21 April 2008

Chinese Olympic Demands

A Facebook group, Chinese United Against Western Media Bias!!!, has made the following demands of the Western media:
Our Demands:
1) We demand fair representation!
2) We demand a stop to slander, insults, and racism!
3) We demand a peaceful, non-politicized Olympics!
4) We demand that our respective nations embrace China as a friend and NOT as an enemy!
In response, I issue the following demands of the Chinese government. In order for me to even consider supporting the Beijing Olympic games, these must be met.
1) I demand that the Chinese government allow for the free flow of information to all their people, and that their people be given the right to self-expression.
2) I demand that the Chinese government stop slandering the Tibetan exiles. The Dalai Lama is a respected religious and political figure and should be treated as such.
3) I demand a peaceful dialog between the Chinese government and their opponents.
4) I demand that the Chinese government embrace its citizens as human beings, not enemies.

As for the members of this group, I make the following requests from them.
1) I respect your desire for fair representation, but know that China is guilty of human rights abuses and persecution. I ask that you open yourself up to hear all sides of the story.
2) If you have been offended by comments, I apologize, but please realize that opposing the Chinese government does not qualify as racism unless it is based solely on the fact that they are Chinese.
Reporting the misdeeds of the Chinese government does not qualify slander unless the stories are untrue.
3) Please note that while the Olympics are supposed to be non-political, the politicization of the games is inevitable.
4) Please realize that you cannot demand a country to be a friend. Remember the maxim, "What's the best way to turn an enemy into something else? Treat him as a friend."

Those who agree with me on the subject of the games, I ask that you keep the following in mind:
1) We should not demonize the Chinese people for the actions of their government. They are not inherently bad. No person, no group, no government is beyond redemption.
2) We should refrain from ad hominem attacks. Stick to the issues at hand.
3) We should hope that there is a peaceful resolution. Personally, I would like to watch the games and I hope that a path is found so that everybody can be happy.
4) We should remember that China is an ally. And while we may not like some of their practices, we are dependent on them. The Chinese government has been very helpful in working with North Korea and many of our manufactured goods are Chinese-made.

Finally, to everyone, we must remember that we are all human, that we all make mistakes, that we can all forgive and be forgiven, that we can all hold things in common. If we forget these, than there is no hope.

Rock on.