Are the Olympics Worth It, China?


Here in Sydney, we all complained about loss of freedom caused by the government's crackdown in the lead up to World Youth Day. Well, we're mere whingers. Sure, what the NSW government tried to do was arrogant and unacceptable, but it was minor league stuff compared to what's going on in China in the lead up to the Olympics - and the bravery of those who stand up to the government there.

The foreign media are up in arms over revelations that the Chinese government will, in fact, censor their internet access whilst they are reporting on the Olympics.

There have been reports of one million security guards and police working at the Beijing Olympics. They're there to do more than just crack down on student protesters. People have lost their homes to developers and received no compensation; they've also lost the right to petition the government, one of the only recourses for justice in a country without a free press. Foreign Correspondent has the full story, which I highly recommend having a look at; you certainly won't look at the bright, shiny opening ceremony in the same way if you do.

I read recently an interview with a Chinese expat, a successful businesswoman, who said she would never return to China: "It seems to combine the worst of capitalism and the worst of communism." We're constantly hearing of "the economic miracle of China". What cost is it to the everyday Chinese people? And what cost the Olympics, so Stephanie Rice can get another contract to prance around in her underwear?

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