Friday, August 29, 2008

What is wrong with Chinese football fortunes?

By China Watcher

Though the Chinese had topped the medal tally in the recent Olympics Games, China is still glaringly weak in “ball” games like football.

The Chinese football men team has not been able to achieve the success of its neighbors, Japan and South Korea. First, it failed miserably to move beyond the second round in the World Cup qualification for South Africa in 2010 and second, the Olympics’ men team cannot even win a single match even though the matches were played at home. China’s men soccer team should consider themselves lucky to be able to qualify for the Olympics as host, otherwise I think they would have crashed out in the Asian qualifying rounds if they were required to do so as any member countries. I am not trying to be sarcastic but this is the truth.

What is wrong?

As Fan Zhiyi, a former Chinese soccer player, puts it squarely, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) led by the despised Xie Yalong had messed up big time. The Chinese football league is spiraling downwards with a lack of quality matches and riddled with poor attendance in most of the matches.

Chinese diehard fans are the biggest losers and they would crowd the stadiums, with their smiling painted red and yellow faces at the start of the match but always ended eternally frustrated and disappointed at the end of the match. If Chinese football teams failed to produce the desired results, I would not be surprised that even the hardcore supporters would run away for good.

Personally, I notice that the Chinese soccer authority in the past decade have been unsuccessful in producing quality players in the make of Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho or even Asian skillful players like Park Ji Sung. Most of the current batch of football players cannot even control and deliver an accurate pass properly. The absence of deadly strikers is also very prevalent. Sadly, some of these players do not have the confidence to take on defenders. And most of the Chinese game play lacks imagination and creativeness. There is just no individual flair like the Japanese players and the teams from West Asia.

It is time for the CFA to really review its soccer development programs at the grassroots level. There must be an honest restructuring of the governing structure and the CFA must be brave enough to sack certain senior personnel who are corrupted and unable to perform their jobs. The CFA must be responsible to the legion of Chinese fans and not, to the political authorities coming from the top.

Even the Chinese news media like Xinhua and China Daily have joined ordinary Chinese in very loudly and publicly bashing the team. Fans used cartoon caricatures to depict their pent-up frustrations on the Internet forum.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter bluntly told the Chinese Soccer Federation that they must put in place short and long-term plans and seek continuity of programs if it is to make an impact in international football. He said that there were no miracle short-term cures to being successful in international football and China must put in the hard work to achieve that. For a start, China must institute successful programs for teams at international under-17 and 20 level rather than just hiring big-name coaches seeking a quick fix.

We do hope that the CFA can accept criticisms from the FIFA President and revamp its youth programs (focusing more on individual skills) by tapping from its large population base with a view to develop a strong and successful senior team perhaps, in the next 5 to 10 years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Western media coordinated attacks on China is an act of permeated racism, jealously and non-acceptance of the rising nation success

By China Watcher

It is important to put matters in the right perspective after the countless scintillating attacks by the mainly Western media (US, French, German and British dailies in particular) on China from the day China was awarded the Games. To their utmost disappointment, the provoking strategies did not succeed. In fact, it has clearly backfired as I could notice there were lots of supports and commendation of the people (other than the bias West) throughout the world on the successful hosting of the Olympics.

China must learn not to gauge its economic performance and social achievements based narrowly on Western myopic perceptions from its media and through its leaders, but to look at how it progressively raised the standard of living of the average Chinese. On that argument, I think the Chinese government has succeeded. Recognition from its people, particularly the 92% Han Chinese is more important.

I also strongly believe that the Chinese government has over the past decade laid down poverty eradicating programs to assist its minorities but somehow, the Tibetans and Uighurs have not responded wholeheartedly, as they were motivated to seek independence by the West. I personally think it will not succeed in the future but the West will always provide that glimmer of “false hope” in its one sided articles.

Ben Mah has written a very thoughtful and concise article on the Net and, with Ben’s permission, I would like to share this with you.

Western Media and Beijing Olympics

By Ben Mah

In an Op-ed column on January 24, 2008 in the New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof, former Times China correspondent and a Pulitzer winner termed the Beijing Games as “China’s genocide Olympics”. China, Mr. Kristof said, is tarnishing her “own Olympiad by abetting genocide in Darfur and in effect undermining the U.N. military deployment there.” He went further to continue his usual rhetoric without giving any concrete evidence: “There’s a growing recognition that perhaps the best way of averting hundreds of thousands more deaths in Sudan is to use the leverage of the Olympics to shame China into more responsible behavior.”

Had Mr. Kristof worked a little harder and studied the facts he would find the root cause of what he called Darfur genocide lay not on China, but his own government in Washington. Perhaps Mr. Kristof did not want to criticize his own country’s odious behavior.

After spending $1.2 billion in developing the oil field in Darfur, Chevron sold it to a consortium partly owned by a Chinese oil firm. The consortium assumed the development of the oil field with great success. However, Chevron remained in neighboring Chad and developed a close relationship with Idriss Deby, the corrupted president who is friendly to the United States.

Mr. Deby, with close military cooperation and assistance from the United States, equipped the Darfur rebels with modern U.S. weapons to fight the central government of Sudan and ignited the bloodbath in 2004.

The main fighting rebel group was the Sudan People’s Liberation Army headed by U.S trained John Garang. Thus, by supplying arms to the rebel groups, Washington put herself in the middle of the civil conflict that led to tens of thousands of deaths and millions of refugees in Sudan. This is obviously a resource war, as the Western oil company would love to get back the Darfur oil fields it sold.

