[The Independent, U.K.]



The Global Geographic Times, People's Republic of China

Exposing the 'Weak Rib'

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:


"The 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


Global 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.


Actress and 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 Spielberg.


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 genocide."


Mia Farrow'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 country's image.


[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."



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.



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?




























[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US March 20, 5:58am]









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—BBC NEWS VIDEO: Amateur footage of Tibetan protests taken by Australian tourists released, Mar. 20, 00:02:20RealVideo

RealVideo[LATEST NEWS PHOTOS: Chinese Crackdown on Tibet].

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