Archive for the ‘China’ Category
Government representatives of more than 3.3 billion people have recently met in Yekaterinburg, Russia, for the first BRIC (Brazil-Russia-India-China) summit (16 June) and the ninth Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)’s Heads of State summit (15 June).
One for all major Western anglophone news channels, you’d think? Think again.
The only reason I have learned about it is because Iranian President Ahmadinejad attended the SCO summit in the middle of the election crisis. And the only reason why I remembered to mention it is an article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, mysteriously available on the web only in Russian.
What is this sorry episode but another example of how the “free world” is victim of its own propaganda, that depicts a subservient, hapless globe whilst in reality there are powerful people seriously discussing how to contain the USA?
For evidence of corruption in Heilongjiang Province, China, look no further than the story of Gao Chuancai.
Obviously there is something at work at present in China that prevents the oppressive regime from imploding upon itself in an outburst of paranoia and red tape. I just wonder what that is..
There is something very fishy about doping at the Beijing Olympics this year.
As of now, 4 athletes have tested positives for banned substances. This may look like a positive result, a decisively downward trend after more than a dozen people tested positives at Athens 2004. But in reality, it’s the other way around.
At the current rate, it will be an achievement if 10 doping cases were to be found by the end of the Olympics.
The alternative views, that the worldwide sports movement has finally decided to stop using banning substances, or that cheats are getting caught before going to the Olympics, are in practice beyond ridicule…also because already one of the 4 “Beijing positives” is a Vietnamese girl that everybody believes has taken a banned prescription drug by mistake.
Is nobody else making any mistake in Beijing? Nobody at all?
There are other well-known indicator of “doping fishiness”. Antidoping expert Dick Pound said before the start of the Olympics: “If a bunch of athletes no one has ever heard of show up at the Olympics and win gold medals, that’s going to be the worst thing for China’s reputation“.
And here there is one.
Look also at French swimmer Alain Bernard’s giant upper-body muscles, compared to his competitors. One can even see an oversize vein, like in the bodybuilding competitions of old.
Some experts are starting speaking out, worried that overall, Beijing 2008 will be a setback in the war against doping. But how likely is it that almost everybody has figured out how to avoid detection, and/or almost every testing lab has decided to opt for extreme caution before declaring any sample as “positive”?
So what’s possibly going on? Everybody knows that doping brings with it embarrassment, especially to the host Country, especially if the athletes getting caught come from the host Country.
On the other hand these are the Olympics where a 14-year-old Chinese girl’s age is “slightly nudged” to become 16 on her passport in order to compete. There would be little to be surprised of if, behind the scenes, “little” positive cases of doping were purposedly “slightly nudged” towards negativeness, especially when the blood samples came from Chinese athletes.
in order to preserve harmony, then, everybody’s “little” positive cases would be treated the same way, with a bunch of unlucky people singled out just to keep up appearances. The result? Widespread dishonesty and hypocrisy in a disaster of Olympic proportions indeed, with doping the one thing everybody knows about and nobody dares to talk of.
For the sake of honesty and fair competing, it certainly does look like the right time to accept clean, transparent, safe doping in sports: just as a few years ago, professionalism was finally allowed to surface, after its own long, suffered history of Olympic dishonesty and hypocrisy.
The Sichuan quake has partially removed Tibet from the news, in a quantitatively quite relevant way.
Articles on Tibet in the New York Times archives:
From 1/Jan/8 to 14/Jun/8: 295 articles (1.79/day)
1/Jan-10/Mar (the day before the Tibetan riots): 31 (0.45/day)
11/Mar-11/May (the day before the Sichuan quake): 212 (3.48/day)
12/May-14/Jun: 52 (1.58/day, that is 55% fewer)
More numbers for those thinking the above is just what happens with “old news”:
11/Mar-11/Apr: 126 (4.06/day)
12/Apr-11/May: 87 (3/day)
So it is true: the quake has halved the news reporting from Tibet, from one day to the next.
World attention on Tibet is in the meanwhile decreasing. During June, there has been just 1.49 articles/day on Tibet.
If it is true that solidarity to the Chinese Government regarding the Sichuan earthquake cannot be used as an excuse to forget the repression in Tibet, it is also true that many “pro-Tibet” demonstrations are nothing to be proud of, as they disregard the recent, enormous disaster in the Sichuan region.
I hope nobody believes that natural disasters have no political consequences.
Simply, in the absence of the slightest effort to understand what is happening in China, the risk is to become broken records, absolute strangers to the reality on the ground. Is it really that difficult to add to “pro-Tibet” events something like a candle in memory of all those deaths?
And no, I am not suggesting to organize funeral vigills. I only wish that when people talk about Tibet and China, a corner of the event would be dedicated to the “earthquake dead”. Missing that, there is little chance (and, may I dare say, little right) to lecture the Chinese Govenment on Tibetan or other matters.
I have put the questions above to various people but received very few answers so far. I have the uncomfortable feeling that at the end of the day, few or none really care about “real Tibet”, as few or none are interested in understanding the political and social consequences of the 2008 earthquake in China.
They who can turn their eyes away from 70,000 dead, 370,000 injured and 17,000 missing people, they can turn their eyes away from anything.
Instead of flying Tibetan standards, perhaps it would be more honest if “pro-Tibet” demonstrators burned Chinese flags.
After an earthquake, and after the quake (or perhaps, the quakes) in China this month, talks of ”too much time has passed for anybody to be still alive” chillingly keep coming back.
It is actually known since the Messina earthquake of 1908 if not longer, that humans can survive well beyond what we can imagine. Hope should never die, or at least for three weeks. Certainly not after just a handful of days.
Dig, dig, dig: nothing else makes sense, right now.
…or “What is a Communist Party doing in a place where popular opinion is so important?”
“China’s response to quake is unusually open“, says the International Herald Tribune. And that’s very clear from the pictures distributed hours after the disaster:
Why would Wen Jiabao dedicate any time to pictures? Evidently, popular opinion in China is very, very important. Some sort of paradox, in a society where the Communist Party is in theory in charge.