Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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Archive for July, 2008

My Wet Pussy (Musical Interlude)

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crikey Bruce! It’s well into August, and I still haven’t done anything about July’s Wet Pussy Award. In fact, there is a winner for July, but he/she/it is going to have to wait now until September (seeing as how August’s winner will almost certainly be an Olympics journalist visiting China for the first time).

In the meantime, let’s take a look back at a few previous holders of the trophy…

There was the inaugural winner, Daniel Newham. He truly is a cun… wet pussy, and won January’s award for his services to the Han Regime and their policies in occupied East Turkestan. February’s winner was the ‘Superstar Entertainer’ David Wu, who makes my life hell whenever I take a taxi in Shanghai. March’s award went to Ian Morrison, for his instructive insights into Chinese Democracy. April’s winner was Kim Beasley, but as he’s a politician, that should come as no shock. May starred the Un-Named Twat, for his habit of extorting money from other foreigners in collusion with the local goons and thugs (a.k.a. Police). June of course gave us Barry, who won because, well, because he is Barry.

What a line up, eh folks? Wet pussies, every one. And what should we do with Wet Pussies?


Posted in Wet Pussy Awards | 1 Comment »

China, the Olympics and the Visa Mystery

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Something extraordinary is happening in China, and we are not talking about the Olympics. Rather, Chinese officials have been clamping down on visa applications and implementing bureaucratic impediments to new and renewed visa applications under the guise of pre-Olympic security.

In some ways, Beijing’s plan for a safe and secure Olympics appears based on the premise that if no one shows up, there can be no trouble. But placing restrictions on the movement of managers and employees of foreign businesses operating in China, even if for a limited time as Chinese officials have been at pains to reassure, makes little sense from the standpoint of gaining political and economic benefits from hosting the Olympics. Something just isn’t right.

The Post-’70s Economic Framework
Since China’s economic reform and opening in the late 1970s, China’s economic policy — and thus the basis for the overall development of the nation — has been based on a simple two-part framework. First, draw in as much foreign investment as possible and use the money and technology to strengthen China while using the subsequent economic leverage to secure China. And second, encourage growth for growth’s sake to ensure an ever-increasing flow of money through the system to provide employment and social services to a massive and urbanizing population.

Key to this policy has been creating a very open environment for foreign businesses, which bring money, technology and expertise and use their influence with their own governments to keep stable international relations with China — hence reducing international and economic frictions and increasing the efficiency of the supply chain. For more than two decades, Chinese national strategy has thus revolved around the principle of encouraging investment, joint ventures and wholly-owned foreign enterprises in China. There have been two foundations for this strategy: the evolution of financial facilities for transferring and controlling foreign money with a level of transparency nearing international standards, and the ease of movement of personnel in and out of China.

It is this latter point that recently has been hit the hardest. Over the past several months as the Beijing Olympics drew nearer, the Chinese government has effectively frozen up most financial reform plans. It also has issued a raft of new security measures not entirely unlike other host cities in the post 9/11 security environment. But China has gone several steps further than its predecessor hosts, placing official and bureaucratic impediments on visa applications. This not only has targeted potential “troublemaking” rights advocates, it has also impacted foreign businesses ranging from invited guests to the Olympic games to managers and employees of foreign companies in China.

Business and the New Visa Hassles
The visa restrictions in particular have been a source of angst for foreign businesses and business associations. Many smaller operations may circumvent Chinese regulations and travel on tourist visas (provided they can still obtain them). And there are ways around the tighter regulations or bureaucratic hurdles if one has the right connections or the willingness to apply several times or from different locations. But multinational corporations are less willing to jeopardize their operations by skirting the laws. Instead, they are making their concerns known to Beijing and hoping that restrictions are eased in September, as Beijing has rumored and hinted will occur.

