China can't have it both ways

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

All of the positive publicity China hoped to gain is turning into a disaster as protesters dog the torch on its 85,000-mile journey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to the Aug. 8-24 Olympics in Beijing.

While China can crack down on protesters in its own country, it has no control elsewhere in the world. The specific case this time is supporters of Tibetan independence, who forced the torch to be doused several times in Europe, and who flew a Tibetan flag and banners from the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday.

Protesters could just as well have demonstrated against a wide variety of human rights offenses the Chinese government continues to commit against their own people.

China is building its own status as an economic and military super power through open trade with the United States and other western countries.

It has no right not to expect the rest of the world to give it a stamp of approval by participating in the Olympics without demanding something in return.

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