In light of the latest Canadian report revealing China’s involvement in illegal mass-scale organ harvesting from the Falun Gong (watch video here), my question is: Does Communist China still deserve to host the 2008 Olympics? --Matas called the practice a shocking new form of evil on this planet (CBC and Epoch Times). Listen to a great coverage by Australia ABC Michael Edwards who comments on the report MP3 (Report alleges Chinese Govt harvesting body organs of political prisoners). Highlights of the report can be found here.
Take a look at some of the comments collected so far and go here for more on this issue. Scroll down to the end to sign the China Support Network (CSN) petition and look here for their insightful viewpoints.
But first, here’s the buzz from the Falun Gong:
Clearwisdom editors sound the alarm by stressing that Beijing's current persecution of Falun Gong violates the spirit of humanity, peace, and human dignity that the Olympic Games promotes. (Reuters/FDI) "We hope that China will not see winning the Olympics as a license to kill," Falun Gong spokesman Erping Zhang... "History has shown us that the Jiang Zemin regime has taken advantage of every major international event to silence all dissenting voices, and Falun Gong practitioners will most likely continue to bear the brunt of such political campaigns," the statement said.
But, warning signs have surfaced in recent months that the persecution is getting worse by the minute and with new laws to stifle freedom of the press—tension is very high among human rights activists and dissidents.
Last June (2005) CCP authorities reportedly held a “crisis meeting” in which China’s deputy minister of Public Security, Liu Jing, was assigned the job of “stamping out” Falun Gong “before the Olympic Games in 2008,” according to the Paris-based Intelligence Online. Several reports have stated that authorities wish to use the Olympics as a pretext to deepen their assault on the Falun Gong.
This past January Chinese officials similarly announced a “new campaign” that would supposedly “sabotage activities of cult organizations” as part of a “complex struggle against enemies,” according to a Reuters report. Past campaigns to “strike hard” have resulted in upwards of 10,000-plus executions in a single year, say human rights groups.
Word of concentration camps for Falun Gong practitioners has circulated for several years. An October 1, 2000, report by Agence France Presse told of two concentration camps having been recently built, both specifically for Falun Gong detainees. The camps were said to have been built in northwest and northeast China, and been capable of each holding up to 50,000 persons.
The Falun Gong are certainly not the only ones that are persecuted in China these days. Christians, Muslims, Tibetans, liberal scholars, human rights lawyers and activists, bloggers, journalists and dissidents all have morbid stories to tell about their mistreatment at the hands of the CCP. All of this put together has the same flavour as the Cultural Revolution.
EU Vice-President Edward McMillan-Scott and member of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) has a lot to say about this:
(Epoch Times) McMillan-Scott said he was in a state of shock after his meetings in Beijing with people, ‘whose relations are in detention in China, and who are Falun Gong practitioners, who are beaten and tortured”. Once the world know what has been going on, I cannot see how the Olympics can take place in China and that China can change fundamentally by 2008,”he told Gao (Zhisheng). McMillan-Scott explained, “The reports of organ harvesting of (the Falun Gong) prisoners, that is to day, the reverse matching of organs and tissues, which in my view amounts to genocide.”
(Clearwisdom) Mr. McMillan-Scott has demanded an urgent meeting with the Chinese ambassador to the EU saying "According to the many diplomats, journalists and other observers I met, it is not just Falun Gong, but other Buddhists - especially Tibetans - Christians and Muslims who are being persecuted. "If people in Beijing think this is the way to prepare for the Olympics they have made the wrong call."
(Epoch Times) McMillan hopes that human rights organizations around the world can unite to focus on China in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He said, "It (CCP) is after all the biggest and most repressive regime left on earth."
(ClearHarmony) Mr. McMillan-Scott concluded his speech by saying that the CCP should follow the international covenants it signed, as the 2008 Olympics are approaching. Once the reports are issued, especially those about persecuting Falun Gong, and the organ removal from living practitioners, and tortures being confirmed by investigators, they will affect the decision of the international society on whether the Olympics should be allowed to be hosted by China.
For the latest reports on organ harvesting labour camps look here.
Epoch Times: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher: This is gruesome and clearly beyond the moral standards of almost every country that I know. It's time for the civilized world to say "no" to the monsters that are tearing apart people in China and enriching themselves from others' bodies. We, as legislators, as statesmen and Americans, must not also become complicit in these crimes by keeping silent. History cares not whether we have inked another trade deal or helped sell another Boeing 747, but history will judge us if we choose to look the other way when faced with truly indescribable human suffering on this scale.
SMC: The Party is not over until we say Briefing the visiting International Olympic Committee last month on preparations for the 2008 Games here, the Beijing party chief, Liu Qi, said the Games would reflect a "harmonious society", code words for the dissentless orthodoxy that Hu, who is also Chinese President, is making the hallmark of his leadership. We can expect Chinese protesters to be swept out of sight.
