On to Beijing 2008
by Marcus Browning After being narrowly defeated (by two votes) by Sydney in a dirty and corrupt campaign surrounding the selection of host city for the 2000 Olympics, Beijing has been, by a substantial majority, awarded the honour of hosting the 2008 Summer Games. China's bid on this occasion was marked by support from those interested in sport (including Australia's International Olympic Committee representative) and protests from some political quarters. The decision has set big business interests drooling at the prospect of a profit bonanza. Generally speaking, however, athletes and Olympic Committee member countries welcomed the Beijing win. Like the Sydney Games, Beijing 2008 will bring people together from around the world to celebrate the Olympic ideals. It is no exaggeration to say that that is what the majority of the people around the world want and expect. The preparation of the Olympic site in Beijing has been under way for years. Beijing has already played host to the large-scale Asian Games. The capability and standards of its sports teams are steadily improving as witnessed by the fact that the People's Republic of China came in third in the medal count in the Sydney Games, after the US and the Russian Federation. Huge crowds in Beijing and other Chinese cities welcomed the vote as giving recognition to China's rightful place in the world. China has the largest population of any country and has a rapidly growing economy. It is one of the big five powers on the United Nations Security Council and plays an increasingly important role in world affairs. However, over the next seven years Western anti-Communist political forces will do their utmost to use the Games to pressure China to "change". "Reform", "open up" and "democratise" are the code words used by those intent on reimposing capitalism in China. Headlines such as "Chinese promise social change", "Red letter day for China's Communists", "Beauty and the Beast" (comparing Toronto and Beijing) have appeared in the reports of the venal press which immediately jumped into action with a campaign that will not let up until the 2008 games are over. And what about the other contenders — Toronto, Osaka, Paris and Istanbul? Who is at the human rights barricades protesting about Turkey's atrocities against the Kurds or its widespread oppression of its own citizens over 60 of whom have died in a hunger strike against the conditions in Turkish jails? What protests are being made over France's ongoing colonial stranglehold on the nations of the Pacific and its history of nuclear testing and weapons build-up which increases the danger of nuclear annihilation? What of Canada's violations of labour rights and its anti-democratic drive to crush progressive political forces, including attempts to outlaw the Communist Party of Canada? Or Japan's aiding and abetting the attempt of the US to impose its military hegemony on the rest of the world? And what of the US itself, which now has the biggest prison population in the world and is rife with racism and drugs? Human rights The developed capitalist Western powers, having limited their concept of human rights to such things as the right to vote in multi-party elections and free-wheeling individualism, use those values to point the finger at "human rights abuses", alleged or real, in countries they wish to intervene in for political and economic ends. That is the justification for the imposition of blockades, economic pressure, interference and military intervention against Cuba, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Panama, Grenada et al. This campaign has been led by the US Government with the support of others. The Australian Government has undertaken selective human rights missions to China and Vietnam in the past 20 years. Together with the US it waged aggressive wars in Korea and Vietnam. A number of Western countries retain military bases in Malaysia and other countries. All Asian countries have suffered generations of colonial domination, racist exclusion and exploitation. China's growing strength and position in the world will also help them stand up for their independence. The people of many Asian countries will welcome the Games in Beijing as a victory for the whole of Asia. "Window of opportunity" Following the Beijing announcement, another headline ran, "Race is on to share in Beijing's billions". Australian companies are reported to have lined up around $3-5 billion worth of contracts in China. They see the Olympics as a "window of opportunity". Foreign investments in China are seen as an opportunity to push the door even wider, not only to profit from the world's biggest market but to exert economic and political pressure and to support and encourage counter- revolutionary, anti-Communist political forces that still remain. There are even calls from some quarters, including the President of the European Parliament, for a boycott of the Beijing Games. Such was the case in 1980 when the then US President Jimmy Carter imposed a boycott on the Moscow Olympics, with the support of the Fraser Government in Australia. However, Australian athletes and the Australian Olympic Committee refused to comply with the boycott and attended. The Moscow Games were a great success for international peace and friendship, but they could have been a disaster for the Olympic movement. Over the next seven years, China will be subjected to intense pressure to comply with Western demands. The West will pursue its aims of not only re- imposing capitalism but also breaking China up by detaching Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong and stirring up racial and religious conflicts in regions with ethnic minorities. In this campaign the Falun Gong will be financed, supported and publicised to play a foremost part as will the Dalai Llama and other such tools of the Western countries. While the Western powers have their agenda, the next seven years will also see a further substantial strengthening of China's socialist economy and her consolidation in the world and this will help to make the Beijing Games as big a success as those of Sydney. The Olympic Charter calls upon all the national Olympic Committees to resist political, economic and religious interference and it is to be hoped that this spirit will triumph.