Although as the main culprit of the Darfur conflict and, by rallying on propagandists like Mr. Kristof, Hollywood movie stars like Mia Farrow and director like Steven Spielberg, Washington conducted a vigorous campaign under the slogan of “Darfur genocide” and in the name of humanism to save the people of Darfur. Actually, the main objective was to prepare another battle ground for oil by sending UN/NATO forces into the Darfur oil fields. Washington’s strategy is to destabilize Sudan, as Sudan is now facing U.S. trained and equipped rebels from three neighboring states, all with governments friendly to America.

Mr. Kristof, without looking at the hard facts, claimed that “China is the largest arms suppliers to Sudan, officially selling $83 million in weapons, aircraft and spare parts to Sudan in 2005.”1. But according to the Chinese government, “China only accounted for 8 percent of the country’s arms imports in 2006, Russian and UK were the biggest arms exports to the developing nations, including Sudan.” Moreover, China’s exports were legally under the United Nations and only accounts for 3 percent of global sales, while the United Sates tops with 36 percent of the total, according to the U.S. Congressional reports in 2007. It turns out that the U.S. government is the merchant of death after all, and yet Mr. Kristof has the audacity to accuse China for underwriting the “ultimate crime of genocide.” Without any objectivity as a journalist, Mr. Kristof is totally blind to the complicity and the misdeeds of his own government and lays the blame on others. However, for those readers familiar with Mr. Kristof and other New York Times reporters’ dispatches from China, this was not a real surprise, for this newspaper always exaggerated every news event with bias and prejudice. This is another form of China bashing or demonizing China in the tradition of the nation’s premier newspaper.

Little less than a month after Mr. Kristof’s media campaign against China for Darfur genocide, another drive to discredit China in connection with the Olympics was under way in the United States, and this time on Beijing’s air quality or pollution in China. With six months to go before Olympics, U.S. correspondents from Beijing already asserted that with “Beijing’s air pollution on most days is off the charts, and in August, high humidity only exacerbates the problem.” Physicians from the U.S. Olympic team went to Beijing and measured pollution levels, and the readings were “awful”, according to this news report.

This campaign of attack on China in connection with the Olympics by the Western media was carried out right to the eve of the Opening Ceremony of the Games, as headline such as “Air Pollution Shrouds Beijing on the eve of Games”, were prevalent. It is not surprising that under this kind of unfair media attack, several American athletes arrived in China’s airport wearing face masks. Only they had to apologize to the Chinese hosts.

However, this media campaign was dismissed by the Chairman of the IOC medical commission, who said the air quality standards set by the World Health Organization were met in many respects by Beijing, although they were “fairly tough to meet.” He also said that WHO officials were concerned over the “exaggeration of the problem that has been seen in the media.” He said that “athletes in Beijing will face the same conditions of high heat and humidity that were prevalent in Atlanta in 1996 and Athens in 2004.”

Sadly for those harsh environmental critics of Beijing, the weather during the Olympics in Beijing was the best in 10 years and within Olympic standards. Expectedly, none of this was reported in the Western press.

Hypocrisy, willful oversight on the facts and the use of double standards in their news reports with regard to China are the hallmark of Western journalism, especially those from prominent U.S. newspapers and the major networks. This uniformed, arrogant and untruthful institution with unethical bias against China exposed itself more fully to the Chinese public in the March Tibetan Riot of 2008.

Using reports from Amnesty International, London-based human rights group, rather than relying on its own reporting, Western media portrayed criminal acts of violence, of crime against humanity, of looting and arson and beating in Lhasa as “China’s crackdown on protesters in Tibet.”

American politicians the likes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who rushed to meet the Dalai Lama in the wake of the Tibetan Riot, called for the president to boycott the opening ceremony. Thus, the Western media once again raised the possibility that the world leaders would boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games by mixing politics with the Games which is contrary to the spirit of Olympics.

However, much to the disappointment of the Western politicians the likes of Pelosi, Angela Merkel of Germany and the Western media, all their efforts against China were in vain, as “more than 100 heads of state, heads of government and sovereigns attended the opening ceremony. The number of heads of state who attended the opening ceremony was by far the largest in Olympic history.”

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics was described by some as “the greatest show the world ever seen and it brought joy that became delirious in a people of 1.3 billion”. However, this did not impress the current New York Times Correspondent, Mr. Jim Yardley in Beijing, as he only used two sentences to describe the ceremony, and devote the rest of his long dispatch to describe the smoggy skies, the security clamp down, the “possible terror threats”, a deserted city of about 15 million people, the four “Free Tibet” demonstrators, the several “well-known dissidents under house arrest”, and the 100,000 police and soldiers posted around the city. On this occasion, he also reminded his readers that China’s Olympic bid was rejected 15 years ago, but he conveniently forgot to disclose the fact that in the 2000 Olympic bid the “deciding votes turned out to have essentially been bought.” If it wasn’t for the corrupted process, China would have held the Games eight years ago.