In general, these visa restrictions have been brushed aside by foreign observers as simply paranoia on China’s part regarding protests or terrorist attacks during the Olympics. In many ways, however, this makes little sense. First and most obvious, the Olympics were supposed to highlight the opening of China — not restrict the very people who have made China a key part of the global economy. Second, imposing tight restrictions in Shanghai, the center of the Chinese foreign-domestic economic nexus, makes little sense on grounds of Olympic security since Shanghai is playing only a minor role in the games compared to Beijing and Qingdao. (Think shutting down visas to New York during the Atlanta games in the name of security, though Shanghai admittedly is hosting some soccer matches.)

Shutting down business visas to keep terrorists out makes little sense anyway — it is hard to imagine Uighur militants traveling on business visas as representatives of foreign multinationals. Furthermore, by restricting business visas — even if not across the board in a coherent fashion — China is putting a massive strain not only on the ability of businesses to trust Chinese regulations and business relations with the government, but also on the fluidity of the global supply chain. Shutting down or impeding visas affects much more than delaying the movement of a single individual into China; it impacts the ability of multinational corporations to move, replace or supplement managers and dealmakers in China. A delayed visa applications of just three months still represents an entire quarter that multinational corporations cannot reliably manage their businesses operations i n China, and that doesn’t take into account the visa backlog when restrictions are loosened or lifted.

Disrupting an integral part of the global economy for a full quarter because of an international exposition makes little sense. The Germans in 1936 didn’t do it, the Russians in 1980 didn’t — no one has. One doesn’t simply shut down international business transactions for three months or more to stop a terrorist — and particularly not China, which depends on foreign direct investment. This is not simply an inconvenience for some people: It is the imposition of friction on a part of the system that is supposed to be frictionless. And it is not merely individuals who are affected, but the relations between mammoth companies.

A Period of Erratic Policies
China’s behavior has been erratic for several months now, if not for the past few years, with the implementation of new and often contradictory security and economic policies. These have all been brushed aside as somehow related to preparation for the Olympics. But they are in fact anomalous. China’s behavior is not that of a country trying to show its best side for the international community, nor that of a nation simply concerned about potential terrorist or public relations threats to the Olympic games. In another two months, after the Olympics and Paralympics have ended, it will become clearer whether this was a spate of excessive paranoia or a reflection of a much more significant crisis facing the Chinese leadership — and the evidence increasingly points toward the latter.

As mentioned, China’s economic policies in the reform and opening era have been based on the idea of growth. This in many ways simply reflects the Asian economic model of maintaining cheap lending policies at home, subsidizing exports, flowing money through the system and focusing on revenue rather than profits. In essence, it is growth for the sake of growth. This was the policy of Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. And it led each of those countries to a final crisis point, striking Japan first in the early 1990s and the rest of the Asian tigers a few years later. But China managed to avoid each of the previous Asian economic crises points, as it was on the lagging end of growth and investment curves.

Following the Asian economic crisis, China fully recovered from the international stigma of Tiananmen Square and became the global economic darling. By the time the 21st century rolled around, China was already taking on the mantle of the Japanese and other Asians. It began to be labeled both an economic miracle and a rising power; a future challenge to U.S. economic dominance with all the political ramifications that brought. Were it not for 9/11, Washington would have squared off with Beijing to prevent the so-called China rise. The reprieve of international pressure that came when U.S. attention turned squarely toward Afghanistan and then Iraq freed China’s leaders from an external stress that could have brought about a very different set of economic and political decisions.

With the United States preoccupied, and no other major power really challenging China, Beijing shifted its attention to domestic issues, and its review quickly revealed the stresses to the system. These did not primarily come from “splittist” forces like the Tibetans or the Falun Gong, but rather from the economic policies that had brought China from the Third World to the center of the global economic system. Beijing is well-aware that should it continue with its current economic policies, it will face the same risk of crisis as Japan, South Korea and the rest of Asia. It is also aware that growing internal challenges — from the spread and invasiveness of corruption to geographic economic imbalances, from rising social unrest to massive dislocation of populations; are causing immediate problems.

