Geographic Times, People's Republic of China
of Olympic Politicization
The degree to
which Beijing yearns for international approval in its handling of the Olympic
Games cannot be underestimated, which is the likely reasoning behind the timing
of the recent unrest in Tibet. In this tongue-lashing of actress and human
rights activist Mia Farrow published just before the unrest in Tibet broke out
and after Steven Spielberg withdrew from the Games, the author suggests that
the West has fundamental misunderstanding of China which will require Chinese
to speak up for themselves and engage in 'heated debate with people like Mia
Farrow.' In this op-ed which refers to an article in The Wall Street Journal
legally unavailable to any of the readers of this state-controlled magazine,
Shan Ren-ping [单仁平] writes for China's Global Geographic Times:
article written by Mia Farrow confuses right and wrong and relentlessly
discredits China, but even more frightening, it has begun to change the
atmosphere of public opinion in the West. … She has wantonly brainwashed the
public's thinking by seizing the moral high ground … Now is the time to expose
the weaknesses of Mia Farrow and her ilk. They cannot be permitted to wantonly
brainwash public opinion. This is not only unfair to China but to the entire
world - and especially to Mr. Spielberg."
By Shan Renping [单仁平]
Translated By Mark Klingman
February 29, 2008
Geographic Times - People's Republic of China - Original Article (Chinese)
For the Beijing Olympic
Games, the West seems to be showing us two completely different attitudes. On the one hand, most Western countries have
given the Beijing Games a positive evaluation and oppose the
"politicization of the Games."
But on the other, some non-governmental organizations and members of
civil society still clamor to resist the Beijing Games.
Among these people, one cause
of dissatisfaction is that they believe China hasn't played a positive role in
resolving the Darfur problem. So despite the fact that to date, the leaders of
over sixty countries have announced that they will attend the Beijing Olympics;
and opposing the "politicization of the Games" has become the message
of the mainstream of global public opinion -
we cannot ignore the voices of average Western people in this matter -
especially the negative voices.
Not long ago, American
director Steven Spielberg resigned as art director for the Beijing Olympics. On
the surface it seems as though he had no choice, and even if there's no chance this
will affect the success of the Beijing Games - the act does tell us something
of the Western misunderstanding of China.
human rights defender Mia Farrow: Along with the Dalai Lama, she's
anathema to Beijing.
It's fair to say that for
some time now, the director has been under tremendous political pressure. Last
year, on March 28, the American actress Mia Farrow wrote a commentary in The
Wall Street Journal with language that maliciously accused the
Beijing Olympics with being the "Genocide Olympics." This article was
the first time that the Beijing Games and Sudan were hung on the same hook -
and beside condemning China, she sought to persuade
She wrote: "That so many
corporate sponsors want the world to look away from that atrocity during the
Games is bad enough. But equally disappointing is the decision of artists like director
Steven Spielberg … to sanitize Beijing's image." Even more provocatively,
she linked the Beijing Olympics to Spielberg's own Shoah
Foundation for Holocaust-remembrance which he founded in 1994, asking him to be
aware that "China is bankrolling Darfur's
article not only confuses right and wrong and relentlessly discredits China, even more frightening is that she has begun to change
the atmosphere of public opinion in Western societies: the question of
supporting the Beijing Olympic Games has become a moral issue. Once again,
Spielberg's resignation undoubtedly proves that the pressure of public opinion
is very strong. It can be inferred that in the next five months, these same
people will turn up the pressure on athletes and sponsors alike.
People like Mia Farrow think
they have found China's soft rib - that is, they believe they have found
the most opportune place to apply pressure to China. They are wrong! In fact it
is their proposed solution to the Darfur problem that is the real soft rib!
Now is the time to expose the weaknesses of Mia Farrow and her ilk. They cannot be permitted to wantonly
brainwash public opinion by seizing the moral high ground. This is not only
unfair to China but to the entire world - and especially to Mr. Spielberg. Such a person is just not on the level.
In her article, Mia Farrow
made the claim that China should join with Western countries to impose economic
sanctions on Sudan, rather than working with Sudan to develop economic
relations. In her view, "China not
applying sanctions" equals "inaction" and "China applying
sanctions" equals "fuelling violence." Ms. Farrow's views
reflect her astonishing ignorance of international issues. According to a United
Nations Environment Program report, extreme poverty is the main cause of the
problem in Sudan because it causes people to sink into despair. When people
have to compete for food, water, arable land and other essential items, they
are quickly subject to the law of the jungle.
Thus, only helping Sudan
achieve sustained economic development will make peace possible. Economic
sanctions will only make the issue more complicated. History proves that
economic sanctions cannot resolve such issues. If Mia Farrow's ideas were
adopted, the conflict in Darfur will not only remain unresolved, but the people
there would be in an even worse predicament. Does Ms. Farrow sincerely wish to
help the people of Sudan? The use of a power-politics is exactly what has made
things so difficult for Sudan's people in the first place.
China doesn't want to use
economic relations as a tool of political pressure. In dealing with the Darfur
issue, China has insisted on respect for the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Sudan and on achieving peace through political means. It was
precisely because it has adhered to this correct position that China can bring
to bear influence that Western countries have lost. And because of this, the
majority of Western countries have given a positive assessment of the Chinese
government's role, saying that its efforts have been "constructive"
and even "indispensable."
French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon:
His misconceptions about the new world had to be straightened
out by Thomas Jefferson ...
Some people may think Mia
Farrow's views are not worth refuting and that as long as we do a good job in
our own affairs, her views will collapse under the weight of their own
self-defeating absurdity. But spreading a fallacy can sometimes hurt a
country's image. After the founding of the United States, Europeans had many
prejudices against the new upstart country. The French naturalist Buffon announced that America was an inferior
continent and that the animals were degenerate, since their heads were
smaller than those of European animals. Aren't these absurd lies? And how did the Americans deal with this? By confidently presenting the facts and telling the truth.
Thomas Jefferson even shipped a Canadian Moose to Buffon
in France [actually, the skeleton, skin and horns of a moose ].
Because Americans understand that repeating lies can cause enormous damage to a
[Editor's Note: The Comte
de Buffon was known for expounding
the theory that nature in the New World was inferior to that of Eurasia. He
argued that the Americas were lacking in large and powerful creatures, and that
even the people were less virile than their European counterparts. He ascribed
this to the marsh odors and dense forests of the continent.]
Spielberg's resignation has
been a wake-up call to us. If we don't trumpet our own position and
accomplishments on Darfur to the world in a big way, then we are giving the Mia
Farrows more opportunity to manufacture bias against
us. Facts prove that the Lei Feng Spirit [doing good secretly] just doesn't work in
the Western world, and in fact, doing so might get you accused of being
"up to something."
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
So given this situation we
may want to loudly and openly respond to the negative voices of the West by
presenting the facts about our efforts on the Darfur issue. Our scholars and
experts in the media can open a debate with foreign scholars as well as with
the Mia Farrows of the world.
For a long time now we have
reminded ourselves that we must learn to accept criticism and be able to
withstand such abuse. But we also need
the courage to declare our views. Engaging in ideological dialogue with Western
society, of course, is one way of communicating, but heated debate with people
like Mia Farrow is often even more effective.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
We are often frustrated
because the West most-often dominates international discourse. Well, the
international community's concern about the Darfur issue has thrown the ball
onto our court this time. This is China's challenge, but it's also China's
opportunity. If we don't seize it, it
will fall to someone else. Why don't we use the Darfur issue to show everyone
the true depth of Chinese foreign policy?
FOR CHINESE VERSION
[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US March