Only four days after the spectacular opening ceremony, the Western press stirred up another controversy, and this time was the authenticity of a tiny part of the production. It turned out that on the request of the broadcaster to ensure broadcast quality, both the music and part of the fireworks were pre-recorded. Using lip-synching technology, the girl who did the performance was actual using another girl’s voice. Although the lip-synch technology and video-clip were invented in the West, and it is commonly put to use as in the case of the popular movie “The Sound of Music” and others, China was severely criticized for doing the same thing. To the Chinese organizers of the ceremony, this was “to achieve the best performance.” But to the Western press, as best represented by The Times of London, this was “The counterfeit Games: designed to look good from every angle.” Another added: “The switch was hardly the first case of lip-synching, but was ‘possibly the cruelest’” They wanted to create another scandal and stir up sympathy for the child. Much to their disappointment, the parents of the children refused to let their daughters to be interviewed, as “each felt privileged just to have taken part.”

Nonetheless, the relentless vitriolic attack continued. As a matter fact, the campaign against China began right from the day China was awarded the Games. Human right, Tibet, pollution and most astonishingly, genocide were some of the issues used to demonize China, despite the fact that China has never committed genocide. Unlike the Americans, who should be accused of such a crime, as she initiated aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in over millions of innocent civilian deaths and several millions of refugees. Yet there were no outcry of genocide from the Western media and journalists such as Kristof and his New York Times colleagues. What hypocrites!

To many Chinese it is rather puzzling that China after a century of suffering humiliation from the Western imperial powers still receives scorn and unwarranted criticism from the Western media. Partly one can attribute it to racism, as Western society is generally a racist society. But more importantly, Western countries are now experiencing job losses due to outsourcing and increased competitions from China. Consequently, most of this anger and frustration of the working people are now directed at China. China bashing becomes a popular sport and the media is taking advantage of this kind of environment.

Therefore to avoid being the target of unreasonable bashing and maintaining its own independence and dignity, China must abandon using trade as the main driver of her national development. China must concentrate her energy to develop her internal economy, create her own demands and be free from trade dependence.

With an inherent bias and a chauvinist outlook, there is no doubt that the West and its media will continue to bash China at every given opportunity with the anticipated increase in the differences in political values, languages and trade frictions between the West and China.

Western media credibility has been affected especially among its mainly Asian readers and I hope more people would be able to see through its hidden agenda.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do Chinese people really need the so-called respect of the Western media?

By China Watcher

The Chinese government should not be bothered with the “sour grapes” comments coming from the West namely, US, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and especially the British media. The British dailies are already feeling the pressure of matching the magnanimous success of the Beijing Olympics and some have resigned to the fact that the British Summer Games in 2012 would not be able to match the scale of celebration, the rich cultures and logistics perfection as displayed by China. The pollution problem highlighted by the Western media is a non event.

So they continue to whine and said that “though we only have half the budget of China’s for our Games we will make the 2012 Games to be the most joyful and passionate one”. Well, let us wait and see whether this is true.

Fortunately, we have different viewpoints on the Net besides the Western views. Let me publish an extract from China’s Xinhua of the many praises coming from other countries whom we called the other half WORLD against the so-called West which we so fondly knows like AFP, BBC, The Times, CNN, Reuters, The Telegraph, The Guardian, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Independent etc.

Here is the extract from Xinhua:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, during his TV and radio program "Alo Presidente," said "China made the best Olympics in history." He said the organization was perfect and hailed the happiness and calm atmosphere around the Olympic Games.

President of the Panamanian Federation of Athletics Ricardo Sasso echoed Chavez's comments by saying that "these have been one of the best Olympic Games."

Ramon Cardoze, president of the Panamanian Institute of Sports, said the closing ceremony was "excellent and extraordinary."

Indonesian Olympic Committee President Rita Subowo told Xinhua by phone that Indonesian athletes feel satisfied with everything arranged at the Beijing Olympics. Seeing excellent organization and a high level of competition, Subowo planned to put his comments into a report which he will submit to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

A Monday commentary in the New Zealand Herald called the decision made by the IOC on making Beijing host of the Olympics a right one as Beijing presented outstanding organization and state-of-the-art venues. Praising Beijing's effective measures to keep the environment clean, it said the Beijing Olympics would leave the world a lasting memory.

The New Zealand Press Association Monday praised the showcase Bird's Nest, the National Stadium of China, and Beijing's outstanding organization of the event.

An article titled "Proud China brings curtain down on epic Games" and posted on the Dominion Post said that "over the past two weeks, Beijing has wowed the visiting world with its superlative venues, army of smiling volunteers, glitch-free transport and seamless organization."

The Beijing Olympics reached its apotheosis with Sunday night's closing ceremony, according to an article published on the website of the Algerian official newspaper El Moudjahid on Sunday.

The article said the closing ceremony was spectacular, noting that China not only successfully hosted the Games, but also won victory in the match.

China has also given the whole world an insight into the level of development since its opening-up policy was adopted 30 years ago, the article said.

The article also highly praised the Chinese volunteers for their enormous work, adding that "thanks to the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone, the 29th Olympiad has highlighted the true values of the Olympics: excellence, friendship and respect."

In Vietnam, the Youth newspaper said Beijing has impressed the world and participants with its organization work.

During the 16 days, Beijing received almost no complaints about the weakness of serving work, volunteers and sporting facilities, said the Youth.

Mexican commentator Paco Gabriel de Anda from the sports supplement "Adrenalina" of the daily Excelsior said that China organized the best Olympics of the history, "regarding their organization, inauguration and closure they have made us to be excited till the tears."

"After the Olympic flame turned off, China gets a grade of 10," Mexican sports commentator Jose Ramon Fernandez said.

