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Debate: Boycott of 2008 Olympics in China
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Revision as of 11:55, 1 September 2008 (edit) Darkblazikenex2 (Talk  contribs) ← Previous diff 
Current revision (20:09, 25 October 2010) (edit) Brooks Lindsay (Talk  contribs) (→No) 

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===Should countries boycott the 2008 Olympics in China due to human rights concerns there?===  ===Should countries boycott the 2008 Olympics in China due to human rights concerns there?===  
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  ===Background and Context of Debate:===  +  ===Background and context=== 
  +  [[Image:2008 Olympics in China.jpgright160px]]  
Since China received in 2001 the honor to host the 2008 summer Olympics, one of the primary questions was whether it would be able to improve its human rights record to a level deemed appropriate by the international community for the purposes of hosting such an international event. Many believe that, as of 2007, it had failed to do so. In protest, many suggest that the most powerful tool that a country can level against China's alleged abuses, is a boycott of the 2008 Olympics. China, desiring very much to see its 2008 Olympics become a success, is fearful of such moves, and defensive against threats that move in this direction.  Since China received in 2001 the honor to host the 2008 summer Olympics, one of the primary questions was whether it would be able to improve its human rights record to a level deemed appropriate by the international community for the purposes of hosting such an international event. Many believe that, as of 2007, it had failed to do so. In protest, many suggest that the most powerful tool that a country can level against China's alleged abuses, is a boycott of the 2008 Olympics. China, desiring very much to see its 2008 Olympics become a success, is fearful of such moves, and defensive against threats that move in this direction.  
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====Yes====  ====Yes====  
  *'''[[Argument: Repression in China has only gotten worse Repression in China has only gotten worse]]'''  Numerous reports indicate that China's promises to improve its human rights record for the Olympics have not been met. Prominent nongovernmental organizations such as the Human Rights Watch even state that the situation has worsened, hidden from the public eye. Many of China's agreements with the International Olympics Committee have been breached, and abuse, executions, and other likewise actions are far from over.  +  *'''[[Argument: Repression in China has only gotten worse Repression in China has only gotten worse]].''' Numerous reports indicate that China's promises to improve its human rights record for the Olympics have not been met. Prominent nongovernmental organizations such as the Human Rights Watch even state that the situation has worsened, hidden from the public eye. Many of China's agreements with the International Olympics Committee have been breached, and abuse, executions, and other likewise actions are far from over. 
  *'''[[Argument: Only boycotting the Olympics sufficiently protests China's abuses Only boycotting the Olympics sufficiently protests China's abuses]]''' In regards to sending a powerful message to the Chinese government that they need to improve their human rights record, there are few other tools at a country's disposal than boycotting the Olympics. The United States has passed resolutions that condemn the Chinese human rights abuses, but this has no real international impact on the Chinese. Neither will protests at the games themselves send a sufficiently powerful message. Only a boycott will send this message sufficiently.  +  *'''[[Argument: Only boycotting the Olympics sufficiently protests China's abuses Only boycotting the Olympics sufficiently protests China's abuses]].''' In regards to sending a powerful message to the Chinese government that they need to improve their human rights record, there are few other tools at a country's disposal than boycotting the Olympics. The United States has passed resolutions that condemn the Chinese human rights abuses, but this has no real international impact on the Chinese. Neither will protests at the games themselves send a sufficiently powerful message. Only a boycott will send this message sufficiently. 
*'''[[Argument: China is taking too much away from the poor for the Olympics China is taking too much away from the poor for the Olympics]]''' China has spent billions of dollars on the Olympics. This is while China's poor suffer from extreme poverty and illiteracy due to a poor educational system. While this is not grounds for a boycott, it may highlight the extent to which China disregards its poor.  *'''[[Argument: China is taking too much away from the poor for the Olympics China is taking too much away from the poor for the Olympics]]''' China has spent billions of dollars on the Olympics. This is while China's poor suffer from extreme poverty and illiteracy due to a poor educational system. While this is not grounds for a boycott, it may highlight the extent to which China disregards its poor.  
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====No====  ====No====  
  