***Pay attention to this***
For two weeks in August 1936, Adolf Hitler's Nazi dictatorship camouflaged its racist, militaristic character while hosting the Summer Olympics. Softpedaling its antisemitic agenda and plans for territorial expansion, the regime exploited the Games to bedazzle many foreign spectators and journalists with an image of a peaceful, tolerant Germany. Having rejected a proposed boycott of the 1936 Olympics, the United States and other western democracies missed the opportunity to take a stand that--some observers at the time claimed--might have given Hitler pause and bolstered international resistance to Nazi tyranny. With the conclusion of the Games, Germany's expansionist policies and the persecution of Jews and other "enemies of the state" accelerated, culminating in World War II and the Holocaust.
Epoch Times: The Timetable of the Entire Fascist Strategy: Professor Yuan stated that the CCP’s entire Fascist strategy would proceed through the following stages:
1. Before the 2008 Olympic Games
During this period of time, the CCP primarily proposes to instigate and propel nationalism. At the same time, it will try hard to ensure a relatively stable social climate and maintain the present state so that it can push fanatical nationalism to a climax using the competitive environment of the Olympic Games.
2. For Two Years After the 2008 Olympic Games
The CCP will eliminate opposing voices inside its system. The CCP will solve its political crisis through severe political pressure. It will comprehensively oppress opposing groups, defined by the CCP as Falun Gong, political dissidents, and underground Christians.
Epoch Times: T Kumar, Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for Asia and the Pacific, noted that "in spite of promises to improve human rights, China continues to account for upwards of 80% of all executions in the world," and on a large scale uses their organs for sale. "At this rate, the only world record China is guaranteed to earn at the 2008 games will be for the world's champion of executions," said T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for Asia and the Pacific
First among them (engagement theories) is the notion that the 2008 Olympics will make Communist China a better-behaved power in the world. The plan makes clear the Olympics have one purpose: “to further arouse Chinese people’s patriotism and prepare for attacking Taiwan.” Clearly, any nation who participates in the 2008 Games will repeat the same mistakes as the participants of the 1936 Berlin Games—they will hand a criminal, despotic regime a propaganda gold mine to justify unleashing the dogs of war. Any nation planning to send athletes to Beijing in 2008 should, if they love liberty, announce immediately that, painful as it may be, their athletes will stay home. Sign the petition here.
Congressman Chris Smith:
“We say to Beijing, if you want to be part of the civilized world and join the nations in that world community and be partners with the world, stop repressing, stop torturing, and let the Falun Gong live in peace.” Congressman Chris Smith, NJ
Eric Walton, Foreign Affairs Critc for the Canadian Green Party: “My feeling is that this is so serious that it would require all levels of Canadian response. By that I mean diplomatic, but also commercial and even—I know this would upset some people—but I think we would even call into question Canada’s participation in the Olympic Games".
It costs money to change human rights violations by Chriz Miller, Calgary Herald
Unfortunate for the thousands of political prisoners suffering under the autocratic rule of the communist regime, it's doubtful China will make more than symbolic changes in its undemocratic repression and human rights abuses.
That should be alarming--China is fast becoming a global superpower, with a economy growing so quickly that half of the world's construction cranes are on its soil. It also has the dubious reputation of being home to 16 of the world's top 20 most polluted cities, according to the World Bank. Far from creating a Taiwanese democracy, China still locks up political objectors in asylums for speaking out against the state. Is this the kind of superpower we want to be bargaining with?
There is a chance for the western world have an affect on the Asian power while the dragon is still growing. Hu has been talking about creating a harmonious world. The country is becoming engaged in international diplomacy and international trade in a way it has never done before in its millenniums-old history.
China will make its own decisions on political freedom and human rights and not copy the model of western countries, Chinese President Hu Jintao said Friday as he wound up his U.S. tour. But when asked whether his country's restrictions on political expression would cause unrest and hinder its economic growth, he said China is committed to democracy but has no plans to import other countries' policies.
"On one hand, we are ready and willing to draw on the useful experience of foreign countries into political involvement,'' he said.
"On the other hand, we will not simply copy the political models of other countries.''
"Memories of the Olympics in Nazi Berlin continue to cast a shadow over the Games. The Olympics would again be dishonored by the scandal of holding the prestigious events in a country where "unapproved" houses of worship are routinely bulldozed, grandmothers and priests are bludgeoned to death for religious practices, and religious people are sent to labor camp by the tens of thousands," said Center director Nina Shea, referring to the destruction of thousands of churches, temples and shrines in Wenzhou in the weeks before Christmas and the fact that mass numbers of religious believers, especially Falun Gong practitioners, are being arrested and persecuted.
“Following I.O.C. approval of Beijing’s bid, the following thing will happen daily in camps and prisons all over China and the territories China has occupied: Starved, ragged prisoners will be beaten by guards who, as they swing the clubs, will jeer: “See how much the world cares about you? They don’t give a damn! They’ve awarded us the Olympics! We can do as we please with you — nothing will happen to us! The world loves us, and you are ON YOUR OWN!”
Sir Paul McCartney has vowed never to perform in China after seeing horrific undercover footage of dogs and cats being killed for their fur. The former Beatle also said he would boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics after viewing the footage taken in a fur market in Guangzhou, southern China.