Mexican TV chain Television Azteca praised the Bird's Nest and said the closing ceremony was a "party of perfection and aesthesis."

Nicaraguan electronic daily "El Observador" said that Beijing finished the Olympics "with another amazing" ceremony which had a "memorable perfect aesthesis."

The Western media suffers from a clear lack of understanding of Chinese historical roots and its culture or let me put it in another way, the Asian common social behavior of earning respect by acknowledging and accepting facts and not attempting to be arrogant and “rude” while attempting to force their very own standard of democratic practices in our Asian societies.

For now, it is congratulations to China for the Olympic success and also, for topping the medal tally.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Chinese do not need insincere respect for staging the Olympics more so, from the WESTERN media and certain WESTERN leaders

By China Watcher

I read this article from the US propaganda paper, Voice of America and I was not at all surprised by the inaccuracy and the spinning of facts by the writer which were so deviously done to mislead his hordes of readers.

In the article, he reluctantly mentioned that the Olympics 2008 was staged successfully in certain aspects but he suddenly goes to his usual stereotyping stance to criticize Beijing as a colorless city without any worthwhile backdrop. He continued to say that China has not been able to command the respect it so desperately needed from the concluded Olympics. First of all, when he mentioned respect, he needs to define from where – maybe from the few Western nations – US, Britain, France, Germany and perhaps, Canada or Australia. These places also happened to be the sites where the torch run were severely violated by the trouble makers.

Anyway, I have mentioned many times before, these few countries do not make up the WORLD. The WORLD is much bigger than these few WESTERN countries. And do you think China really need the hypocritical respect from these few WESTERN nations. The African nations and most developing Asian and Latin American countries have showered commendable praises on the organizing capabilities of the Chinese government and also, the overall friendliness and hospitality of the Chinese people. These countries make up more than 75% of the number of countries listed in the United Nations and eventually their RESPECT is far more important. Just ask Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth on how he feels about China. Unreported in the Western news, Bolt has generously contributed US$50,000 to the Sichuan Earthquake fund. Even Michael Phelps has a few kind words on China.

If the author is not prepared to praise the athletics prowess of the Chinese gold medal achievers, he should not likewise make unwarranted comments that they are government trained athletes. Is he trying to tell us that most of the athletes from the Western countries are privately funded? In fact, the success of the British cyclists in winning more medals was due to the millions of investments poured into the sporting events like cycling and rowing which were strongly motivated by the British government. Most countries sporting success directly or indirectly is due to government involvement, so why make a pointing accusation out of it, if not for his clear bias and anti-communist agenda.

The Chinese have clearly and undoubtedly overtaken the US in terms of gold medal count, 51 as against the US final gold medals of 36. But some US sports commentators and journalists are unwilling to accept the fact that the US had lost out to the rising dragon in term of Olympics supremacy and still claimed that the US are ahead of China in term of total medal count (tally inclusive of silver and bronze medallions). The most accepted measure of Olympic supremacy is still the highest number of gold medals and not total medals. To be number 1 is much more difficult than being number 2 or 3. And Chinese editorials have not loudly trumpeted the success of China, more so after having beaten the US as the number 1 sporting nation but stated that the country needs to make significant improvement in two major core sports, that is, swimming and athletics, before they could claim the mantra for supremacy.

The act of denying visas to foreigners who have a record of protesting human rights is a prerogative of a TRULY, SOVEREIGN and INDEPENDENT nation. China has its own security laws for dealing with people (inclusive of non residents) who have found to break local laws. Hanging banners to express “sensitive subjects” are illegal in China and the law offenders would have to face the consequences. There is no such thing as a law or regulations in China allowing protests and demonstration.. If there should be one in the future, it is for the Chinese communities to decide and not from the urging and pestering of the Western leaders and media.

The mainly US and British nationals cannot claimed to be ignorant of Chinese laws when they unfurled Free Tibet banners in prominent public locations and hope not to be detained. These trouble makers should be charged in the Chinese court just like any Chinese resident and not deported (and blacklisted) after complaints were lodged by the respective ambassadors. Sometimes, I think that the Chinese government has given in to the pressure of various leaders and governments.

China's slogan for these Games was "One World, One Dream” which reflects the dream to realize one's individual as well as the country’s expression, notably through athletic excellence and should not be politicized to serve the Western hidden agenda.

When the Beijing organizers were successfully in staging a spectacular show at the Opening ceremony two weeks ago, the Western journalists, out of sheer jealously, commented that it is a bunch of goose-stepping soldiers. Most of the volunteers are ordinary Chinese citizens and if I am not mistaken, the only time the soldiers were involved is in the flag raising ceremony. As usual, the Western media will try its level best to portray China as a police state. Eight out of ten news reports coming from China, you would get to see photos of Chinese soldiers parading in Tiananmen Square or the police casting a watchful eye of the activities in fearful green or black colored uniforms. Even the Beijing logo is being graphically depicted as a person who is running away from a firing squad. If this is not clear bias then tell me what is it?

The Olympics were designed to instill pride among the Chinese and it was a coming out party for all Chinese people, both in China and overseas, whereby the Games emphasizes more on collective efforts rather than individual, and I do not see any reason for criticizing the government for taking such a stance.

