It was a mistake to award the People’s Republic of China, a country that oppresses the Tibetan people, the honor of hosting the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
No authoritarian regime that rules with an iron fist, seeks to censor and control the media and denies its citizens basic human rights should be given this opportunity. However, the world, for whatever reason, awarded China with the honor.
While most of the modern world is not happy with how China operates — made obvious by the numerous protests dotting the path of the Olympic Torch — the events are still scheduled, likely to incite riots, protests, or worse, which could be masked by the country’s stranglehold of the press.
The debacle in San Francisco in which torch runners were rerouted to avoid miles of protestors exemplifies the anger Americans have over China hosting the games.
China has been chosen to appear in the world’s spotlight for one of the proudest and oldest traditions known to the human race. They should welcome it, offering the same protections and courtesies as other nations who have hosted the events.
By not allowing journalists to freely report on what is important to the world audience by limiting access to vital areas such as Tiananmen Square, China is blinding the world to events that illuminate not only a culture, but the human condition.
China wants to impress an international audience and legitimate its status as a world power by hosting such an important event. They should start by allowing the free flow of information.