Thursday, August 7, 2008

1 Day to the Olympics

The Olympic Games was supposed to be China’s coming out party, a showcase of the rising power and status of the Chinese people. And so far, the Olympic year has been a nightmare for China.

Between the earthquake, the pollution problems, the Tibetans protests; China has stumbled from one crisis after another this year. So with all these problems, you have to wonder why is the Chinese government shooting themselves in the foot.

That’s what they did when they revoked the visa of former Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek. Cheek was going to Beijing as part of Team Darfur, to urge China to help make peace in war-torn Sudan. What’s more the Chinese did not even bother to come out with an excuse on why they revoke the visa. I mean surely if you don’t want him to enter China, don’t give him a visa in the first place. And if you are going to cancel the visa, at least come out if some sort of excuse right?

Now by preventing Cheek from even entering China, what was at best a minor irritant for China has become an international incident. A self-made PR disaster if there ever was one. From where I stand, the Olympics couldn’t finish fast enough for China.

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