Economics from Mao to Hu
Mao Zedong built a China designed to be self-sufficient and massively redundant. Every province, every city, every factory was supposed to be a self-contained unit, making the country capable of weathering nearly any military attack. Deng Xiaoping didn’t get rid of these redundancies when he opened the economy to foreign investment. Instead, he and his successors encouraged local officials to work to attract foreign investment and technology so as to raise China’s economic standard more rapidly. By the time Jiang Zemin was in power it had become clear that the regionally and locally driven economic policies threatened to throw China back into its old cycle of decentralization — and, ultimately, competing centers of power. Attempts by Jiang to correct this through the Go West program, for example, came to naught after meeting massive resistance in the wealthy c oastal provinces. The central government accordingly backed off, shifting its attention to reclaiming centralized authority over the military.

Hu Jintao has sought once again to try to address the problem of the concentration of economic power in China’s coastal provinces and cities through his Harmonious Society initiative. The idea is to redistribute wealth and economic power, regain central authority over the economy, and at the same time reduce redundancies and inefficiencies in the Chinese economy. With minimal external interference, Hu was able to test policies that by their very nature were going to sacrifice short-term social stability in the name of long-term economic stability. Growth was replaced by sustainability as the target; longer-term redistribution of economic growth engines would replace short-term employment and social stability.

This was a risky proposition, and one that met strong resistance in China. But the alternative was to sit back and wait for the inevitable economic crisis and the social repercussions thereto. In some ways, Hu was suggesting that China risk stability in the short term to preserve stability in the long run. But Hu didn’t anticipate the massive surge in global commodity prices, particularly of food and oil. This was compounded by increased international scrutiny over China’s human rights record ahead of the Olympics, natural disasters hitting at the availability and distribution of goods, a rise in domestic social unrest triggered by local government policies and economic corruption, several attempted and successful attacks against China’s transportation infrastructure, and the uprising in Tibet. Thus, the already-risky policies the central government was pursuing suddenly looked more destructive than constructive from the point of view of continued rule by the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The global economic slowdown was the external impetus China feared — something that could undermine the flow of capital and leave Beijing unable to control the outcome of a reduction in the inflow of capital. At the same time, the internal social tensions triggered both by Hu’s attempts to reshape the Chinese economy and by the slow pace of those changes created a crisis for the Chinese leadership. It was hard enough internally to control a measured economic slowdown to reshape the economic structure of China, but quite another thing altogether to have such a slowdown imposed on China from outside at the very moment social stability was in a critical state at home.

A Government in Crisis
China’s rapid and contradictory economic and security policies, rising social tensions, and seemingly counterproductive visa regulations appear to be signs of a government in crisis. They are the reactionary policies of a central leadership trying to preserve its authority, stabilize social stability and postpone an economic crisis. At the same time, we see signs that the local governments, and even organs of the central government, are putting up steady resistance to the announcements coming from Beijing. Slapping restrictions on foreign businessmen may make little sense from a broader business continuity sense, but if the point is to begin breaking the backs of the local governments — whose strength lies in their relations with foreign businesses — then the moves may make more sense.

If the central government has reached the point that it is willing to risk its international business role to rein in wayward local officials, however, then the Chinese leadership sees a major crisis looming or already under way. It is one thing to toss out a few local leaders and replace them, quite another to undermine the structure of the Chinese economy for the sake of regaining control over local officials. But if Chinese history since 1949 (and really quite a ways before) is any guide, the core of the CPC leadership is willing to sacrifice social and economic stability to preserve power. One need only look at the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution or the crackdown at Tiananmen Square for evidence of this. Revolution is not, after all, a dinner party, and maintaining CPC control is paramount to the government.

