Beijing Olympic Winter Games protests & politics thread

tony

But it just doesn't fcuking glide
Messages
12,727
I have attended countless USFS teleconferences. I cannot recall Christine asking a single question of an ice dancer re: elements, scores, music, etc. Evan Bates provided a lengthy answer the first time Christine asked him about Chinese human rights issues; yet, the other day she hammered away again, wanting him to repeat himself. Then, she sent out tweets criticizing Evan (and other skaters) for lack of substantial comment.
That's the thing that triggered me the most. No one has to reply to her in any kind of way. She's constantly behind the times in breaking news these days and is so desperate for something to get the clicks -- which very clearly in her head is activism of any kind, even when half-ass reporting stories, omitting known information to fit her own more serious narrative.
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
25,273
Associated Press article today (Dec. 20):

Someone got to her, that's for sure. Terrible. And sends a terrible message warning sexual assault/rape victims not to come forward.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
72,719
Reuters article (Dec. 24):
Tokyo will not send a government delegation to the Games, but will instead dispatch some officials with direct ties to the Olympics, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news briefing.
They include Seiko Hashimoto, head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, as well as the heads of the domestic Olympic and Paralympic committees.
“Japan believes that it’s important for China to ensure freedom, respect for basic human rights and the rule of law, which are universal values of the international community. Japan is addressing those things with China directly at various levels,” Matsuno said.
 

caseyedwards

Well-Known Member
Messages
18,037
It’s so awful! All these governments making their athletes defend the countries participating rather than government officials! That’s what this is. It’s people in government being horrible cowards not wanting to defend their participation in an Olympics where a genocide is taking place. Like it would be different if the countries were also doing what some in 1980 did and participated without their flag. In 1980 many used ioc flag.
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
22,311
Christine Brennan can ask, but the people she asks don't have to answer. I would almost give her some credit for asking some random white male skater instead of singling out women and Chinese-Americans, except for the fact that she also posed the question to Vincent Zhou and Evan Bates' skating partner has some Chinese ancestry, so I doubt that choosing him was random at all. :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
72,719
LA Times article The ugly side to China hosting the Olympics has taken center stage. What happens now? by David Wharton (Dec. 26):
Excerpts:
With less than two months to go before the opening ceremony, Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, helped the IOC’s cause by accepting an invitation to the Games. France, which will host the 2024 Summer Olympics, has done likewise and many European Union countries are reportedly hesitant to decline for fear of hurting trade relations with China.
“I don’t think we should politicize these topics, especially if it’s to take steps that are insignificant and symbolic,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. “To be clear, you either have a complete boycott, and don’t send athletes, or you try to change things with useful actions.”
“I can say human rights violations are abysmal,” ice dancer Evan Bates said. “We’re human beings too and when we read and hear about the things that are happening [in China] … we hate that.”
But, like others, Bates stopped short of calling for a full boycott. He would like to believe that staging the Olympics in Beijing might “shed light on this topic.” Luge racer Tucker West put it another way.
“It’s not my job to decide where the Olympics are,” West said. “So I’m going to show up to Beijing.”
Representatives from more than 70 of the 90 countries expected to participate in the Games recently attended a diplomatic briefing to hear about Olympic venues and schedules. Organizers spoke at length on coronavirus protocols designed to keep the competition safe.
IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch, who served as a liaison between his organization and China, expressed confidence that the Games would be “extraordinary.” He did, however, acknowledge the last few years have been “a very long and complicated journey.”
 

skatingguy

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,989
Christine Brennan can ask, but the people she asks don't have to answer. I would almost give her some credit for asking some random white male skater instead of singling out women and Chinese-Americans, except for the fact that she also posed the question to Vincent Zhou and Evan Bates' skating partner has some Chinese ancestry, so I doubt that choosing him was random at all. :rolleyes:
She picked the skaters she asked the question to based on the statements those skaters had made earlier this year.
 

