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Le Figaro, France

The Olympic Games and the U.S. Elections:

Bad Timing for Beijing

 

"The rage of Steven Spielberg is not in itself conclusive. But it is significant for what it announces. Spielberg is Hollywood. And Hollywood is an arm of the Democratic Party The Chinese have no luck with the calendar. The Olympics open on August 8th, shortly before party conventions in the United States, when the political temperature across the Atlantic will be running very high."

 

By Pierre Rousselin

 

Translated By Sandrine Ageorges

 

February 15, 2008

 

France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French)

The Olympic Games is the greatest event of global sport and one human activity that can best bring together the races and the continents. This summer the event is taking place in Beijing and marks China's return as one of the world's major powers. A boycott of the event would be like rejecting a quarter of humanity. Of this there can be no question.

 

For the organizing country, the Olympic Games hold out the promise of unparalleled international visibility. And the media coverage is such that sport is merely an excuse for where to shine the spotlight. So the domestic situation of the host country in regard to human rights and its foreign policy, among other issues, cannot escape attention; in China even less than elsewhere.

 

The Chinese regime knew when it sought to organize the celebration that it would be an opportunity for the country to flaunt its success. Impervious to any notion of democracy, it owes its legitimacy to the phenomenal growth rate of its economy and the covetousness that such a performance elicits. And what could be more motivating for the Chinese masses than the spectacle of the entire world assembled in Beijing at state-of-the-art facilities?

 

But for the Chinese Communist Party, this huge celebration comes at a price. Tibet, Taiwan, the death penalty, the fate of dissidents or the Falun Gong sect, and lastly, Beijings role in Darfur are all issues that mobilize human rights activists around the world and the Olympic Games offer them, too, unparallel visibility. And they, too, will obviously benefit from it.

 

China has prepared for this. It is muzzling its opponents now to avoid doing so in six months. But its diplomacy is more accommodating. In Darfur, it thought it had deflected criticism by approving the deployment of peacekeepers. But Beijing has done nothing to put pressure on the Sudanese regime, which survives only due to the oil China buys.

 

The rage of Steven Spielberg is not in itself conclusive WATCH . But it is significant for what it announces. Spielberg is Hollywood. And Hollywood is an arm of the Democratic Party, which is in full campaign mode for the U.S. presidential election. WORLDMEETS.US

 

The Chinese have no luck with the calendar. The Olympics open on August 8th, shortly before the party conventions in the United States, when the political temperature across the Atlantic will be running very high. All evidence suggests that such issues as Darfur, human rights and policies toward China will be at the heart of the battle between Democrats and Republicans. WORLDMEETS.US

 

For us, the timing is delicate. It so happens that France will represent Europe at the time of the Games [it will hold the rotating E.U. presidency]. In Great Britain, Germany and the Nordic countries, the debate on China and human rights is already being watched. When the day arrives, Nicolas Sarkozy will be doing the maneuvering.

 

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[WORLDMEETS.US Posted February 17, 9:15pm]