The writer said that the Chinese system has shown its abilities to govern but it has also revealed cracks, for instance, that the cute girl singing in the ceremony was lip-synching to hide the real singer, a girl whose looks did not meet official standards. The impact was not as far reaching as what was published in the West. In China, it is important to achieve perfection and collective success is given way to individual rewards. Chinese opera has been using lip-syn for centuries and it is common in a Chinese stage play. The opening show is for the whole world to see and it is not a money-making venture so it is up to the directors to decide what is best. So what is the fuss?

Chinese organizers success in curbing pollution in Beijing was not spare his critical comments and he implied that the authorities forcefully manipulated the traffic and ordered the closure of factories surrounding the Chinese cities. Even when the Games were held in Los Angeles in 1984, certain draconian measures were adopted.

China will gradually improve its own human rights objectives and it should not be under the nosy interference of the Western media. I believe the annual human rights dialogues with the US and EU will ultimately bring about beneficial changes to China structurally but it had to be under conditions suited to a growing and confident middle class devoid of any independence cry or Western interference coming from Tibet and Xinjiang in the future.

The success of the Olympics is not the coming out party of the Chinese government but the party is for all the Chinese throughout the world.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Truthful letters from a few Caucasian friends on the Western media bias and stereotypes in looking at China

By China Watcher

While surfing on the net today, I managed to come across three letters from a UK resident in China, a Canadian and one from the US which complemented my opinions of the continuous stereotypes the Western media has adopted since China was picked as the host of the soon-to-be concluded Olympic Games.

For the benefit and information of blog readers, I am pleased to publish the brief letters which would not be given much prominence anyway, by the Western press.

This is amusing because Hollywood and our own media, without controversy, have used this type of theatrical licence for generations. Why this should detract from a stunning opening ceremony is a mystery to me.

Of greater concern, however, is the negative spin the Canadian media have been giving to the Chinese Olympic experience. My concern is accentuated by the fact that our own prime minister chose not to attend the opening ceremony.

It appears these actions are part of an orchestrated effort to negatively portray the tremendous economic and social achievements in China over the past 30 years.

China is not without serious internal problems, but Westerners should be aware that the Chinese people have a very different perspective on many lifestyle issues negatively reported in the west. Negativity accomplishes very little to improve life in China. It only offends the Chinese people, who have collectively worked diligently to prepare for the 2008 Olympics. This is a very special time for the Chinese people.

China should not be pressured to adhere to internationally accepted norms for democracy, and fair treatment of their people. With this pressure, Canadians should also realize that the thing that the Chinese people most long for is a stable and united country.

The task of developing a nation of more the one billion people present many challenges; it will take time to realize the changes that most of us want to see in China. Our motive to improve life in China should be done constructively with the intent of engendering a strong, united, and just nation.

For now the best thing that Canadians can and should do is acknowledge the spectacular achievement of the Chinese people with the 2008 Olympic games. The Chinese have every right to be proud of what is occurring. Our leaders should acknowledge and encourage them by participating with the Chinese people in this great event. Our media should strive to highlight the many positive aspects of the remarkable event unfolding in Beijing.

Richard Currie, Edmonton

I’ve noticed in the Chinese media here, the media I can understand, they never strongly criticize any particular western country, not in the same harsh way the west do.

I hope China is now at a stage where it doesn't care what the rest of the world think, but I do think it's important, its part of the culture of "face". This is one of the many reasons for the very tough approach to dissent here and in other Asian countries.

The West must learn to understand the Asian culture before they start opening their mouth.

UK resident in China

The US women's gymnast team, lead by former Soviet coach Karoyli openly guaranteed numerous gold medals and quote "kicking the Chinese team's ass". When they end up with much less than they've boast, the 14 year old Commanachi coaching Karolyi clan starts to sling mud around, in order to divert attention from their own failures. Then they start "digging" for information and even openly announcing their hacking into websites to steal information.

As of today, the IOC openly announced the validity of Chinese gymnastics' ages. After their usual bullying tactics did not work for the first time, we see more overtly racist, sexist and condescending articles biting every conceivable source for their sore loser mentality.

What a bunch of sour grapes!

Linda Dobrosky, USA

China has achieved a remarkable feat in the Olympics in terms of organizational abilities and of course by toppling the medal tally to the disappointment of the Western media and China bashers, I think the next step is to improve the living standards of every Chinese (including those in the hinterlands) and also, to bring more scientist to the forefront to become a technologically superior nation, comparable to the US.

Then and only then, I believe every Chinese can stand proud and say, “We could not care less what the Western media writes, we are more worried if the Asian or Chinese networks say something bad about us”.

Let us hope the day will come sooner.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympics: Another sign of bias from Western media and the US over China’s success in artistic gymnastics

By China Watcher

Nine out of fourteen events were exactly what the Chinese gymnastic team was successfully in securing gold in the ongoing Summer Olympics which can only be matched by the unified Commonwealth of Independent States led by Russia back in 1992 in Barcelona.

The success has actually created lots of jealously and disbelief, once again, from the Western media and especially, the loudest noises coming from the two former Romanian coaches who are now in charge of the US gymnastic team. The two coaches from the former Eastern Bloc tried to play “angel” and make pointing accusations that a few Chinese women team members were under the pre-requisite age of 16 years at the time of the Games. The coaches’ behaviors during the Games were rude and unbecoming as “invited guests” in a host country. The women coach was the worse and she started calling the Chinese girls “little” dwarves. The two coaches, if I am not mistaken, were responsible for the greatest gymnast ever generated by the Olympics, Nadia Comaneci and she was only 14 years when she struck a handful of gold medals with perfect 10s. The Romanian girls were young and yet, the two coaches did not stop these girls from participating although the rules on age were much lower then. What ethical morals do these two former Romanian coaches possessed in condemning the Chinese women team?