nylynnr

Well-Known Member
Messages
952
She picked the skaters she asked the question to based on the statements those skaters had made earlier this year.
Christine asked all the skaters, with the exception of Alysa, how they felt about competing in China, both on the SKAM teleconferences she attended and the more recent teleconferences she attended. Some answers, she chose to publish; some, she didn't. That's standard, reporters usually don't publish teleconferences verbatim in an article, opinion piece or on twitter.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
72,719
Cross-posting this Washington Post editorial here:
Another article on boycotting the games. This time asking people not to watch:

Opinion: Anyone can boycott the Beijing Olympics. Everyone should.​

An excerpt re. Peng Shuai:
On Nov. 21, Bach took part in what seemed to be a government-staged video conference with Peng, after which the IOC issued a statement claiming she said she was “safe and well" — a propaganda windfall for China. [...]
Bach and the IOC have defended their approach, saying “quiet diplomacy” is more effective. At a Dec. 8 news conference, Bach poured both-sidesism on the human rights controversy: “If we were to start taking political sides,” he said, “this would be the politicization of the Olympic Games, and this, I would think further, could be the end of the Olympic Games.”
(A footnote on the IOC’s impartiality: Until his retirement in 2018, Zhang Gaoli was in charge of China’s official preparations for the 2022 Games, and knew Bach from a meeting in 2016.)
 
Last edited:

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
Messages
17,924
Christine asked all the skaters, with the exception of Alysa, how they felt about competing in China, ….

And THAT would have been the most interesting one because of her dad’s past as an activist. Perhaps one of the “ground rules” to allow the interview was to not go there (not touch on the host country)?
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
Messages
17,924
It may also be because she's a minor. (I don't think the others interviewed are)
That’s actually an amazing statement, considering that almost all participants in Russian Sr Women’s Nationals were underage by US rules …all but Tuk and Samodurova, think.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
Messages
72,719
Exiled artist Ai Weiwei on Beijing Games:
Excerpts:
When he was tapped to help design Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the artist Ai Weiwei hoped the Games and the arena’s instantly recognizable weave of curving steel beams would symbolize China’s new openness.
He was disappointed. The Chinese dissident widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest living artists has repeatedly described the stadium and the 2008 Olympics as a “fake smile” that his native country presented to the world.
Now the Bird’s Nest is about to host the Feb. 4 opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics, and Ai expects more of the same.
“As an architect, my goal was the same as other architects, that is, to design it as perfectly as possible,” Ai told The Associated Press in an interview over email. “The way it was used afterwards went in the opposite direction from our ideals. We had hoped that our architecture could be a symbol of freedom and openness and represent optimism and a positive force, which was very different from how it was used as a promotional tool in the end.”
Even before his fame landed him the design job working with a Swiss architectural firm, Ai had been an unrelenting critic of the Chinese Communist Party. He was jailed in 2011 in China for unspecified crimes and now lives in exile in Portugal. He has also lived in exile in Germany — he still maintains a studio there — and in Britain.
Ai characterized the 2022 Winter Olympics and the pandemic as a case of fortunate timing for China’s authoritarian government. The pandemic will limit the movement of journalists during the Games, and it will also showcase the state’s Orwellian control.
“China, under the system of state capitalism and especially after COVID, firmly believes that its administrative control is the only effective method; this enhances their belief in authoritarianism. Meanwhile, China thinks that the West, with its ideas of democracy and freedom, can hardly obtain effective control. So, the 2022 Olympics will further testify to the effectiveness of authoritarianism in China and the frustration of the West’s democratic regimes.”
Ai was repeatedly critical of the IOC as an enabler interested solely in generating income from the Chinese market. The IOC and China both see the Games as a business opportunity. Ai suggested that many Chinese see the Olympics as another political exercise, with some people — like athletes — trying to extract value.
 
Last edited:

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
Messages
60,809

China warns foreign Olympic athletes against speaking out on politics at Winter Games


A member of China’s Olympics organizing committee warned that foreign athletes may face punishment for speech that violates Chinese law at the 2022 Winter Games, spotlighting concerns about the country’s restrictions on political expression.

