Taiwan: What is the dream we have in the Olympic Game?

Global Voices Olympics When China holds the 2008 Olympic Game and said “one world, one dream,” what do we expect for this dream?

Schumann explained the origin of the Olympic torch:

古代希臘人在奧運舉辦前,會按宗教儀式,在奧林匹亞宙斯神廟前的祭壇上點燃火種, […]火炬手高舉火炬,一邊奔跑,一邊呼喊:停止一切戰爭,參加運動會。
火炬傳到哪,哪的戰火就熄滅了。[…]人們忘記了仇恨,忘記了戰爭,都奔向奧林匹亞參加奧林匹克運動會。
久而久之,火炬這個本來用來傳遞信號的工具,便成了和平、光明與友誼的象征。

Before an ancient Olympic Game, ancient Greek people ignited a torch before Temple of Olympian Zeus.[…] The torch holder would run and shout, ‘stop wars to join the Olympics!’ Where the torch went, where the war stopped.[…] Greek people went to the Olympic Game, and they forgot hatred and war. As a result, torch, which is a tool for sending signals, becomes a symbol for peace, light, and friendship.

However, Schumann said,

原本具有神聖意義的奧運聖火,卻被中國搞得像過街老鼠,
中國, 污辱了聖火。

This blessed Olympic torch has been running around the streets to avoid protesters like a rat. China government stigmatizes the Olympic torch.

Many Taiwanese discuss if we should boycott the Olympic torch due to China government's records of repressing human right. AW talked what is the goal for China government to hold the Olympic Game:

舉辦奧運變成了中共向全世界展示其「合法性」[…]當奧運場上人們盡情歡呼的時候,在中共黑暗的監獄裡,可能良心犯們正在被折磨得痛苦的呻吟;當西方政要在開幕式上給予中共足夠面子用來貼金的時候,中共正下定決心一定要把共產黨獨裁專制永遠延續下去。

The Communist Party of China plans to exhibit its legitimacy (to be in power) by holding the Olympic Game.[…] When people cheer in the athletic field, the human right activists are probably suffering in the prisons. When the western political leaders show their respect for China government in the opening ceremony, the Communist Party of China is determined to rule China forever.

Door and window discussed who should take the responsibility for letting the Olympic torch be tarnished?

世界各國的領袖…..才是讓聖火蒙塵的主因…..
平日以民主自傲的國家那去了???
以自由為榮的國家哪去了???
自稱世界警察的傢伙呢….是癱瘓了嗎???
也好….讓全世界看清楚….
道德的糖衣….在強權面前….全都瓦解殆盡….

The leaders of all the countries should take the responsibility for letting the torch be tarnished.
Where are the countries proud to be democratic?
Where are the countries proud to be free?
Where are the countries called as world police? Are they paralyzed?
That's fine. We can see how their sweet cover of morality diminishes before powerful autocracy.

doctor61 is surprised by how this Olympic torch is being relayed:

一個國家辦奧運,搞到要動員海外學生華人保護聖火,甚至由中國主動派安全人員出國保護,實在也是創舉了。

It is the first time that the country that holds an Olympic Game needs to mobilize oversea Chinese and their “safe guards” to “protect” the Olympic torch.

On the other hand, many people are surprised by how people supporting Tibet can evoke the boycott of the Olympic torch. forumvisitor commented,

圖博人在海外的人數應該沒台灣人數多,可是他們能爭取到的國際友人的聲援能量, 我自己覺得真的很驚人。我覺得我們要好好學習, 至少要盡量幫忙保護這個可能的盟友。

I am surprised by the support Tibetans get from foreigners, especially when the oversea Tibetans should not be more than oversea Taiwanese. I think we should learn from the Tibetans and protect these friends.