The Western media, which is persistently looking for any opportunities to hammer the Chinese, picked up the age controversy and started to look for “evidences”. The internet forum particularly from the West claimed that the Chinese press reported earlier that some participants were born much later than the dates which were officially accepted by the Games official. There was one article which called for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to investigate the so-called under-age participants involving the Chinese gymnastic women team or else the IOC credibility will be further tarnished.

I do agree that the China's team did look noticeably younger than the Americans but the US team has two 20-year-olds on their team. The Japanese gymnasts were just as small as the Chinese and there was not even a tinge of suspicion being created over their age. Chinese women gymnasts in past World Cups and International meets have been small and I do not think that is a reason to doubt their participating age. The small built has got to do with race and genetic make-up of Asians.

The Federation on International Gymnastics (FIG) has said repeatedly that a passport is the "accepted proof of a gymnast's eligibility," and that the Chinese gymnastics bodies have presented the women team members’ entrance forms and the certified supporting documents which showed that they were within the eligible age. The IOC have also checked the girls' passports and deemed them valid before the games began.

According to the coach of the Chinese team, the parents of these athletes were very angry that the issue was continuously played up and that the matter was not “put to rest” even after the gymnastics competition has ended. The parents were questioning that if documents such as passports issued by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security were deemed not good then what other proof must they submit to resolve the “created controversy”. The Chinese gymnastics governing body and the gymnasts’ parents have told the Chinese press that doubting the validity of these documents is tantamount to showing no respect for Chinese certification and documents.

Although the IOC did not reveal what prompted it to ask the FIG to look into the matter again, I suspect it is the U.S. Olympic Committee who had asked the IOC to do so in order to resolve the matter. Fair play also means the ability to accept defeat but the US just cannot accept the fact that in gymnastics it has lost out to China, a country which they have always claimed did not share common acceptable human values with them.

I am just wondering other than official documents like passport from the country of origin to determine the age of a person or a birth certificate, if any, there is no other ways to ascertain the age in a convincing manner.

Today, the IOC announced that there is still no proof anyone cheated and believes the controversy will be "put to rest” as soon as possible.

But the created controversy has already damaged to a certain extent the sports relationship and exchanges between the US and China.

Even if the IOC makes an announcement the second time possibly, in the next few days, to confirm the validity of the age of the Chinese gymnastic teams, do you think that the Western media and the groups of Chinese haters would accept the outcome readily?

With such prejudicial stance, I doubt so.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

British media attempts to discredit the Olympics Opening Ceremony success

By China Watcher

The post voice of the Opening Ceremony in Beijing was spectacular and majestic which was the unified stance of most dailies and people around the world. But the British media, particularly BBC, The Times, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune and the Independent were not too happy about it and started to “snoop” around to try to uncover any negative inclinations or connotations associated with the most watched 8 August 2008 event.

Most of the Western media especially the British were unable to accept the fact that the Chinese authorities, a dictatorship, can pull off an impressive showcase which had everyone talking the very next day. In their very narrow colonial mentality, only the advanced civilizations and cultures of the West can stage an event of such colossal magnitude.

The Times of London was very unforgiving and unapologetic to the Chinese government and bluntly said that the Olympics was an event to legitimize its rule on the Chinese people and to the world. It went further to insinuate that the US$40 billion spent on the infrastructure and facilities for the “greatest show on earth” were the money of the people who have no choice but to abide by the government decision. The estimated US$100 million spent alone on the Opening Ceremony was extravagant and that there are other more important priorities. The London Games in 2012 will not be involved in this kind of unproductive spending but the show will achieve a lasting impact on the viewers.

If this is not a case of sheer jealously, I would not know how to put it differently!

Then, there was this news about the “fake” fireworks display in which there were 29 “footprints” that traveled across Beijing from south to north. The Beijing organizers have told the media that some previously recorded footage may have been used to mitigate the poor visibility of the haze. According to them, the footage was voluntarily provided to the broadcasters earlier for “convenience and theatrical effects” and there were no secrets. What is the fuss?

A Chinese sports fan who was at the “Bird Nest” said that he was taken by surprise of the magnificent display of fireworks and he could not care if some of these were simulated. Everyone was happy and he could not imagine an occasion where the Chinese were so joyous and proud of the event. He retorted “Why must the West be so negative of the usage of fireworks footage…perhaps, they are unable to do it themselves? Call it nationalistic or whatever but this is the general feeling of all Chinese people inclusive of those who lived overseas. Most of the Chinese were proud of the Olympics and I am sure that they would support the Chinese government in staging the Games as against what was implied by the British media.

Two days ago, those media from US, Britain and Europe (the West again) continued to “provoke” the Beijing organizers by announcing that the pretty nine year old girl who sang at the Opening Ceremony was only miming. Little Lin Miaoke who charmed the worldwide audience with a rendition of “Ode to the Motherland” was not the singer. The singer was Yang Peiyi who was not allowed onstage as she is not cute enough. The musical director of the show said that the most important aspect is to put the country’s interest first and hence, the use of a beautiful voice and a good image were given to two different girls. Even the voice girl, Yang told the Chinese media that she did not regret the decision, saying she was satisfied to have had her voice featured in the opening ceremony. What is so “fake” about the story?