“Any expression that is in line with the Olympic spirit I’m sure will be protected," Yang Shu, deputy director general of international relations for the Beijing Organizing Committee, said in a news conference Tuesday. “Any behavior or speech that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against the Chinese laws and regulations, are also subject to certain punishment.”

Beijing’s warning came amid discussion in the West over expected political restrictions and surveillance at the Games, which will take place next month. Speakers at a seminar hosted by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday said they were advising athletes against criticizing China’s human rights record while in Beijing for their own safety, according to Reuters.

n China, critics of the government have routinely been sentenced to prison for staging political protests, or for comments they made on social media. While it’s unlikely Beijing would risk international ire to severely punish an athlete at the Olympics for speech, Yang declined to answer on Tuesday what the maximum punishment could be for political demonstration at the Games.

China and to a lesser extent the IOC believe the "Olympic spirit" to be silence.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
Messages
17,924
Hopefully no foreign athlete or official will try to speak out on human rights…or anything that violates Chinese law. S/he might risk having accreditation removed. I trust that Team USA members have received their lessons…be quiet and on good behavior.



 
Last edited:

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
Messages
60,809
Hopefully no foreign athlete or official will try to speak out on human rights…or anything that violates Chinese law. S/he might risk having accreditation removed. I trust that Team USA members have received their lessons…be quiet and on good behavior.

I'm actually surprised the Chinese authorities felt the need to say anything. I'd assume all the athletes have been briefed about this. And considering the tenuousness of the whole situation with the pandemic they would be all the more on their guard about doing anything to offend the authorities.

So I wonder if the Chinese picked up something from their surveillance that made them make a statement?
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
Messages
17,924
I'm actually surprised the Chinese authorities felt the need to say anything. I'd assume all the athletes have been briefed about this. And considering the tenuousness of the whole situation with the ********* they would be all the more on their guard about doing anything to offend the authorities.

So I wonder if the Chinese picked up something from their surveillance that made them make a statement?

I just added to my post today’s news on the subject…warning about anyone who protests facing punishment. Scary stuff. That’s what I meant to paste…took me a while to find it again.

I worked and traveled throughout China about 10 years ago. DH and I took trains across the country…Shanghai to Urumchi, via Xian, then flew back to Beijing. We were followed, even though there was nothing negative at all in our mission…Shanghai Ballet Competition and work on ballet schools! There for peace and art but were often followed and questioned during our three months in country. They’re hyper-sensitive. Luckily, our memories are mostly-beautiful. :)
 
Last edited:

Debbie S

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,062
Friends of mine adopted their daughter from China in 2006. They started their trip in Beijing and then went to another city/province to get their daughter, finalize paperwork, etc. While in this city, friend's husband asked the hotel concierge about the exact location of someone's house (name is escaping me but I think the person was a Nationalist leader or something pre-Communists) nearby that he wanted to visit (he spent a year during college studying in China and is fluent in Chinese). Concierge looked spooked and told him she didn't know.

The next day, he was in the hotel elevator. A woman who he had never seen before got in with him and when the doors closed, addressed him by name and told him she'd heard he asked about visiting the house and it wasn't a good idea, he should visit [a museum] instead. When he got off at his floor, she got off too and went into the room next to his. He assumed she was a local party official whose job is to keep track of foreigners visiting and receive reports of 'suspicious' behavior.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
Messages
17,924
France’s Parliament condemns China re treatment of Uyghurs.


So is everybody still planning to whoop it up at the Opening Ceremonies? This is looking more ridiculous by the day. Perhaps have a scaled-down version of a ceremony, without the countries parading with flags? Xi and Putin can sit alone in the VIP box. Somebody flick on the switch to light the cauldron?
 
Last edited:

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
22,311
Yew, Almaty was the other city bidding and only lost by 4 votes. I know things aren't so great in Kazakhstan at the moment but I really wish they'd won instead of Beijing.
I agree with this. For starters, China is persecuting (to the point of genocide) Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs within its borders, and Kazakhstan is providing a refuge for both groups.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information