*'''[[Argument: China's 2008 Olympics will accelerate its civil society China's 2008 Olympics will accelerate its civil society]]''' Susan Brownell, a Fulbright Scholar studying the effects of the Olympics on China, and who wrote ''Beijing's Games: What the Olympics Mean to China'' (2008), said the international event will speed up the "formation of a civil society in urban China by perhaps as much as 510 years."[http://chengdu.usembassychina.org.cn/views_mixed_on_boycotting_2008_beijing_olympics.html] Therefore, even if China's civil, democratic institutions and practices are not good currently, the Olympics is likely to help advance them into the future.  *'''[[Argument: China's 2008 Olympics will accelerate its civil society China's 2008 Olympics will accelerate its civil society]]''' Susan Brownell, a Fulbright Scholar studying the effects of the Olympics on China, and who wrote ''Beijing's Games: What the Olympics Mean to China'' (2008), said the international event will speed up the "formation of a civil society in urban China by perhaps as much as 510 years."[http://chengdu.usembassychina.org.cn/views_mixed_on_boycotting_2008_beijing_olympics.html] Therefore, even if China's civil, democratic institutions and practices are not good currently, the Olympics is likely to help advance them into the future.  
*'''[[Argument: A boycott of the 2008 Olympics would antagonize the Chinese people A boycott of the 2008 Olympics would antagonize the Chinese people]]'''  The Chinese people are very excited about the Olympics in their country. To boycott the event would send a strongly negative and antagonizing signal to them. Feelings of alienation would last for years that could have negative consequences in China's relations with the world. And yet there is no reason to believe that China's anger at a boycott could be translated into any positive impacts on the policies of the Chinese government.  *'''[[Argument: A boycott of the 2008 Olympics would antagonize the Chinese people A boycott of the 2008 Olympics would antagonize the Chinese people]]'''  The Chinese people are very excited about the Olympics in their country. To boycott the event would send a strongly negative and antagonizing signal to them. Feelings of alienation would last for years that could have negative consequences in China's relations with the world. And yet there is no reason to believe that China's anger at a boycott could be translated into any positive impacts on the policies of the Chinese government.  
  
  
  
    
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  Unfortunately, no evidence has been available. However international protestants are arguing that Tibet is supposed to be free.  
====No====  ====No====  
  *'''China's suppression of Tibet separatism is unsubstantial relative to other countries.''' [http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/fareed_zakaria/2008/04/our_tibet_protests_wont_work.html "Our Tibet Protests Won't Work". Washington Post, Post Global. April 14th, 2008]  "China's attitude toward Tibet is wrong and cruel, but, alas, not that unusual. Other nations, especially developing countries, have taken tough stands against what they perceive as separatist forces. A flourishing democracy like India has often responded to such movements by imposing martial law and suspending political and civil rights. The Turks for many decades crushed all Kurdish pleas for linguistic and ethnic autonomy. The democratically elected Russian government of Boris Yeltsin responded brutally to Chechen demands. Under Yeltsin and his successor, Vladimir Putin, also elected, the Russian Army killed about 75,000 civilians in Chechnya, and leveled its capital. These actions were enthusiastically supported within Russia. It is particularly strange to see countries that launched no boycotts while Chechnya was being destroyed  and indeed welcomed Russia into the G8  now so outraged about the persecution of minorities. (In comparison, estimates are that over the past 20 years, China has jailed several hundred people in Tibet.)"  +  *'''[[Argument: China's suppression of Tibet insignificant relative to other countries China's suppression of Tibet insignificant relative to other countries]]''' [http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/fareed_zakaria/2008/04/our_tibet_protests_wont_work.html "Our Tibet Protests Won't Work". Washington Post, Post Global. April 14th, 2008]  "China's attitude toward Tibet is wrong and cruel, but, alas, not that unusual. Other nations, especially developing countries, have taken tough stands against what they perceive as separatist forces. A flourishing democracy like India has often responded to such movements by imposing martial law and suspending political and civil rights. The Turks for many decades crushed all Kurdish pleas for linguistic and ethnic autonomy. The democratically elected Russian government of Boris Yeltsin responded brutally to Chechen demands. Under Yeltsin and his successor, Vladimir Putin, also elected, the Russian Army killed about 75,000 civilians in Chechnya, and leveled its capital. These actions were enthusiastically supported within Russia. It is particularly strange to see countries that launched no boycotts while Chechnya was being destroyed  and indeed welcomed Russia into the G8  now so outraged about the persecution of minorities. (In comparison, estimates are that over the past 20 years, China has jailed several hundred people in Tibet.)" 
    
