Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Olympics revisited

I wrote a week ago about why I felt that China having the Olympics was a good thing, and why I felt that a boycott would have been silly and counter-productive. One of my reasons was that the press having access to more of China would create more debate about their human rights situation than a boycott. Some people, including commenters here, felt that debate and scrutiny would have come about anyway. I thought a week in, that it was worth revisiting. Not only were human rights at the fore in the lead-up to the games with journalists on the ground filing stories for the NY Times, The BBC and many others, but they have continued to ask questions since, to the point that
A senior official for the Beijing Olympics today criticised parts of the
international media for coming to China "to peak, to be critical, to dig
into the small details and find fault" in the country's human rights
record. (guardian)

It's that kind of continuous questioning that I was talking about in my post. I firmly believe that a similar amount of attention and pressure would not have been applied if everyone had simply not turned up.

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