China will be hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the main problem with the Olympics this year will be China itself. The conflicts and controversy are already starting with the pollution, the conflict in Tibet, and the culpability with the Sudanese government.
In Beijing itself, the biggest challenge is the pollution in the city and how it is going to effect the outdoor sports. The pollution in Beijing is one of the worst in the world and already caused problems with the Women’s World Cup last summer.
The Olympic Chief, Jaques Rogge, is even admitting it will be a problem. “People are beginning to come to terms with the fact it could be a major issue. Rogge said that some of the endurance events may be postponed and that would be disaster for the organisers.”
The pollution stems from a tremendous number of new cars on the roads and from the coal factories fueling the growth in China’s economy. They are doing their best to work on reducing the pollution by reducing vehicle traffic in Beijing and by curbing emissions from coal plants, but there hasn’t been much improvement.
They tried to ban cars for four days in the city earlier this year and it did not work to reduce pollution.
It was brought to further attention this week when the world’s best marathon runner said he would not run in the marathon in the Olympic games in Beijing because of the pollution. Haile Gebrselassie, who suffers from exercise-related asthma, told
Reuters this week he would not run the 42.195-km event because
he feared Beijing’s air pollution was a threat to his health.
The pressure has built this week for the way they are treating the people and country of Tibet. This week monks and other people were protesting the occupation by China and it is gotten really violent. Today, Chinese authorities sent in riot police and tanks into the streets of Lhasa and at least 10 people were killed.
The Chinese government is trying to portray that it is the doing of the Dalai Lama. But I have seen the Dalai Lama speak and I don’t think he is a man to order this type of stuff.
What is interesting is that when CNN International or BBC report on this and you are trying to watch it in Beijing, it gets censored and you get a blank screen.
The Chinese government is also cracking down on dissidents. People are just disappearing. “Teng Biao, a prominent human rights lawyer, went missing last week. It
is thought he has been detained by the authorities amid a crackdown on
dissent ahead of the games. He was last seen being bundled into a car
outside his home in Beijing.”
This all without getting into the culpability of China in the killings and death in Sudan. Last month, Steven Spielberg resigned as a media advisor to the Olympics because of China’s relationship with Sudan and their reluctance to force the Sudan government to stop their killings in Darfur.
China can’t have it both ways. They can’t show harmony and the power of their communist party while causing and creating human atrocities against their own citizens and the people of Tibet and Sudan.
The Olympics are supposed to be apolitical, but the last country that tried to do what Germany tried to do during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Look at what the Germans under Adolph Hitler did following those games.
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