Who Exactly Is Politicizing the Olympics?

Since Beijing has entered the count-down to the Olympics, criticism, protests, and threats of boycott from the international community against the Chinese Communist regime for its intensified human rights violations in the lead-up to the Olympics have been steadily on the rise. The Communist regime is now accusing others of "politicizing the Olympic Games" and trying to stifle criticism by saying they oppose such actions.

On March 18th, China's Premier Wen Jiabao said when replying to a question from a German News Agency, "China's hosting the Olympic Games is a grand occasion for all the people in the world. We should observe the principles of the Olympics and not allow the politicization of the Olympic Games." On March 26th, the spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, Qin Gang, said to journalists, "We hope to promote understanding, friendship, and cooperation with people from various countries. We should observe the principles of the Olympics and must not politicize the Olympic Games."

Generally speaking, it is not unreasonable to oppose "politicization of the Olympic Games." However, when such a statement is made by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has always regarded "politics" as a high priority, one has to take note of what is really hidden behind that statement. First of all, we need to be clear on two issues. One, it is a fact that the Communist regime has intensified its human rights violations against the people of China using the Olympic Games as an excuse. In recent years, the regime has accelerated the persecution of various groups of dissidents, especially Falun Gong practitioners. The intensified persecution of innocent people has provided strong evidence to confirm this fact.

According to the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, from the end of 2007 to March 11th 2008, according to incomplete statistics, there were 1878 cases of unlawful arrests of Falun Gong practitioners in 29 provinces and autonomous regions. Of the arrests, 252 cases were in Hebei Province, 221 cases in Shandong Province, 218 cases in Heilongjiang Province, 156 cases in Beijing, 125 cases in Jilin Province, 99 cases in Henan Province, 85 cases in Guangdong Province, 58 cases in Tianjin City, 51 in Hubei Province, 45 in Shanghai, 34 in Anhui Province, 30 in Jiangxi Province, 30 in Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, 27 in Zhejiang Province, 23 in Shaanxi Province, 21 in Chongqing City, 20 in Gansu Province, 17 in Guizhou Province, 16 in Hunan Province, 15 in Jiangsu Province, 13 in Shanxi Province, 10 in Ningxia Autonomous Region, 10 in Yunnan Province, six in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, five in Fujian Province, four in Guangxi Autonomous Region, and one from Qinghai Province. The most common excuse the Communist regime used for this round of large-scale arrests was to "guarantee the smooth running of the Olympic Games".

Since its successful bid for the Olympic Games, the regime has not only failed to improve its human rights record as it had promised, it has intensified human rights abuses in the name of the "Olympic Games", which symbolize peace and respect for human rights. The human rights record in China over the last seven years has shown no signs of improvement and has, in fact, deteriorated with each passing day. In order to host the Olympic Games, the CCP has become rampant, even hysterical in its abuse of human rights.

The CCP's intensified human rights violations against the Chinese people in the name of the Olympic Games is an undeniable fact. The second issue then becomes whether people should criticize, protest, or even boycott these Olympics. Although their opinions might vary somewhat, I believe that people with a sense of justice would agree that some combination of such actions are reasonable. After all, these violations of human rights not only contradict the universal values of human rights and the trend the world is going, but they also go directly against the Olympic spirit. It is known to all that "preservation of human dignity" and "respect for basic ethical principles" are the core principles of the Olympic Charter. With the exception of the Berlin Olympic Games hosted by Nazi Germany in 1936, for over a hundred years, the Olympics have been grand events in which people competed in a fair manner, regardless of their race, religious beliefs, or political views – a sport extravaganza where people who love peace, freedom and happiness get together.

The Communist regime promised to improve its human rights record when it was bidding for the right to host the Olympics. Then it unscrupulously put a large number of people into detention centres, forced labour camps, and prisons, using the Olympic Games as an excuse. These "handcuff Olympics" are thus totally unrelated to the Olympic Games that symbolize freedom, equality, and peace.

In fact, even though this regime keeps on saying that it opposes the "politicization of the Olympic Games" it, in fact, is the very one that has truly politicized the Olympics Games.

Since the "June 4th" massacre of students on Tiananmen Square, the Communist regime has totally lost its legitimacy. Especially now that it faces more than 30 million people having quit the CCP, it has become even more frightened. Under such circumstances, the only thing that it can rely on for its survival is to stir up nationalism, and the Olympic Games have been regarded by the CCP as the best opportunity to fire up nationalism in order to protect and consolidate its rule in China. For this reason, it had regarded its bid for the Olympic Games as an unprecedented political show and a "political task of paramount importance". It has unscrupulously fenced off land to build luxurious stadiums and vowed to create "clear blue" skies in Beijing at any cost. It has used unlimited financial and human resources to carry out the bloody "clean-up" before the world puts Beijing under the spotlight.

The Party is attempting to silence any and all voices that might be raised against the despotic rule of Communist tyranny in front of the world's media. It has even attempted to make Falun Gong practitioners, who have become ever stronger internationally in spite of the eight-year-long persecution by the CCP, completely disappear from the sight of the world's people. Clearly, everything it does is full of political flavour, from the background against which it bid for the Olympic Games to the measures it has adopted in preparing for the Olympic Games. This regime is the very one that is politicizing the apolitical Olympic Games on a grand scale, and the international community's criticisms, protests, and threats of boycott are just intended to defend the purity of the Olympics and restore the true, apolitical nature of the Olympic Games.

In short, the purpose of the CCP's deliberate attempt to confuse people by saying that it opposes "politicization of the Olympic Games" is to divert people's attention, cover up its own thorough politicizing of the Olympic Games, and silence the world's critics regarding its tyrannical conduct so that it can continue to trample on the human rights of the Chinese people at will. At the same time, it would like to use the Olympic Games to showcase its so-called power, glory and harmony in order to cancel out its bloody crimes against humanity and its horrific human rights record, so as to continue to deceive the international community and to bolster a Communist dictatorship that is on its last legs. This is the true, hidden reason why the CCP is making such an uproar against the "politicization of the Olympic Games!"

If the CCP truly opposes politicizing the Olympic Games, then it should immediately stop trampling on the freedom and human rights of the Chinese people and truly fulfill its promise to improve its human rights record. It should allow freedom of the press, and restore the true spirit of the Olympic Games. Only then will the Olympic Games be the ones hoped for by the Chinese people and the people around the world.

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