After each major revolution or crisis, China eventually has recovered. The Cultural Revolution was followed by diplomatic relations with the United States, Tiananmen Square was put aside as China joined the World Trade Organization and surged ahead in gross domestic product (GDP). Certainly, there was change among the leadership and in the way the party dealt with policies at home and abroad. But if there is the likelihood of loss of control due to an impending economic crisis, better to have some role in shaping the crisis to preserve the chance of maintaining a role in the future political structure than to sit by and try to clean up as things fall apart. The Party in fact has a long history of taking a self-generated crisis/revolution over an externally or domestically initiated one.

It may be that the contradictory policies Beijing is tossing around these days will simply fade away after September and things will get back to “normal.” But already, Chinese officials are downplaying the previously hyped political and economic benefits of the Olympic games. They are now warning that economic conditions may not be so strong in the future, and at least internally discussing the distinct possibility that at least certain regions of China are facing the same economic crises faced by their mentors Japan, South Korea and the Asian tigers.

Internal Crises vs. the Economy
A recent article in the Global Times, a paper that addresses myriad topics of domestic and international significance and is read among China’s leaders, discussed how economics is not the best measure of strength. It referred to the overall comparative GDP and the size of China’s military in the late 1800s. Then, China was considered at its weakest, but from an economic or military perspective it could have been considered comparable to the global powers of the day. This hints at the deeper internal debate in Beijing, where true national strength and the role of the economy is under discussion. Assumptions that China is only focused on continued good economic ties with the world shouldn’t be taken as gospel — China has a track record of shutting down external connections when internal crises brew.

Numerous polices are being thrown around in firefighting fashion, including blocking or at least hindering foreign business movement in and out of the country and tightening the flow of foreign capital in both directions. They are coming in reaction to flare-ups in economic, environmental, public relations and social arenas. Energy policies are making less sense, imbalances in supply and demand are growing and seemingly contradictory policies are being issued. Social unrest, or at least local media coverage of such unrest, seems to be increasing; either is a sign of weakening control. Local officials are still failing to fall in line with central government edicts. Strategic state enterprises like China National Petroleum Corp., China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and the China Development Bank are all defyi ng state-council orders — and the State Council itself is apparently going head-to-head with major policy bodies long given control over economic policies.

Something extraordinary is happening in China. And while not everyone may want that to be the case, and so have sought to use the Olympics to explain things away, the easy explanation simply doesn’t make enough sense.


Posted in China | 13 Comments »

ChinaDaily Headlines, 29th July 2008

Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Those colourful liars over at the Party mouthpiece, ChinaDaily, have been at it again:

Beijing denies suspension of issuing visa letters

The Beijing municipal government Monday denied reports in the foreign media that said it had stopped issuing official invitation letters for business visas to foreigners.

“Some foreign media have reported that the Beijing municipal bureau of commerce (BMBC) has stopped issuing official invitation letters, known as notification letters, needed for business visas. But the fact is we never did so,” Zhao Hui, a BMBC official, said.

I have just finished talking to a friend who is directly involved in the visa-issuing process, and he tells me that they have received very clear instructions from the Party, NOT to issue official invitation letters for business visas to foreigners. In fact, for the next few weeks, all business visa applications for foreigners are to be denied out of hand.

I guess that means I caught you making a bold-faced lie, Zhao Hui.

In other news, Hong Kong has just recorded its worst ever day of atmospheric pollution – 202 on the Air Pollution Index. Olympic equestrian competitors, however, are not worried:

“We have no concerns at all. These are the horses that we flew over from Florida, where it’s been 37 and 38 degrees for the last few weeks,” said Canadian team leader Michael Gallagher. “We’ve noticed the haze, but it’s not black like it is in Beijing.”

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Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, July 25, 2008

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Posted by MyLaowai on Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Well, it would appear that the good guys have finally caught Radovan Karadžić, the former Serb leader who was indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

He was responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 people, and caused a vast amount of suffering throughout the region. Many of the scars will never heal. This is what he is charged with:

* Two counts of genocide (Article 4 of the Statute – genocide, complicity in genocide);
* Five counts of crimes against humanity (Article 5 of the Statute – extermination, murder, persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, persecutions, inhumane acts (forcible transfer);
* Three counts of violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 of the Statute – murder, unlawfully inflicting terror upon civilians, taking hostages);
* One count of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions (Article 2 of the Statute – wilful killing).