Door and window supported the boycott:

奧運聖火的繞境…幾天看下來…
真的有不少感慨…..
中國鎮壓西藏的當時….抵制聖火的言論根本聽不到…..
新加坡甚至….變相支持…挖勒…
但….幸好正義沒有完全消失….
支持人權的民眾站出來之後….
各國也紛紛表態不參加開幕式…..
唉…..人民若不以行動發聲…..就真的沒聲音了……

I sighed while watching the torch relay for days.
When China government was repressing Tibet, we did not hear a thing about boycotting the Olympic torch.
Singapore was even supporting China government's action. Sigh.
However, justice does not disappear.
After people supporting human right come forward, many leaders said they will not go to the Olympic opening ceremony.
Sigh. If we do not voice through our action, there is no voice.

mobobeijing2008 thought Taiwan should join the boycott:

台灣長期遭受中國武力的威嚇[…]在2008北京奧運舉辦之前,大家應掌握這個關鍵時刻,共同參與跨國界的抵制行動[…]呼籲中國,不應「右手舉聖火、左手抓飛彈」[…]而應該公開承諾,放棄以武力解 決台灣問題。

Taiwan has been threaten by China's armed force.[…] We should grasp this critical moment to join the cross-border boycott activity[…] and ask China government not to hold the Olympic torch with its right hand and hold the missiles with its left hand. […] China government should promise that they will give up armed force for resolving Taiwan's issue.

When the boycott becomes a serious matter to China, China government asks people not to mix politics and athletics. However, this request does not sell.

johnnio said,

中國過去有幾年都因為政治問題不參加奧運,現在反而喊很大聲,要政治歸政治,體育歸體育。中國人的雙重標準果然博大精深 。

China did not join some past Olympic Games due to political issues, but now it tells us that don't mix politics and athletics. This double standard is hard to understand.

no justice argued,

政治歸政治? 那台灣要加入世界衛生組織, 非政治機構, 他們在哭夭什麼?

Politics is politics? When Taiwan tries to join World Health Organization, which is not a political organization, why do they block us?

Boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Game is not only a political issue. It is about what dream people all over the world want to share with each other.

45 comments

  • R. Elgin

    “Matt Y”, I have told by a friend that several of their Chinese students were called away, by the local embassy, to “protect the flame”, thus quoting:

    “because they were summoned to join other Chinese residents here to “help guide” (read: protect) the torch on Sunday… It’s not a voluntary thing for them.”

  • Maverick

    U know what , TAIWAN should not be so sensitive to the torch relay, because it does not mean anything.

    Taiwan is on the trail of being integrated by china. Do not say NO. GUO MING PARTY, the current ruling party , does not have pure heritage in TAIWAN island. it was originated from CHINA MAINLAND. In its core, returning china is its dream.

  • Wei

    oops my mistake

    There is a consolate in LA…so much for my knowledge of where I can go to get a visa :P

  • Qrs

    Steven Chang made some points that others may find interesting, so I thought I’d share them in English:

    “Too laughable! We living here on the Mainland never feel as if our human rights have been limited, what are you going on about all day, huh? Mind your own business and don’t gawk at other people’s “hardships”, and act like you’re “world saviors”!

    Approving of splitting up a nation, would that show that we have human rights? And France, why don’t they approve of Corsican independence? Why doesn’t Canada allow Quebecois independence? Why doesn’t England approve of Northern Ireland’s independence? If Hawaii declared independence from the US, do you think the US government would hold a referendum to decide?

    Do you understand Tibetan history? When was it an independent nation? In the 3/14 incident, those making noise about independence, if they didn’t burn to death or shoot average people, would the army put them down? This is called national security! Get it? The US can attack Iraq, arrogantly attack Libya, bomb Yugoslavia, go into Haiti, go into Panama, invade Afghanistan, they’ve already attacked all five continents– China and Tibet is only putting down separatists, why can’t we do that?

    Taiwan has itself always maintained that it is a part of China, Taiwan is a symptom of the civil war between Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek; if you’re thinking about becoming and independent nation, well, that’s something 1.3 billion people won’t allow! Because Taiwan belongs to China, it’s a matter of China’s national interest. It’s just that simple.

    I would like to ask, if Taiwan really were independent, where would your benefit ultimately lie? Well, it’s right under your nose- China’s greatness is only a matter of time- in about 30 years’ time, China’s overall economic strength will be the same as the US’ and it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, it’s just going to be a matter of fact. Until then, tiny little Taiwan, don’t talk about the Mainland using force when even an economic blockade would make you die an ugly death! How would a strong China with Taiwan as a part of it be bad for your people? A bullet’s worth of land, if you were to become a nation, you would only always be a third or fourth-rate dependency and that’s it- does that kind of country have any self respect? Will you always have the strength to contend with US and Chinese power to shield yourselves? When the US discovers how big its losses would be in a China-Taiwan battle, don’t tally with its own national interests, it will give up this pawn. Got it?

