Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

An Open Letter to the People of China

Posted by taitailaowai on Friday, August 8, 2008

Dear People of China,

I am writing to you for two reasons; firstly to congratulate you for the remarkable restraint you have shown whilst your government has spent countless Trillions of your hard-earned tax money on what is, let’s face it, two weeks of sports that rarely attract any attention except for once every four years. Secondly I would request that you exercise this same restraint once the games have come to an end.

You are to be commended, People of China, for your enthusiasm for the Olympic games, an event which, take the 2012 London Games as an example, in any other country is viewed by the general public as a massive waste of public time and resources, and a huge burden to the tax payer. The British Government are as complicit as your own in trying to dupe the public, don’t get me wrong; in the UK it is billed as a vehicle for regenerating impoverished areas, whereas in China it is billed as a show-case, a “coming out party” if you will, for China and the Chinese people, and to demonstrate both the economic miracle of the last couple of decades, and the openness and transparency that the Government has achieved during the same period.

The games are necessary for your country to demonstrate that it is a true Super-Power, after all you have an incredibly robust economy, you have the Atom Bomb, you have a massive and growing rift between the haves and the have-nots. What else was there to achieve? So it touches me greatly that you are able to stand by, without so much as a grumble, while your government tears down the cultural heart of your capital city, and removes residents from their homes in order to pave way for the building of a successful two-week festival of funny walking events and synchronized swimming.

I have nothing but praise for you too, for unquestioningly taking your cars off the roads for a few weeks in order that the Olympic athletes have something akin to semi-breathable air for the 14 or so days they will be guests in your country. It is not a concern of yours, and neither should it be, that your children have been breathing a toxic soup of deadly chemicals from unregulated industry, transport, and construction, for the last decade and more. No, the identikit men in dark suits who sip tea in ZhongNanHai know best, and have always known what is best for the people. After all, they wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings now would they?

So, it is with the pride of a father seeing his son hit a cracking drive through the covers, that I see you wearing your I Heart China T-shirts with such joy, a look of anticipation and dare I say it pride on your own faces. Yes, this is truly China’s hour, this is the start of the great things to come.

Except, what is there to come?

Since 2001, when the Olympics were awarded to Beijing, this country has focused entirely on building up public enthusiasm for the Games, and to making them the best possible success. But afterwards, what is there to look forward to? Once the last medal has been awarded and the athletes, tourists, and press have all gone home, once the last broadcast has been aired, and the last article in the Sports pages has been replaced by the latest English Premier League news, what is next? What will the countdown clocks be counting down to?

Be wary, People of China, about what will come next. Do you expect that any openness and transparency that the government has been forced to exercise because of the Games will remain in their wake? Do you expect that the cleansing of the air in Beijing will be of significant importance once everyone has gone home? Do you think that any semblance of even those tiny cracks of freedom which may have opened up because of the Olympics will be allowed to stay open after the event?

I think not, People of China, and that is why I urge you to continue to exercise restraint in the months and years to come.

Thanks for listening, and good luck both for a successful games, and for a future that is not, and could never possibly be, in your own hands.

Kind regards,


7 Responses to “An Open Letter to the People of China”

  1. LaoLao said

    I agee with TaiTai.

  2. LaoLao said

    BTW, 第一!也第二个!

  3. Neddy said

    It would be difficult NOT to agree… but what I am trying to figure out is why a post as hilarious as this can make one so sad! Maybe it’s the thought of all these people who have to live here, many without knowing what’s being done to them. Mind you, they include my own grandchildren, by marriage.

    My thanks to both taitai and MyLaowai.

    I’d also like to share two related post by people who evidently “do not understand China”:


    “Remember: It’s not smog – it’s ‘haze’… In the case of smog, simply re-designating it ‘haze’ is said to actually change the chemical composition of the air. Don’t ask me how this works.”


    “This year people are genuinely interested in the Olympics in a way that they would not be if it were, in say, London… As much as China does not want the Olympics to be about politics, pollution or human rights, they should be happy that they are, because it’s the only reason people are watching.”

  4. I´m not sure who TaiTai is, but what a compassionate letter!

  5. Neddy said

    justrecently, missing the experience of Sinocidal, you missed a lot. Pity it has not been kept on as an archive…

  6. Hunxuer said

    Nice one Tai Tai. Good to see you back in form!

    I predict all out warfare in Xinjiang Province after the “games” and a “Final Solution” to the separatist “problem” out there, a la what is going on in Georgia (not the state) now.

    It gives ALL the nice, patriotic Hans something new to gather round and wave the flag about.

  7. Neddy said

    Hunxuer, here I am reminded of one entry in Brendan O’Kane’s Live Blogging post:


    “9:11 – @davesgonechina: Hey look, the Uyghur performers are doing the traditional grenade making dance.”

    You guys should go and read all of it, including comments.

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