Monday, October 8, 2007

Burmese activist sticks it to China

A Burmese student demonstrator I spoke with in Bangkok today had some strong words for China. He was calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. I asked him why.

The Burmese student's frustration with China echoes the sentiments of Christopher Hitchens who wrote in Slate last week:
I thought President Bush was quite correct in listing his least favorite regimes during his address to the United Nations last week . . . The governments that he singled out were the uniquely repellent ones . . . they all have one thing in common. They are all defended, from Cuba to Zimbabwe, by the Chinese vote at the United Nations. . . China also maintains territorial claims against India and Vietnam (and, of course, Taiwan) and is building a vast army, as well as a huge oceangoing navy, to back up these ambitions.

Meanwhile, everybody is getting ready for the lovely time they will have at the Beijing Olympics. If there could be a single demand that would fuse almost all the human rights demands of the contemporary world into one, it would be the call to boycott or cancel this disgusting celebration.
For another perspective on the boycott issue, read this post.

This much is clear. Burma represents an international public relations crisis for China. Around the world, people are asking: what does China stand for? Is there no regime too depraved to garner China's support?

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