Chinese President Hu Jintao doesn’t want people to politicise the Olympic Games:
With one week to go to the Beijing Olympics, Chinese President Hu Jintao has urged people not to politicise the Games. In a rare news conference, Mr Hu said politicising the event undermined the Olympic movement, and called for dialogue to resolve contentious issues.
This is nonsense. The Olympics have always been political. China is hosting them for reasons of status: to highlight that they’re now a rich and important country. There’s nothing wrong with that — China’s economic record over the past quarter-century is magnificent and Chinese people are entitled to be proud of it.
What Hu really means is “don’t criticise China”. He’s being hypocritical, for two reasons:
1. China chose to put the spotlight on itself by hosting the games. They can hardly now complain if the spotlight reveals some things they’d rather not talk about
2. China won the right to host the games by saying they’d clean up their human rights record. They haven’t done so, and it’s entirely reasonable to point out that they’ve failed to uphold their end of the deal.