Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Olympic Games will integrate China into the world global role and improve human rights

By China Watcher

According to a senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) director, Francois Carrard, the Beijing Olympics will bring human rights progress to China. He mentioned that if the Games were awarded to the Canadian city of Toronto in 2001, then there would not be any chance, even how little, for human rights to evolve from the host city, Beijing.

Human rights is an important factor for most Western nations and its influence in the IOC have thwarted China’s bid in 1993 but China support from the mainly Third World countries have assisted the country to successfully bid for the 2008 Olympics to the chagrin and disappointment of the Human rights activists.

The observation of China’s human rights record began when the Games were awarded to China in 2001. Human rights practices were not only monitored in China by the West and its media but also, on the way China conduct its dealings with the other so-called autocratic governments and poor human rights countries in particular Sudan and Myammar. According to human rights bodies, China’s human record is poor and unacceptable but then there are many countries, even democratic governments, who have less than the acceptable standards but no criticisms were leveled at them.

The Olympic Games in China has not even commenced but the West and its media had already passed its judgment on China’s human rights progress. If we look at the perspective of history, there is ample opportunity for progress, even way after the Games.

Carrard is not agreeable with the resignation of Mr. Spielberg as artistic director and he believe that pressurized strategies will not be effective and political issues should be discussed in the many political forums. Politics and sports should not be allowed to mix.

The US, Germany and UK had developed good relations with China and is using the diplomatic channels to engage China in human rights dialogue which I believe is much more effective to chart a gradual progress of human rights in the country. The degree of progress in human rights in China may vary and subject to different cultural interpretations. The progress is expected to be gradual.

On Tuesday 26 February 2008, the Bush Administration said that the Olympics Games will help to open China further, a once reclusive nation, and add the country’s extended responsibilities to play a greater role in world’s affairs. We can observe this development from China’s involvement in the North Korea 6-nations talks and the active role it played in the US initiated discussion concerning Iran’s nuclear program.

Yesterday, at a news conference in Beijing, the US announced that it has convinced China to resume the annual human rights dialogue, to be held at a later date.

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