Li Puman: The Post-Olympics Era is a False Question

What will happen to China after the Olympics? Chinese blogger Li Puman (李普曼) writes in 1510 tribe blog:

There is no doubt that we have high expectations for the post-Olympics era. Some people care about the degree of media openness, some people are concerned about whether environmental issues will get more attention, and some others calls for more general public participation in sports…

This is a helpless situation. As with all such big events, we always hope that all matters that we want to be resolved will be after this one event. But, many precedents have proven that this kind of hope only ends with disappointment.

The 100-day memorial for the Sichuan earthquake, an event which just passed a few days ago, is a good example. I believe this great earthquake had a larger impact than the Olympics, as far as China is concerned. At the time, Chinese media were unprecedentedly open, people were unprecedentedly kind, and the whole country was unprecedentedly in solidarity…. All those good qualities that we have advocated and searched for. We found them at the moment of the great earthquake. Of course no one hoped that everything would be just back to normal after the earthquake. People of course wanted China to undergo change after this disaster. But now that more than 100 days have passed, have we seen the change? Another big event came, and the earthquake was quickly forgotten. Other than a memorial day for the sake of a memorial, everything is just back to the way it was before May 12. People go to work, come back home, crime still happens, conflicts between officials and citizens still happen. The only thing different is now we have a new focal point: the Olympics.

The Olympics are surely different from the Sichuan earthquake. The message of the Olympics is friendship, peace and love. But who can say that society after the Olympics will be different from society after the Sichuan earthquake? After the Olympics, I think the government will pay more attention to the serious economic problems – obviously, this problem will effect China’s future more than the Olympics. And the people will just be back to normal, worrying about the price of food and housing, anxious about their stocks. And the media will find a new hot issue.

Read also: “My Peasant Dad Watches The Olympics” from the same author, translated by Roland Soong in the ESWN blog.

August 24, 2008, 9:55 PM
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