Whether at Home or Abroad, China is Silent on Matters of Democracy

The latest on the Chinese government’s efforts to disassociate the Olympics from politics, from the International Herald Tribune:

For months, as the Beijing Olympics draw nearer, China has been refining its arguments in favor of disassociating the Games from politics.

This effort reached something of a rhetorical crescendo last week with an editorial in The People’s Daily. “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,” the column said. “Their efforts will be futile.”

In addressing its domestic audience, the Chinese government makes little effort to clarify what sort of changes the forces, which it vows to defy, are seeking. Instead, the predictable thrust of the propaganda campaign is to equate the Olympics with the pride and “face” of the Chinese people and to cast anyone who criticizes the country and its playing host to the Games as sinister enemy forces.

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