their contribution to the glory of the communist system matters.

I don't know if the girls on China's gymnastics team are under-aged but if they are, of course the Chinese government will issue new passports to cover their age.

Anonymous said...

Only those who loves the country most would hate it most. I can understand your feeling well because you have kept attacking the Chinese government for so long. The image of China does affect the image of the overseas Chinese. Everybody hopes it is getting well. I hope you will too.

totochi said...

I don't hate China or even the most of the people in the government. My problem is with the few people in charge of the communist party. Ultimately, I think the CCP has been and is still bad for China. There's no accountability which leads to abuse of power and corruption.

I don't know if a western democratic system is the right choice for China but I do believe that the Chinese people are smart enough to choose. The problem is that there is no choice. If the government is really for the people, let them demonstrate that by allowing freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion.