Boycott Beijing at Your Own Risk

Protesters run the risk of this little irony. (Image by TIME.)


In Don’t Feed China’s Nationalism, Fareed Zakaria outlines some reasons why a boycott will only make Beijing more defensive and stubborn. With the decline of communist ideology, the CPP relies on nationalist fervor which all the anti-China demonstrations only serve to strengthen. Moreover, Zakaria notes China’s attitude towards Tibet is not unusual, and that associating China with Sudan may be taking the notion of responsibility a little too far. (Not taking responsibility too far would be to mention Guantanamo and Abu Gharib to Americans.) Instead, he believes that the United States is pursuing a wiser track with diplomacy. Nudging China privately will do more wonders than large scale protests.

On the other hand, Jackie Chan labels the negative attention on China as “unfair”. China’s problems — environmental degradation, human rights — is not just China’s but the world’s. What he means by that is that those problems can be found everywhere else, so why the ganging up on China. He’s obviously dodging the question but I’ll still watch his movie.


8 thoughts on “Boycott Beijing at Your Own Risk

  1. I doubt that “Free Tibet” shirt is made in China, though. At least, not in PROC.

    These issues are rising at this intensity because, as we can see, Beijing is doing everything it can to make its world debut as spotless as possible. It was a chance that protesters might actually be heard, and they took that chance that maybe, just maybe, China will actually notice, if not take action.

  2. Indeed. In a country where dissent is unwelcome, people will have to make their own forum. Politically speaking, they couldn’t pick a better time.

  3. Taken from the Newsweek article:

    “In these circumstances, a boycott of the Olympics would have precisely the opposite effect that is intended. The regime in Beijing would become only more defensive and stubborn. The Chinese people would rally around the flag and see the West as trying to humiliate China in its first international moment of glory. (There are many suspicions that the United States cannot abide the prospect of a rising China.) For most Chinese, the Games are about the world’s giving China respect, rather than bolstering the Communist Party’s legitimacy.”

    “Middle Kingdom” thinking, eh?

  4. it all boils down to one thing: people want change, but the authorities are not listening. this time, though, they (the people) protest, knowing that people in other countries might listen, because they’re in the spotlight, after all.

    sort of reminds me of our government, for some reason. it’s all about power, after all.

  5. It’s less of ‘the authorities aern’t listening’, and more of ‘ we have other things in mind’. And yeah, the protests have a clear reason, but no specific audience, so it could be that they’re attracting the attention not only of China, but also o other peopleto support them.

    Still not <3-ing the China Olympics, though.

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