So now they have him, it’s only a question of whether he is tried at home, or in The Hague.

His capture follows that of Slobodan Milošević, former Serbian President and close friend of that other well-known butcher Jiang Zemin. The peeps over at Wikipedia had this to say on that particular subject:

Milošević first visited China in the early 1980s while head of Beobank. Milošević visited China again in 1997, after an invitation by Chinese president Jiang Zemin. Milošević was often popularly known in China by the nickname “Lao Mi” (老米), a shortened form of the informal Chinese-style nickname “Old Milošević” (老米洛舍维奇); among the state-operated media in China, Milošević was often referred to as “Comrade Milošević” (米洛舍维奇同志). Many sources hold that the Chinese government asserted strong backing of Milošević throughout his presidency until his surrender, and was one of the few countries supportive of him and the Yugoslav regime, at a time when most Western countries were strongly critical of the Milošević government. The New York Times states that China was “one of Mr. Milošević’s staunchest supporters” during the Kosovo conflict. China vocally opposed NATO armed intervention in Kosovo throughout the campaign. Chinese parliamentary leader Li Peng, was presented by Milošević with Yugoslavia’s highest medal (the Great Star) in Belgrade in 2000.

The New York Times observed that Milošević, and particularly his wife Marković had “long viewed Beijing and its Communist party” as allied and “the sort of ideological comrades” lacking in Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism in the 1990s. After Milošević’s indictment, China’s public statements shifted toward emphasizing Yugoslav-Chinese relations rather than focusing on its support for Milošević, while after the election of Vojislav Koštunica as Yugoslav president, Chinese foreign ministry officially stated that “China respects the choice of the Yugoslavian people.”

Nice, huh?

It appears that the world is starting to make an effort to punish those guilty of crimes against humanity – it was just a few days ago that prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC), filed ten charges of war crimes against Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. So when, I am wondering, will they get around to catching this guy (known to the Tibetan people as the Butcher of Lhasa):

Posted in China | 8 Comments »

Blacks Not Welcome

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 20, 2008

Beijing authorities are secretly planning to ban black people and others it considers social undesirables from entering the city’s bars during the Olympic Games, a move that would contradict the official slogan, “One World, One Dream”.

Bar owners near the Workers’ Stadium in central Beijing say they have been forced by Public Security Bureau officials to sign pledges agreeing not to let black people enter their premises.

“Uniformed Public Security Bureau officers came into the bar recently and told me not to serve black people or Mongolians,” said the co-owner of a western-style bar, who asked not to be named.

The local authorities have been cracking down on blacks and Mongolians in an attempt to stamp out drug dealing and prostitution ahead of the Games, the proprietors said.

A few months ago, police launched a violent sting on black men drinking in the Sanlitun bar district, and a notorious nightclub largely populated by Mongolian prostitutes was also shut down.

Security officials are targeting Sanlitun, which Olympic organisers expect to be a key destination for foreign tourists looking for a party during the Games.

The pledges that Sanlitun bar owners had been instructed to sign agreed to stop a variety of activities in their establishments, including dancing and serving customers with black skin, they said.

They have been allowed to keep copies of all the pledges except those relating to blacks, implying that the authorities are wary of charges of racism.

“I am appalled,” said a black British national who works in Beijing.  “I understand that the government  is trying to stop certain illegal activities, but I don’t think blanket discrimination is going about it the right way.

“Chinese people are prejudiced, but I would have hoped that the government would set a better example as it debuts on the world stage.”

Calls to Dongcheng district and Chaoyang district public security bureaus, which oversee the bar districts, went unanswered.