    Don’t advertise your so-called “free elections”; first, in the whole world there’s nobody that mourns the government more than you. For example, many women, only like to watch TV series, the shitty types who don’t know anything about the world outside, only want a material existence and wealth, only have love, basically don’t care who’s in control of the country; and second, only a country that decides its leaders by popular vote with a participation rate of only 50-60%, doesn’t this mean that only half of the people were unhappy with the country’s previous government? In the latest poll, Bush’s popularity rating was only 32%, also at present 68% are dissatisfied with him– this isn’t as high as the Chinese Communist Party’s approval rating?”

  • Kneecap

    In response to Stephen Chang`s points (btw, who`s Stephen Chang?):

    I`m afraid that we live in a globalized society. You and like-minded people are going to have to learn to deal with the criticism any super power has to endure. And the overly simplistic, `Mind your own business` retort is more than just a little bit old by now, isn`t it? Can we really just mind our own business when we see what`s happening in places like Darfur, Palestine, Burma and beyond?

    I know little about separatist sentiments in France or Ireland, but as a Canadian I might remind you all that the Quebecois separatists have been granted two opportunities to hold referendums on their sovereignty, both of which they lost. Furthermore, their linguistic and cultural rights are held above those of the majority, Anglophones, (speaking in terms of the country as a whole) in Quebec. Furthermore, Quebec was seeded to the British when the French were defeated in the 1800s. They were granted the right to a referendum after not signing out latest constitution, as is legal under our constitution. Where does such a similar agreement exist between the PRC and the government of Tibet?

    If the debate surrounding Taiwan and Tibet was `just that simple` as was written in Chang`s response, would there be any reason for debate in the first place? If Taiwan is so culturally and economically insignificant, let the people put it to a referendum as to whether they wish to rejoin the PRC or continue on their way as an independent nation.

    What SOME Chinese fail to understand is that while perhaps Taiwan, Tibet and other break-away states would fair far worse economically were they to be independent nations, why shouldn`t they be given the right to choose themselves? Democratically? Sure, there`s apathy in democratic countries. But people are given the freedom to choose a party, or the freedom to not vote at all. They have the freedom to watch politics, or to sit at home and watch soap operas. Who are we to tell individuals how to run their lives?

  • Saul

    What always puzzle me is that foreigners, and chineses in Taiwan all seem to want to save Chinese people in mainland from a totalitarian country, and they want to be the savior like the heros in American films. In fact, if you don’t cry Down XXX in Tian’an Men square, you won’t be put into prison. And why would we do it if we are generally satisfying with it although there are many problems with it?

  • Living in Maryland country, not U.S.A

    @Kneecap

    hm, what about what’s happening in Iraq? Why don’t you take into your argument? Clearly you support the Americans!

  • Joe Flynn

    Why is it that the discussion about China on Global Voices has switched almost completely to this? I’m assuming it is just a reflection of current netizen sentiments, but it bothers me to see that constructive discussion and contemplation has been cast to the wayside in favor of blind, frothing nationalism.

  • subjectivelistener

    Kneecap

    As you said “Who are we to tell individuals how to run their lives?”

    Good point! Did you notice that majority of Chinese netizans are supporting the one China which includes Tibet and Taiwan.

    There is a fundamental cultural difference between western and Chinese. China is a country with thousands years of history of unification. It was big and small and big and small….in the history. In the end, it did not break like Europe or India. There is a strong dignified value and belief in Chinese culture.

    Are you telling them to change their belief and culture just as YOURS? Otherwise, it needs to be punished and condemned?

    For the same logic, you might accuse China of changing the culture of Tibet.

    Sorry, Sir, I really could not see the consistent logic in your mentality.

    Can you check your logic again?

    Talking about africa and middle east, I thought they are heavily engaged by western forces for years (about a hundred years?), have they ever gotten rich and stopped killing?

  • Wei

    @Joe Flynn

    I would much rather talk about things such as consumer prices in China, the nonpolitical aspects of Olympics in China, the collapse of the Chinese stock market recently, etc. but it seems United States Media at least are focused on Tibet and such.

    If we discover rest of the world is focused on trying to get Hawaii independant, how would we react?

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