China Bashing

With her face paste with sticker of China's flag, a Chinese supporter smiles during the Beijing Olympic Torch relay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 21, 2008. (AP)



A fair section of the Western public and the western media have shown excessive enthusiasm in bashing China regarding its human rights issues in Tibet. As the Olympic flame is lit, its torch was never meant to inflame global political sentiments. But, while it makes its symbolic appearance around the world the anti-china movement seems to be on overdrive. It is intent on damaging the image of China and dismantling the untiring and costly efforts they have put in place for the forthcoming Olympics.

It is true that China's human rights policies have never been perfect. But who is perfect? China has to a great extent tried hard to clean up their act and show the world that the emerging super power does not want to remain an isolated dark empire. It yearns to shine as a global player in sports, trade and other areas. But it is laughable that the West is putting a lot of effort into this willful orchestration of hurting China, while its own human rights track record remains tragic and sometimes outrageous. This is a game between the current superpower and the fast emerging super power in which Tibet is only a token. Take a look back at Tony Blair who blindly followed his American compatriot and stormed Iraq.

They have made such a mess of that Country that it is worse than what it was before the invasion. The thousands of innocent people and children who have been killed in the war and what the Americans love to call 'collateral damage' is nothing but appalling. The Guantanomo bay detention centre is another example of inhuman treatment of prisoners, most of whom are innocent victims of circumstances. For example Sami Al Haj, an Al Jazeera television cameraman has been in custody since December 2001. He is being incarcerated without trial and is presently on a 250 day hunger strike with no hope of a trial or release. America has its own double standards when it comes to human rights or curbing pollution or invading other peoples, countries in the name of democracy.

China has recently turned itself into a Society ready to mingle with the rest of the world. Many countries such as India, Pakistan, and New Zealand have signed major trade agreements and want to strengthen their ties further with China. With the staging of the Olympic games, they take centre stage and are keen to show the world what they can contribute towards this glittering global event. They are a great nation, hardworking, diligent and ambitious. The West is nervous about the new found motivation of China and is bent on derailing the games. The Dalai Lama himself has said that he does not want people to demonstrate on roads and obstruct the path of the torch, but this seems too good an opportunity for the West not to gate crash headlong into this sporting festival organised by the Chinese. It is the turn of the Chinese to showcase the Olympics and we must respect that. They have been awarded that responsibility by the Olympic committee. No one has the right to contravene that grant.

Amarnath Paul,

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