Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I lived in Beijing from 1994 to 1996 and again in 1998. I still have many friends in China, and I consider myself to be "a friend to China" as the old phrase goes.

In spite, or perhaps because of that, I was dismayed to see that Beijing has once again opted for a violent solution to civil protest in Tibet over its continuous and absolute suppression of individual freedoms.

The only morally acceptable response is to to boycott the Beijing Olympics. If we don't, and we certainly will not, addicted as we are to cheap Chinese goods, nothing we will say about human rights will have a shred of credibility.

Already, I have been blacklisted by the CHinese embassy in Delhi because I foolishly sought a journalist visa to write what would have been a very complimentary article about the Chinese auto industry. (Meanwhile, in India, I have complete freedom to try to unearth stories of scandal and corruption wherever I may find them). I'm systematically forcing myself to forget my Chinese, driving it out with Hindi. Now I'll go a step further.

I will not watch a minute of the Olympics. I won't read a word about it. I don't care who wins. AS far as I'm concerned, it has already been a colossal failure for China, proving that no matter how fast their economy grows and how vibrant their people bloom, the government will remain paranoid, weak and petty.


Unknown said...

Well said. But I don't see a boycott happening. Bush doesn't even want to boycott the opening ceremony. And NBC (and GE) has too much invested to do anything to piss off the thugs in Beijing.

Even though there are a bunch of editorials in the US press now, come september everyone will be singing the games' praise.

Hope your tribe grows.

Neerja said...

Boycott their goods first, I say. I don't see this moral outrage everyday when we greedily consume their goods and happily let them float our economy with their yuan.

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