If I remember correctly in the 90s, there was this artist called “Milli Vanilli” who was involved in lipsyn and his songs were not played anymore. That was a commercial act earning dollars and cents but the Beijing presentation was a show within a sporting gala and I believe the performers were either volunteers or paid a small allowance. So there was no big money involved. Again, what is the big fuss?

In Chinese traditions, it is important that the guest must be treated with the best hospitality possible and if there is a show, then it must be presented in the best possible manner which is what is being done to provide the best image. Having another person to sing in place of the person appearing in it is a sign that the host respects the guest and it is not regarded as “distasteful” as what is being reported. The Chinese believe in collective rights and it takes precedence over individual rights. Until and unless the West could accept and understand certain Chinese traditions, it would be very difficult to promote a genuine healthy relationship. Overseas Chinese who lived in foreign lands have learned to adapt to the local customary and traditional rites. Are the Western people willing to understand and respect Chinese practices and also adapt appropriately in its dealing with the Chinese people, given the continued rise of China in the future?

A racist and bias Caucasian woman from Europe commented that she is not surprise by the “fake” presentation since most products from China are fake anywhere. It is sad, once again, to know that the people in the West had very little knowledge of China and it is made worse by the lack of fair and balanced view of China in the media. In a very connected world of ours in which we interact actively with one another, do we really need to say such hurtful and prejudicial statements? If the attitudes and perceived opinions do not change for the better, I do not think there will be any hope of reconciliations between the East and West.

Another article from the US daily commented that the Chinese authorities must respect the individual rights of one of its most famous sports personality from China, Yao Ming, and to readily accept a no for “national service” otherwise the pressure of playing for China continuously will only shorten the career of this talented basketball player. I could not help but once again felt that the article is criticizing the regimental and strict code of obedience of the Chinese sports authorities. The devious intention of the article is to try to tell the world that the Chinese authorities do not respect individual right and it is not possible to say NO when it comes to playing for the country. I clearly do not disagree with the notion. I think Yao Ming has every right to say so but he is doing it out of loyalty for his country. After all, he was the Chinese flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony. Why don’t we ask Yao Ming instead?

Some Chinese athletes told the media, “When we entered the huge, ultra-modern Olympic stadium, the sense of change was just overwhelming. We would be competing in the Olympics for the first time in our own land and our own stadium. We will no longer be known as the sick man of Asia”

Many Chinese also harbored the hopes that the Olympics will help to bring the Americans and the West to understand China better and to view the country in the positive light and not to have these misconception that the Chinese are merely rail workers and cooks for the white employers and households.

On a final note, let us see in 4 years' time how the critical British handle the staging of the Olympics. I cannot wait to offer my sarcastic comments.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Beijing Olympics is ready

By China Watcher

Whatever the West said or have doubts over the Chinese hosting of the Games, it is now ready for China to stage one of the greatest show on earth.

The Western media and leaders mainly from the West had been behind the many protests and the promotion of international groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in obstructing the Chinese preparation in the staging of the Olympics by making demands that China should pursue developments in line with the international prestige and professionalism of the Olympics. Some even openly said that China should not restrict freedoms of its people and allow more human rights again by its own standards.

I do understand that the Olympics, being a popular and global event, do attract a certain measure of political messages but I also strongly feel that it should not be politicized to this level as demonstrated in the various activities especially in the run up to the opening ceremony.

Tonight is the opening ceremony and it is the birth of modern China as a dynamic and tranformed nation which will takes its righful place in the world.

It does not matter whether Japan, France or US opinions are important whether China should stage the Games. After all, basing on a one vote one country basis, it is not for them to choose. Eventually their opinions will be drown out in a world where even the smallest nation has a voice.

Considering the many oppositions, protests, I salute China for being able to come so far.

The 16 days will be essentially a Chinese show and an opportunity for the Chinese to present to the world its rich culture and hospitality.

Forget about Spielberg, it is Zhang Yimou, a true Chinese who does not work behind the Western hands to discredit the home country.

So for the many critics, just sleep on it. I am already numb to your comments.

Bravo China and congratulations!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Olympics: Western prejudices and bias surfaced, once again, in the form of mask-wearing to insult the host country

By China Watcher

The four US cyclists arrived in Beijing wearing black protective gears called “mask” in the civilized world to highlight the poor quality of air in the Chinese capital for this summer Games.

Later on, out of conscience, I would like to believe, found out that the air was not as bad as it was portray to be. They removed their masks and apologized to the Beijing organizers insisting that their mask appearance was not meant to be an “environment or political statement.”

Olympic officials, including USOC officials, insist the masks are unneeded despite the stubborn smog. I do agree that the air in Beijing is less than perfect.

The Organizing Committee has put forth tremendous and unceasing efforts to ensure that the environment is suitable for top-north sporting activities. If I am not mistaken, there is this momentous task of taking half of Beijing vehicles off the road and closing thousands of factories in and around 50-80km range. I don’t think this was ever done before anywhere in the world.

When Beijing was awarded the Games in 2001, the air in the city was acceptable but seven years have passed since then and the air quality has reached this despicable level – 80 days out of 365 in a year the air are deemed unacceptable. The worsening pollution index was due largely to the excessive growth of polluted factories surrounding Beijing in tandem with the sizzling economic growth of the Chinese economy in the past 15 years. The situation is compounded further by the improved lifestyle of the average Chinese to own cars in line with the growth of per capital urban income resulting in an estimated 1,000 cars added to the traffic every day in the capital.