The authorities’ attempt to keep unwanted behaviour from damaging the squeaky-clean image of the Games is the latest example of heavy-handedness that critics say is killing the party spirit of the Olympics.

During the Athens Olympics four years ago, bars and nightclubs were allowed to stay open all night. But venues in Beijing that are not being shut down during the Games will have to close at 2am and maintain tight security.

“The officials told me to inform my customers that they must at all times carry their passports or ID cards,” said one bar owner.

“Security is important, but Beijing is becoming a fortress, and that’s not attractive.”

Rumours that all bars within 2km of an Olympic venue will need to close remain unconfirmed, with many managers complaining that they still have not been told whether they will be allowed to open or not. Several bars have been raided in the past few weeks as local police step up a campaign of low-level intimidation, according to several witness accounts.

Bar and restaurant managers in Sanlitun have been instructed to remove tables from footpaths in a crude attempt to prevent fighting in the streets.

“The local police told us to get rid of the tables because they’re scared that if too many foreigners congregate outside there could be trouble,” said Song Xun , who runs a burrito joint in the area.

Local musicians say that a clampdown on live music risks stifling  Beijing’s thriving cultural scene and giving Olympic tourists the false impression that the city is artistically anaemic.

Several popular live music venues have been shut or instructed to stop all outdoor shows, and club owners complain they have got used to strange new guests nursing a beer for hours and suspiciously observing everything around them.

“The whole music scene is angry and bewildered. It is impossible to understand how keeping tourists from seeing an open, culturally vibrant and diverse Beijing is possibly a good thing for anyone,” said one well-known figure in the local music industry.

David Mitchell, a Beijing-based jazz musician, said it had become increasingly difficult for his band to find anywhere to play.

“It appears the local government is trying to control every aspect of the experience that foreigners get when they come here,” he said.

“Everything is aimed at creating stability, but they don’t understand that is precisely the unfounded prejudice that foreigners have of Chinese society – that it is a highly controlled and not a very cultural place. It seems completely self-defeating.”



Posted in China | 7 Comments »

Blood on their Hands?

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, July 19, 2008

Posted in China | 5 Comments »

Athlete Wanted

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 13, 2008

“Freedom of expression is something that is absolute. It’s a human right. Athletes have it.”
– I.O.C. President Jacques Rogge

Who will stand up for Tibet this summer? Who will inspire the entire world with their courage and character? Who will show us all that freedom of expression, religion and assembly truly matter?

If you are competing at the Beijing Summer Games, it could be you.

You have probably seen Tibetans and many world citizens protesting the Chinese government’s use of the Olympic Games to whitewash its image and legitimize its claims on Tibet. Yet as an athlete who has spent a lifetime preparing for these Games, you may be concerned that they have seen so much protest.

Please be assured: Tibetans and their supporters are not suggesting a boycott, as we respect the athletes’ sacrifice and determination. Instead, we are pressing the Chinese government and the International Olympic Committee to uphold the true Olympic values and ideals, so that the Beijing Olympics can become a catalyst for positive change for Tibet.

You are not the first Olympic athlete to hold the power of change in your hands. Others before you have championed social justice and human rights, emerging as world heroes. In 1936, Jesse Owens defied Hitler, and set a tidal wave of change in motion.

Now, the chance for change has come again. The 6 million people of Tibet pass their torch to you. Will you carry it for them in Beijing?

What can you do? Check out these ideas:

Raise the Tibetan Flag
After your event has ended (and hopefully you have triumphed!) why not take your victory lap waving your home country’s flag together with the Tibetan flag? You can also incorporate the colours and images of the Tibetan flag into your headband, socks, warm-ups or boxing gloves!

Wear or Present a Khata
A khata is a traditional ceremonial silk scarf used in Tibet as a way of bestowing honour and respect on someone. It can be presented at any festive occasion such as a wedding, birth, graduation, or athletic competition. It symbolises goodwill, auspiciousness and compassion. Ask the Tibet Support Group near you to present one to you before you leave to Beijing, purchase one to present one to a teammate, or have a family member present one to you after your event.

