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

  • Charles Liu

    I’d like to point out that last year when Denver hosted the 2007 Junior Olympics, nobody linked it to politics like Iraq occupation, Guantanamo Bay, CIA tortur/extrordinary rendition, occupation of Native American land, etc.

    Where was y’all’s boiling blood then? What happened to Free Native America? What happened to our own transgressions?

  • Knights

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080425/ap_on_re_us/police_shooting

    American police alloed to shoot African Americans and let go!

  • Qrs

    I have a question that perhaps someone here can answer for me? If so, I would be grateful.

    From my understanding of Chinese history, I know that Tibet has been a part of China from *at least* the Qing beginning in 1644. I also know that the Great Qing Empire was the largest dynasty in Chinese history, and extended to Mongolia and past the Amur River to the seas of Japan and Okhotsk (commonly referred to as “Manchuria”). Mongolia as part of China dates to *at least* the Yuan dynasty (1271).

    How is it that the Mongolia got it’s independence in 1911? And why let the Russians get Manchuria after the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo fell at the end of WWII?
    I know Outer Manchuria was ceded to the Russians by the Aigun Treaty (瑷珲条约) but isn’t that one of the Unequal Treaties (such as gave HK to the British) that the PRC opposes so strongly? Why not fight this one, too?

    The Guomindang in Taiwan still claims these territories, if I’m not mistaken, so the logic there is consistent. Why then does the PRC not insist that Manchuria and Mongolia are still a part of China? I’ve always been curious about this, so any information you can share would be very welcome.

    Thanks!

  • subjectivelistener

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China-Mongolia_relations

    Qrs, please check the wikipedia for the questions about Mongolia.

    In short, it was recognized by Republic of China in 1946 but withdrawn after retreating to Taiwan.

    I assume you know PRC took over in 1949.

  • Wei

    @QRS:

    My limited read of history suggests:

    Outer Mongolia was able to formerly declare independance and the soviets were able to formally take outer manchuria because the Russian army was poised to back up those claims. Outer Mongolia was also recongized formerly I believe in the world body of that time. No one is going to back up Tibetan’s claim of independence with an army, then or now.

    That is just cold reality, no matter what side you are on.

    Also a couple of corrections: HK was leased out for 99 years. There was no if or buts on whether UK is going to give HK back or not. Also, greater part what was then Manchuria is still in China’s hands.

    I do welcome others who will have better insights to add or correct what I stated above.

  • Matt Y.

    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.”
    ===========================

    Well, I’d like to make 3 points here…
    Firstly, I guess you meant to say “I was told by…” instead of “I have told by…”. It, nevertheless, puzzled me a bit. I thought I was going to communicate with some educated people here… NO?

    Secondly, who’s that friend? What does s/he do? What gives him/her the previlige to get access to such info? How can s/he be trusted as a credible source of info?

    Thirdly, I’d like to make a concession about the point above – even if what your friend said was totally true – how representative is that amongst the vast majority of the Chinese students who partook the pro-China demonstration?

  • Matt Y.

    OK, time for a bit enlightment, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen~

    In Chinese, the word “republic” is “共和国(gong he guo)”, which can be literally translated into English as “a COUNTRY where people (of different origins, social classes, etc) PEACEFULLY stay TOGETHER. While “res publica” in Latin may have contributed to the western version of its idea, the Chinese culture takes the word as a concept that emphasises the elaborate balance of rights, powers and obligations in a country of different groups, which can be classified by ethnic, economical, social, occupational criterions and so on.

    Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Chinese KMT(Nationalist Party), originally sought to drive the Manchus out of “China” with his revolutionary campaigns because the last dynasty, Qing, was a Manchu regime. He, nevertheless, later came to terms with the fact that it was the history that had made the “China” we know of today a place where “Hans, Manchus, Mongols, Muslims, and Tibetans” shared her glorious cultural reserves and forged brotherly bonds.

    Not without slight dissent, he accepted the “five-colour flag” as the national flag of the Republic of China after 1911, with each colour on the flag representing an ethnic group. It is, however, noticeable that Dr. Sun preferred the “flag of the white sun in the blue sky” because it is the symbol of the Chinese KMT.

    This idea or concept of “the republic of the 5 ethnic groups” actually originated before Sun Yat-sen’s revolution back in the Qing era. It became more known and accepted by the general public after the democratic revolution led by Dr. Sun.

    Tibetan and Mongolian rulers did not dissent from this idea as they needed financial aids from the government of the Republic of China even after the revolution that saw the end of the Qing Dynasty.

    Later, the CPC found the PRC. Back then they thought the support from the U.S.S.R. was necessary so of course the unequal treaties were not mentioned any more. Usually communists back then were supposed to be internationalists, rather than nationalists, which didn’t help the cause, of course, to claim the already lost territories.

    The CPC also got the work of “ethnic group identification” under way after the PRC was founded. I personally wouldn’t think it’s a very wise move but it did happen, and as a result 56 ethnic groups were identified.

    But now that all these groups have been together in the same boundary for so long, most people from all groups have come to terms with the fact that WE ARE ALL CHINESE. I personally have 75% Han ancestry and 25% Turkic ancestry – sometimes outsiders think I don’t look Chinese enough to them but that’s only because their concept of the word “Chinese” is wrong. And I always tell them, half jokingly and half seriously, that I’m “made in China”. The Chinese, I guess especially the ones originally from the western provinces like me, are not racists and have always understood the meaning of “multiculturalism”, so to speak.

    Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that the KMT founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, was just elected into power in Taiwan, with Dr. Ma Ying-jeou as the president elect.

  • R. Elgin

    “Matt Y”, sorry about my typos! My friend is a university professor, with years of experience, otherwise, I would not consider his comment worth mentioning. The man knows of this since these people were his students. I also know the man has no political agenda other than enjoying hiking. I keep his name out of this blog out of respect for his position and the concern for harassment that is possible.

    Review the current articles in the NY Times about what happened in Seoul and also http://www.rjkoehler.com for threads on it. This was a politically orchestrated event. There are links to photos therein as well.

  • A Chinese

    谈判的天平正往Chinese GOV方面倾斜,
    海外华人越愤怒,dalai的筹码越少

  • […] GVO I-Fan 的文章〈What Is The Dream We Have In The Olympic Game?〉引起的回應裡,一位中國朋友 Steven Chang 甚至說: […]

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