Does Beijing play by the rules? Robert Fulford explains:
Any Olympic bid naturally involves a contradiction: it combines implausible braggadocio with humiliating genuflection. The city that wants to become the site of the Olympics must boast and beg at the same time. It must claim to be a metropolis of the highest class while simultaneously abasing itself to seduce a committee of suspicious strangers -- in this case a committee whose recent history is itself gravely stained by scandal.
Here is one example of the cadres’corruption. Sacked Olympics chief had 'pleasure palace' full of concubines.
It’s time to resurrect one of my favourite pieces on the Communist Olympics with a special twist a la Fulford --
The National Post, 13 December 2003 - The government in Beijing wants the 2008 Olympics to do for China what the 1964 Olympics did for Japan: Display the country's best qualities and prove that it deserves a place in the family of nations. This means that the Olympics offer a once-in-a-century opportunity to anyone hoping to nudge China toward freedom. Assuming that Chinese human rights remain at their present level, international activists could make the Olympics an occasion to reveal all the grim details. Or perhaps, by simply making a credible threat to humiliate China in 2008, they could encourage long-term improvements.
Members of Falun Gong are the most famous among the several classes of officially persecuted Chinese. The government has made their spiritual practice illegal, on the dubious grounds that they constitute a dangerous, superstition-spreading cult that jeopardizes social stability. Translated, this means Chinese leaders can't live with an organization, however innocent, that's beyond political control. Falun Gong members have been beaten, tortured, sent to work camps, and imprisoned in mental hospitals. All over the world they stand silently outside Chinese consulates and embassies, living symbols of opposition to a regime that smugly believes it can get away forever with arbitrary cruelty. In their vigils the Falun Gong beg, peacefully, for help from the part of humanity that's free.
They deserve support. Why shouldn't the athletes of the world, who will probably contribute to China's prestige in 2008, adopt the Falun Gong as their personal cause? They could begin by indicating sympathy through frequent visits to Falun Gong vigils. They could write letters of support to members imprisoned in China, request talks on the Falun Gong with every Chinese diplomat in the world, and raise the subject whenever meeting Chinese officials for any reason.
They could announce that if China doesn't change its ways, they'll march into the Beijing Olympic Stadium on opening day in 2008, congregate on the field, and perform slow-movement meditation in the style of Falun Gong while several billion TV viewers look on. (They could start practising it at athletic meets right now, as a sign of solidarity.) To do all this they wouldn't need permission from their governments, just silent assent.
That's not one of Mark Palmer's plans, but it's the sort of thing that danced through my mind as I read his remarkable how-to book on the expansion of democracy, a brisk and concise work that's unfortunately lumbered with a clumsy title, Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025 (Rowman & Littlefield). Palmer spent 26 years in the U.S. State Department, four as ambassador to Hungary. Since 1990 he's been running broadcasting systems in the former Soviet empire while campaigning for democracy. His book proposes that the free peoples of the world commit themselves to abolishing dictatorship in the next 22 years.
Tyranny has been slowly disappearing for decades, but there remain 45 dictatorships in the world, from Than Shwe in Burma to the princes of Saudi Arabia. While making the lives of their people wretched, they remain capable of starting many more bloody wars before they finally disappear.
How to unseat them? First, Palmer argues, the democratic world must decide that it wants them gone and governments must publicly articulate this goal. Diplomats and business executives, accustomed to flattering tyrants, will object, but Palmer believes public opinion can wear down diplomatic and economic arguments. He wants dictatorship declared a crime against humanity, punishable like other such crimes.
World democracy, he argues, is a critical security goal for everyone, in matters of health and business as much as in questions of terrorism. A democratic China almost certainly would have handled SARS with some honesty and efficiency rather than the mendacity and incompetence it displayed, and Canada might well have been spared a tragedy.
Palmer thinks that military action against dictators will sometimes be necessary, but he favours non-violent struggles, like the one he watched (and abetted) in Hungary in the 1980s and the recent displacement of Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia. He provides a tool-kit of ways to fight tyranny, with detailed instructions for 198 forms of non-violent action (23 kinds of strike, 25 forms of economic boycott). He imagines campaigns run by private citizens all over the world but acknowledges that governments will necessarily be involved. Why is there no democratic caucus at the UN? And why didn't the democracies boycott the UN Human Rights Commission when Libya was made chair? (There are many reasons, of course, all of them shameful.) How many foreign governments offered words of support for the highly unusual pro-democracy protest in Riyadh this October? Palmer considers it outrageous that his old State Department colleagues were silent.
He wants to make the transition to democracy a concern of the whole world, not a few politicians and a few organized civil libertarians. His views have a Utopian sound, but perhaps there are times when it's appropriate to re-introduce elements of Utopian thinking into the bloodstream of politics. Better than a moon landing, a campaign for world democracy could turn out to be the great project of the next two decades.
And the award for the best petition goes to:
Wouldn't it be ironic for the Olympic torch to promote not international brotherhood, but a cruel totalitarian regime that tortures dissidents and bombards its population with nationalist propaganda? That's exactly what will take place in 2008 if the world community stands by and lets it happen. Tell the International Olympics Committee that this is not acceptable by signing our petition to move the Games to a free city.
US State Department 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Chinese Communist Regime Continues to Persecute Falun Gong