Shave Your Head
As a way of showing solidarity with the thousands of Tibetan monks and nuns who have been killed or jailed leading nonviolent protests in their homeland, consider shaving your head as a symbolic gesture. When giving interviews, discuss the lack of religious freedom in Tibet and demand that the Chinese Government reveals the whereabouts of monks and nuns who took part in the recent uprising in Tibet.

Wear Team Tibet Gear
Because Tibetans are not allowed to field their own team at the Olympics, Team Tibet is now a movement of people everywhere who are determined to give Tibetans a voice in Beijing. By wearing a “Free Tibet” T-shirt or Team Tibet gear, you can symbolically stand in for Tibetans who don’t have the opportunity to be there themselves.

Wear a Rangzen Bracelet
‘Rangzen’ is the Tibetan word for ‘Independence,’ and these bracelets were originally woven by nuns serving prison sentences for political “crimes” such as participating in freedom marches or publicly calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. The bracelets are now worn by Tibetans around the world as a show of support for their country’s freedom.

Dedicate Your Medal
If you are one of the elite few who wins a medal, consider dedicating your medal to Tibet. Whether on the medal podium, speaking to the press or speaking out on your website, let the world know that you value freedom and human rights by dedicating your hard work and effort to those who are engaged in the greatest struggle of all: that of life or death. Lend your voice to those who have had theirs silenced.

In the Press, Before You Go
After you arrive in China, there will be severe limitations on what you will be allowed to say or do. Take advantage of the freedom of expression you enjoy in your home country by speaking out about Tibet before you depart for Beijing. AthleteWanted.org can help coordinate interviews, press conferences, op/ed pieces and feature stories.

On the Net
Do you have a website or a blog? This is the best way to reach people and share your personal thoughts on issues such as human rights, freedom of the press, social justice and athlete activism. AthleteWanted.org can help drive traffic to your site, get more sites and search engines linking to you, and help get your blog syndicated on other prominent websites. If you don’t have a website or blog, let them know. They’ll even help you get one!

At the Games
Talk to the press while you are in Beijing. There will be thousands of foreign press correspondents in China, and many of them will be looking for original angles to cover the events and the athletes. The IOC has stated that athletes should feel free to discuss any and all issues when giving interviews, and you should take advantage of this opportunity to speak out on Chinese soil. This is a freedom that Tibetan and Chinese people simply don’t have.

After Your Event
If you plan to remain in Beijing after your events are completed, this is a great time to take action for Tibet. Whether you speak openly about the issue with journalists and fellow athletes, or decide to do something bold such as join a protest, don’t let this historic opportunity to fight for the rights of Tibetan and Chinese people slip by.

Back Home
Understandably, your number one concern at the Games is competing and winning. Some athletes support Tibet, but don’t want to lose focus on the task at hand: bringing home a medal. For Tibetans, the Olympics is an opportunity to shine a spot light on the occupation of their homeland, but Tibet will need continued media coverage and support after the Games have wrapped up. It’s never too late to get involved or speak out!

Let your voice be the voice of Freedom!

Posted in China | 26 Comments »

Not long now…

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, July 13, 2008

“Amnesty International is an organization with a persistent prejudice against China. It frequently issues irresponsible reports to attack China. Its words does not have the public trust.”

– Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Jiang Yu

Posted in China | 16 Comments »

A Pair of Tits

Posted by MyLaowai on Saturday, July 12, 2008

In a desperate effort to gain ratings, my tiny little mind proposes a new series of picture-posts. Submissions are welcome, submersions less so. The series will run once a month, until either the end the the year, or until I get bored with it, whichever is first. The theme is the title of this post.

Laydeez anna Gennilmenz! I present for your view pleasure…

A Great Pair of Tits!

Posted in China | 2 Comments »