I suppose it had to happen. Yes, Gail Walker does China. Lord help us. You see, Gail is boycotting the Beijing Olympics. Which is to say, she’s not watching it on the telly. I suppose, if it makes you feel better…
I’ve had a bellyful of despots and tyrants this year. From the Chinese themselves and their initial reluctance to let foreigners in to assist with their earthquake disaster, regarding outside aid as an admission of communist failure. To the vile Burmese regime, propped up by the Chinese, consigning thousands of their own to death by persisting in isolationism. To the genocidal atrocities of Darfur at the hands of a lunatic in charge of Sudan — one again propped up by China. To the monster of Harare who has defied international opinion and continues to run Zimbabwe with the support of fellow African ‘leaders’. I’ve had enough.
Well, I thought the initial PLA response to the earthquake was rather good, unless you believe the Chinese are too backward to carry out relief work without help from the civilised world. And there are plenty of knowledgeable commentators on Sudan who reckon the Chinese have played a moderating role there, which may or may not be correct. In any case, I’m not certain that China’s extensive commercial interests in Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe constitute actual “propping up”. It may be closer to the mark to say that the Beijing regime aren’t too fussy about who they trade with. Free market and all that.
The decision to award this year’s Olympics to Beijing was unbelievable to begin with. That nation has easily the worst human rights record on the planet.
That’s right, worse than North Korea, worse than Saudi Arabia, worse than Uzbekistan, worse than DR Congo… and I suppose China is also to blame for the mass slaughter in Iraq.
The vicious repression and colonisation of Tibet is just the most visible of its crimes.
The Tibetan language is compulsory in schools and government; ethnic Tibetans are exempt from the one-child policy; Tibet is the only region of the Chinese state where Buddhists are allowed to join the Communist Party; Tibet is likewise the only region that was exempted from Deng Xiaoping’s purge of literally millions of Cultural Revolutionists. Not that the Tibetans don’t have legitimate grievances, but maybe “most visible” is a good way of putting it. The Uighurs probably have a tougher time of it, but they have the misfortune to be of the Muslim persuasion and aren’t nearly as sexy a cause as the Tibetans.
That and its 60-year bullying of Taiwan, a nation to which China and the rest of the world have conspired to deny official status.
Whether Taiwan actually is a nation is a debatable point. If the recent Kuomintang landslide is anything to go by, it’s less than clear that most Taiwanese think it is.
And the spectacle of BBC reporters ‘interviewing’ these lackeys billing and cooing over the wonderful achievement of China in wasting billions on its Nuremburg fantasies really isn’t my cup of tea.
Eh, now we’re back to Gail’s bugbear of the BBC. She doesn’t have to watch, but is she seriously implying that the event shouldn’t have been covered?
What we have here is called ‘appeasement’. These games are the exact equivalent of the 1936 Games in Hitler’s Berlin. They were awarded for the same reason. There was profit to be made from Hitler, just as there’s profit to be made from China.
Yes, it’s exactly the same, isn’t it? Every government we don’t like is the modern analogue to the Third Reich. Say what you like about Gail, she never knowingly understates her case.
In fact, the vast majority of Chinese will continue to be completely illiterate, in a poverty which belongs to the Stone Age. China may go from Jurassic Park to Blade Runner, but most of it is Jurassic Park. The earthquake exposed the truth about this fraudulent ‘modern’ economy.
Actually, the spreading of literacy on a mass scale is one of the real concrete achievements the PRC can point to. And as for the earthquake… well, Hurricane Katrina exposed some unwelcome truths about American society, but I seem to remember Gail’s response was to lambast BBC reporters for their alleged anti-Americanism.
In a fortnight, the lights go off again on that sprawling bog of misery which covers so much of the earth’s surface.
But the Gail Walker column we shall always have with us. Selah.