Saturday, February 23, 2008

Links: China gets ready for Olympics

With 6 months to go until the Summer Olympics in Beijing, the coverage is starting to pick-up. Yet, most of it hasn't focused on the athletes or the competitions, but rather the host.

A brief compendium:
Since getting the games in 2001, China has been remodeling the look of their homes and streets, razing entire neighborhoods including large parts of the historic sector of Beijing. In their eagerness to appeal to the western world, the new new high rises that are being built in place of the old homes have names like "Greenwich" and "Upper East Side."

However, the intense modernization and urbanization has come at the expense of people's livelihoods and sometimes their lives. Thus, unfortunately, the hyper-modernization has been on the face only, as the country's long-condemned human rights record has yet to improve, despite the promises made when campaigning for the bid eight years back.

They've been educating their citizens in etiquette, teaching them how to queue and instituting a "give your seat up on the bus" day. At the same time, they're jailing citizens that have dared protest, and asking athletes (their own as well as everoyne else's) to keep their mouths shut. Throughout all this, the IOC has kept their own mouth shut without being asked.

*That second to-last link was found on thebiglead.

Update: China will resume human rights dialogue with US


  1. 580k people displaced in a 62km squared area in the last 3 years. That's insane. My buddy was just in Beijing last weekend and said the amount of construction is, obviously, ridiculous.


  2. Big mistake to have China host. Though i admit it's fun to pretend we live in a harmonious global community.