Senator Clinton has called for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies at the Olympics this year in Beijing. I’m listening to her speak about this now.
Over the past several days, and especially yesterday, the protests against the Olympics by Tibetans have stood in the forefront of the news.
Recently, Barack Obama called for the Chinese government to give greater autonomy to Tibet.
The tradition of the Olympics is for nations to put down their differences in the spirit of athletic competition. The Olympics is a opportunity for dialogue.
In addition, can anyone deny the “egg in your face” to Adolph Hitler of Jessie Owen’s performance in the 1936 Berlin Olympics? What a loss to history a boycott of that Olympics would have been.
This is simply my opinion.
I think it would be nonproductive if not counterproductive for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. His participation could present another opportunity to engage with Chinese leaders to hopefully influence their positions on a number of issues including Tibet.
When it comes to “carrot and stick” diplomacy, it is appearing to me that China is becoming increasingly more receptive to the “carrot”. China’s internal problems with it’s economy, environmental issues, resource supplies such as the recent problems with coal and the international attention on Tibet seem to be creating a fairly large “stick ” in their own right.
I am not in favor of greater “autonomy” for Tibet as Barack Obama has indicated his is willing to settle for. Even the Dalai Lama seems willing to settle for “autonomy”. Tibetans have their own culture and ethnicity and rich history as a separate nation and deserve full independence just as Mongolia achieved. Quite frankly, historically, Tibet could claim rights to control much of China as China claims it has rights to be sovereign over Tibet.
Although I agree with the Tibetans efforts to gain recognition and independence, I don’t agree with their disruption of Olympic events.
I think the fact that the Olympics are taking place in Beijing has given greater exposure and transparency to the situation in Tibet that might not have otherwise happened. I think the Tibetans should take advantage of this exposure in a less obstructive way.
People should take the time to learn more about Tibet and what appears to be going on there. Population trends seem to indicate that China is overwhelming the native Tibetan population with importation of ethnic Chinese and possibly even displacing native Tibetans out of their homeland to dilute their presence in an environmentally rich and pristine part of the world which also may be equally rich in natural resources that China covets.
Can the world really afford for China to abuse and mismanage the population, resources and environment of Tibet as it has done to its own population, resources and environment?