Boycott China?

I bet most of you have heard in the news about what’s going on right now in Tibet/China. I’ve been debating with myself about what I actually want to write about concerning Tibet and I’ve decided on the topic of how media-reports and demonstrations are treated in China with regard to the new Tibetan unrest and the Olympic Games.

To start with, I will first give you some general information about Tibet. Tibet, the roof of the world is situated in Asia, west of China. Actually, Tibet Autonomous Region is a part of the People's Republic of China. And that’s where the problem lies. Tibet wants to become independent from China.

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Tibet may have its own government and congress but is still under the administration of China. International governments support China with their territorial and sovereignty claim in Tibet because they conquered the region. Nevertheless, they criticize the violation of human rights in China and the way they treat Tibet. Lately, there have been a lot of unrests in Tibet because Tibetans are fighting more and more for their independence. China blames the Dalai Lama, the head of Tibet living in exile. China seems to fall apart kind of like the Soviet Union did. It is full of conflicts with its different regions. Those conflicts have historical, economical, cultural and social reasons.

But what I actually want to write about is the lack of freedom of speech in China. Due to the rising unrest in Tibet, China sent all tourists home and with them also international, unbiased critics and journalists. Barely any new free film or photo material was released afterwards. Demonstrations have been given a violent end by the Chinese military. China is trying to keep the country “clean” with regard to the Olympic Games. To be honest, all that somehow reminds me of the Olympic Games under Hitler in 1936.

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In addition to that, as you may have heard in the news, China is bringing more than 1.000 demonstrators to court. The first one to be convicted is civil-rights activist and dissident Hu Jia. He got three and a half years due to interviews with international media and five articles on the Internet.

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Now I sit here and wonder: Should I even post this? Yes I should. Damn this can’t go on like that. Every citizen has a right to go out on the street and to fight for their beliefs. Every citizen has a right to be critical towards its county, no actually it’s a duty to me because otherwise the government could just do whatever they want. That’s what “People’s Republic” in the case of China should mean.

I think back to what happened in Germany. People didn’t want two German parts anymore. They wanted to be one. They went on the street and demonstrated and now we celebrate almost 20 years of reunion.

Now people are debating whether countries should boycott the Olympic Games in China or not. If you think about it, politics and sports should be two separate things and the athletes should be able to decide themselves if they want to join the Olympic Games or not. Several tries to boycott Olympics Games in the past have failed and not changed anything. If someone wanted to boycott them, they should have done it when China got the promise for 2008 because it’s not just since 2008 that these problems occurred. A boycott may furthermore increase the bad treatment of Tibetans in China.
Alternatively, a boycott may impair the economical relations of Western countries with China. Is money a reason to not boycott? Be nice to China because you can have good trade relationships with them. “ I don’t think so!

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The image of a colourful, happy China with smiling winning athletes, a peaceful event with so many winners seems grotesque to me when I think of the bloody radical procedure with that the Chinese military and police prevents Tibetans from fighting for their beliefs.
Posted on April 4th, 2008 at 09:28am

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