Political Games – Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma writes about the potential impact, or lack thereof, that activists will likely have on the 2008 Olympics:

23Wwln600.1For the first time, thousands of reporters from all over the world will be able to look around the People’s Republic and take notes. No doubt, some reporters will write articles about dissidents being arrested, people being kicked out of their homes to make way for the stadiums and wider boulevards, and the fact that Chinese citizens who complain risk being locked up. These are indeed important issues, more pertinent perhaps than China’s policies in the Sudan. But will it do any good? Will Beijing care?

Probably not. What Beijing cares about most is not what foreigners write in their papers, but what Chinese say or do inside China. And that will be kept firmly under control. [Full text]

[Image: Tiananmen Square, via the New York Times]