Beijing Olympic Games and "political embarrassment"

The Olympic Games were an occasion for political statements. The West boycotted Moscow O.G in protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. The communist block boycotted the Los Angeles in retaliation. From 1988 Soul Olympic Games to Athens Olympic Games, things seemed to go smoothly, except for fear of terrorist attacks after 9/11.

But when the boycott of the Moscow O.G was about the USSR foreign policy, now the threat of Beijing O.G is because of China’s internal policy. Maybe the current protests in Tibet were well planned and staged as the Tibetans can’t have a better moment to publicize their cause than the moment when the focus is on China hosting the Olympic Games.

The Chinese government may have little embarrassment as it is used to Western media portraying it negatively because of human right records and the current great divide between the rich and the poor in rural and urban areas. China can avert the influence of foreign media reports by staging a great propaganda at home showing the great progress it has made in the recent years and the outside doesn’t want China to be a unified and strong country.

During the games, China will have the means to make them look a big success. It will use televised transmissions of the games. As a country of bout 1.4 billion people, it won’t lack the huge crowds to attend the games. The fact that US president has confirmed that he will attend the opening ceremony will give a boast to the Chinese.

The Western media can boycott the games. But today there are hundreds of channels in the third world countries that will transmit the games. Many governments in the third world countries use big sporting events to give their people a “good time”. So they went miss on Beijing Olympic Games as they won’t seek to sour their relations with the Chinese government.

Maybe the current events in Tibet are a big worry for the Chinese government. But its control of the media and the streets, plus the glamour of the games and their installations can be a good hypnosis for people at home to look at the good side of things. Tibet then will be a parenthesis in local media as the focus will be on the game results.

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