Friday, 26 October 2007

好驚呀? 咁大反應o既?


China's Olympic Opportunity


October 17, 2007; Page A18

When President George W. Bush accepted President Hu Jintao's invitation to attend the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Mr. Bush's press secretary said that he was going to the Games as "a sports fan, not to make any political statement." I too am a great sports fan -- especially of the Soccer World Cup -- but I would encourage President Bush to take a broader vision of the possibilities for the Beijing Games. He should use the next 10 months to press for a significant improvement of basic human rights in my country, including press, assembly and religious freedoms.

This should be possible, since Chinese leaders have promised to make these improvements anyway. In their pledges to the International Olympic Committee while bidding for the Games and since, China's leaders at all levels repeatedly assured the world that they would use the Games to go beyond improving the country's physical infrastructure.

"By applying for the Olympics, we want to promote not just the city's development, but the development of society, including democracy and human rights," one of China's key Olympic figures, Deputy Mayor Liu Jingmin, told the Washington Post in 2001. Then, Mr. Liu said, "If people have a target like the Olympics to strive for, it will help us establish a more just and harmonious society, a more democratic society, and help integrate China into the world."

I couldn't agree more. But instead of the hoped-for reforms, the Chinese government appears to be backsliding on its promises, including in Hong Kong where we have near total political paralysis, not the promised road to full democracy. That is no reason to give up on the prospects for reform in China. But it is reason to step up the direct engagement on these pressing issues.

In accepting the invitation to attend China's Games, President Bush said this would be "a moment where China's leaders can use the opportunity to show confidence by demonstrating a commitment to greater openness and tolerance." Instead of a "moment" of change, China needs structural and long-term reforms: placing the Communist Party under the rule of law, unshackling the media and Internet, allowing religious adherents to freely practice their faiths, ceasing harassment of civil-society groups that work on AIDS and the environment, and addressing modest calls for accountability in the political system. Mr. Bush and other world leaders planning to attend the Olympics should not wait for the opening ceremony, but must start now with sustained efforts to achieve this agenda.

One reason for optimism about the possibilities for progress in China is recent Olympic history. When South Korea bid for the 1988 Games, the country was a military dictatorship. Due in good part to the prospects for embarrassment and international engagement, the Olympics helped kick off an overdue peaceful political transformation in South Korea just six months before the launch of the Seoul Games. Since then, South Korea has endured as one of Asia's most stable and vital democracies. The parallels between South Korea and China are not exact, but the lesson is that the Olympics certainly present an opening to raise these issues in the context of the Chinese government's own promises.

In the U.S. and elsewhere, there are campaigns to boycott the Beijing Games over the Chinese government's trade with and support for regimes in Sudan and Burma. As a Chinese person, I would encourage backers of these efforts to consider the positive effects Olympic exposure could still have in China, including scrutiny by the world's journalists. This is certainly the time for Chinese leaders to step up and constructively use their clout in Asia and Africa. In so doing, Beijing should open a new chapter of responsible foreign policy and convince the world it is not oblivious to these issues.

Chinese people around the world are proud that China will host the Games. China has the world's fastest growing economy, and may indeed put on history's most impressive Olympic Games next August. But how does it profit our nation if it wins gold medals but suffers from the continued absence of democracy, human rights and the rule of law?

It is my hope that the Games could have a catalytic effect on the domestic and foreign policies of the Chinese government, and that the Chinese people will remember the Games long after they are held -- not merely for medals won, but also because they were a turning point for human rights and the rule of law in China. That would be something worth cheering.

Mr. Lee is a democratically elected legislator and the founding chairman of Hong Kong's Democratic Party.


李柱銘o係 Wall Street Journal 出o左篇文, 其中有一句向布殊呼籲, "should use the next 10 months to press for a significant improvement of basic human rights in my country, including press, assembly and religious freedoms." 李柱銘對美國總統o既呼籲, 其實就等於巴士阿叔叫特首唔好拆碼頭, 又或者任何一個維園阿伯叫特首快 d 拆碼頭一樣, 人地采你都有味, 人地要做乜唔會俾你影響到, 即是話李柱銘其實只係講o左句廢話. 如果有棵樹o係一個冇人o既森林入面爆炸, 算唔算有聲呢? 如果李柱銘句廢話美國總統完全聽唔見, 當佢冇到, 咁佢又算唔算有講過o野呢?

但係唔知點解, 掘起中o既大國公民咁大反應, 實行小事化大, 連續兩日上晒頭條, 齊心以行動證明, 講o野唔o岩聽o既中國人會被"公幹". 人地要干預又如何? 好驚美國呀? 咁大反應o既? d 條件反射好似驚俾阿媽鬧咁. 最頂癮o既係, 咁多人鬧李柱銘, 個個都只係鬧佢做漢奸, 叫外國人干預中國內政, 而冇人鬧佢講大話, 詆毀中國人權狀況, 根本上就係曲線默認中國o係傳媒, 集會, 宗教自由上o既基本人權真係有問題. 香港仔學o野啦, 要好似下面呢條友咁先叫真正愛國o架嘛, 擦阿爺鞋都要醒目先得o架.


kato said...

I think you raised some really good points.. especially that the Olympics are and should be a symbolic event even more than an athletic event. As China progresses, this would be a perfect opportunity for the US to embrace the changes that China is and will undergo.. my Chinese friends that travel back to their homeland barely recognize the towns and villages they grew up in as the speed of change has swept China from a stagnant, bulky country to a fast paced market economy. I hope that the issues of human rights and pollution can be raised and not be swept under the rug when the spotlight is on.. the challenges that China will face have already been faced by the US and other open economies.. it would be nice to help each other to make the world.. better..

Sometimes, it makes me appreciate living in Canada.. just slightly away from all these headaches! :]

I like your blog.. keep it up..


Howtindog said...

I didn't write that English article; Martin Lee a politician in HK did. He is now being abused by all the Honkies who love (read "fear") the Chinese government so dearly.