Are the Beijing Olympics political? Overly political? Non-political? Beijing-based blogger Shizhao published the following three quotes on his Chats in Banmutang (半亩塘闲话）blog, translated by CDT:
[From Xinhua] Mr. Jiang Xiaoyu (蒋效愚) executive vice-chairman of the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee said: the Committee welcomes media from everywhere in the world to objectively, fairly and comprehensively report on the preparations for the 2008 Olympics and to point out shortcomings, but we oppose politicizing the Olympics. To do so would not be consistent with the spirit of the Olympics, nor with the principle in the Olympics charter that “Sports competition should not have any discrimination.”
[From Chinese media QQ Sports] The head of the All China Sports Bureau said: The 2008 Olympics are a political mission; everything else has to give way unconditionally.
[From BBC Chinese] Ms. Hua Xinmin, a Beijing city preservation activist said: One important reason that Beijing succeeded in its 2001 bid to host the Olympics is [the application] emphasized the cultural uniqueness of Beijing as an ancient capital. Now in the process of preparing for the Olympics, it is wrong to destroy this cultural landscape.” She also said: “It is ridiculous and invalid to use the Olympics as an excuse. The Olympics are the Olympics; the Games are a festival of sports competitions. They are not politics. Now some people are using politics to suppress other voices, as if opposing the Olympics equals opposing the government. In China, the Olympics have been raised to the level of politics. This is a wrong way of thinking.”
UPDATED: From The People’s Daily on Jan. 29, 2008, translated by CDT:
“Those who want to use the Olympics to discredit China, and those who think the Olympics will promote China to change in the way they “hope”, are doomed to be disappointed. Their efforts will be futile.”