I would be lying if there is nothing wrong in the way the whole situation is being managed. Poor planning and uncontrolled approvals of polluted factories and probably, rampant corruptions were the main reasons for the hike in pollutants in the air.

Instead of trying to support and sympathize with the Beijing Organizers to resolve this particular situation, the Western journalist, athletes combined in a concerted prejudicial manner to humiliate and insult the Chinese authorities. I remember vividly that when South Korea staged the Olympics in 1988, the West was up in arms against the “door-eating habits” of the Korean people. If a Caucasian majority country like Britain, Spain, US or Switzerland host the Olympics, you would not have Western based athletes protesting or behaved in this manner?

Some of the comments made by China critics or anti-Communist groups, who have not even set foot in China, are totally unfounded and glaringly bias and prejudicial. Excerpts of this are published below:

“The Olympic committee made a big mistake allowing the Communist Chinese to host these games. From an environmental standpoint who knows what the athletes and spectators are breathing in every day they are in this filthy city. From a human rights standpoint the folks continue to oppress anyone who has any opinion not offered by the communist party. They have also ignored any number of agreements that they made with the olympic committee. These athletes have no need to apologise to these thugs who think that no one matters but themselves.”

“Pandering, appeasing American athlete @holes! If they want to wear masks, wear them. What's with the lame, ill-advised apology? Apology for not wanting to breathe Commie polluted air? Nothing wrong with protecting your American ****. But, while they're at it, why not lose on purpose in any competition the USA is in so some other country can win? We don't want them to feel bad, right?”

“Why should athletes apologize for protecting their lungs? The Commie PR Chinese govt demands apologies for EVERYTHING that interferes with their short-sighted environmntal 'policies' - AND with their MURDER OF TIBETANS.”

The Chinese authorities have never demanded an apology from these athletes. You cannot lump all Chinese as “commies” – this is so narrow in perspective and most racist Caucasians conveniently called all yellow-skinned, narrow slit eyes as Communists even in this advanced society today. Even if there are members, it is just an ideology – capitalists, socialists or communists? I thought the West with its so called freedom of speech would allow socialist or rightist parties to co-exist.

After reading all these comments, I feel sad that a majority of the people of the West felt this way and it is not only the 4 cyclists who displayed such attitudes.

Why? The blame lies with the continued one-sided reporting of the Western journalists on China and the negativity reflected in its opinions which have somehow influenced the American public to a larger extent. The pollution in China is not perfect but it is not that bad as given by the many Western media. Why can’t the Western media report the actual situation?

If the air is really that bad, it is not the athletes that would be the main cause of worry, it is the 8-10 million Beijing residents who have to torment with this poor air quality every day.

As one Chinese-American who puts it appropriately, “It is not SARs or avian flu, my grandparents still live in China so why wear masks”.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Olympics: China has every right to revoke visas, after all this is within a country’s prerogative

By China Watcher

As usual, the West is irritated by the decision of the Chinese government to reject the visa of a US speed skating champion who intends to travel to China to support the US athletes and their participation in the Beijing Games.

Joey Cheek is no ordinary athlete. He is the founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes whose goal it is to raise global awareness of the human-rights violations taking part in the Darfur region of Sudan. But his role was well publicized and he was a strong critic of China and blame China’s squarely on the mess that is happening in the poverty stricken region.

What was Mr. Cheek’s intention to travel to Beijing? Is he there to support just the participants or is he a trouble maker to cause further embarrassment to the Chinese host? A person of his statute should know very well that his name had been blacklisted by the Chinese government. Why is he still trying his luck to secure a visa to travel to the host country? I guess only the applicant and his peers would know the answer.

Let me point out here that it is always the prerogative of the destination country to allow or disallow a person into their country based on the country’s laws. And Chinese laws state very clearly that any person who is or deem to be detrimental to the security interest of the country will be barred from the country. In the Chinese eyes, Mr. Cheek is nuisance and an irritant to Chinese societies.

Even the US had its own laws allowing people who are deemed to be a nuisance to the society. Recently, the US refused a visa to Ms, Amy Winehouse, a British singer, to attend an award ceremony due to her highly publicized involvement with drugs and entanglements with the authorities over her outrageous behavior.

Mr. Cheek unashamedly read out a text after he was not given a visa:

"I am saddened not to be able to attend the Games. The Olympic Games represent something powerful: that people can come together from around the world and do things that no one thought were possible. However, the denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.”

The Olympics is a sporting event and it should not be politicized but from his statement the intentions are no more dubious or vague, and he wanted to create the political forum to achieve his cause. Sports and politics should be kept apart otherwise the genuine spirit to contest and win for a country would lose the glamour or the original objective it was intended for.

I was amazed to read a comment from an unhappy netizen from the US who commented the US should boycott the Games because of all these unhappiness over human rights abuses and freedom of speech in China. Whose liberal standards are you using? The US hypocritical standards? Why must the world follow the US or Western standards? These are immature statements coming from a developed nation. Boycotting would not solve the larger issue. If the US hosts the Olympics in the future, China can also do likewise. Two can play the same game, right?

I have no sympathy for Mr. Cheek. China did the right thing. Keep the troublemakers out. Cheers.