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*'''[[Argument: Boycotting China will be against the spirit of the Olympics Boycotting China will be against the spirit of the Olympics]]''' The Olympic Charter clearly states that one of the missions of the Olympics is to "oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes". Boycotting China will go against this, as the athletes will lose one of their very few chances to compete in the Olympics, something they have worked towards for years, and taking away this welldeserved chance because of political discrepancies will fall under the "political abuse" of sports and athletes.  *'''[[Argument: Boycotting China will be against the spirit of the Olympics Boycotting China will be against the spirit of the Olympics]]''' The Olympic Charter clearly states that one of the missions of the Olympics is to "oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes". Boycotting China will go against this, as the athletes will lose one of their very few chances to compete in the Olympics, something they have worked towards for years, and taking away this welldeserved chance because of political discrepancies will fall under the "political abuse" of sports and athletes.  
  *'''The Chinese government will not reform as a result of a boycott.''' [http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/fareed_zakaria/2008/04/our_tibet_protests_wont_work.html "Our Tibet Protests Won't Work". Washington Post, Post Global. April 14th, 2008]  "On this issue, the Bush administration has so far followed a wiser course, forgoing the grandstanding taking place in Europe and on the campaign trail. It has been urging the Chinese government quietly but firmly to engage in serious discussions with the Dalai Lama. Diplomacy can be scoffed at, but every multinational business that has had success in persuading the Chinese government to change course will testify that public humiliation does not work nearly as well on the regime as private pressure."  +  *'''[[Argument: China will not reform as a result of Olympic boycott China will not reform as a result of Olympic boycott]]''' [http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/fareed_zakaria/2008/04/our_tibet_protests_wont_work.html "Our Tibet Protests Won't Work". Washington Post, Post Global. April 14th, 2008]  "On this issue, the Bush administration has so far followed a wiser course, forgoing the grandstanding taking place in Europe and on the campaign trail. It has been urging the Chinese government quietly but firmly to engage in serious discussions with the Dalai Lama. Diplomacy can be scoffed at, but every multinational business that has had success in persuading the Chinese government to change course will testify that public humiliation does not work nearly as well on the regime as private pressure." 
    
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===Historically: Have Olympic boycotts been effective/desirable in historically?===  ===Historically: Have Olympic boycotts been effective/desirable in historically?===  
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====Yes====  ====Yes====  
  *'''[[Argument: China's unwillingness to influence Burma's crisis justifies an Olympic Boycott China's unwillingness influence Burma's crisis justifies an Olympic Boycott]]''' Burma's atrocities against its Buddhists in 2007 were significant. It is the role of international, geopolitical leaders  such as China  to use whatever reasonable measures are handy to positively affect the behavior of misbehaving states. China is fully capable of doing this, and yet it chose not to. Edward McMillanScott, vice president of the European Parliament said to Reuters in September, 2007, "The consensus around the European Parliament is that China is the key. China is the puppet master of Burma. The Olympics is the only real lever we have to make China act. The civilized world must seriously consider shunning China by using the Beijing Olympics to send the clear message that such abuses of human rights are not acceptable."[http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL2759374820070927?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0]  +  *'''[[Argument: China's unwillingness influence Burma's crisis justifies an Olympic BoycottChina's unwillingness influence Burma's crisis justifies an Olympic Boycott]]''' Burma's atrocities against its Buddhists in 2007 were significant. It is the role of international, geopolitical leaders  such as China  to use whatever reasonable measures are handy to positively affect the behavior of misbehaving states. China is fully capable of doing this, and yet it chose not to. Edward McMillanScott, vice president of the European Parliament said to Reuters in September, 2007, "The consensus around the European Parliament is that China is the key. China is the puppet master of Burma. The Olympics is the only real lever we have to make China act. The civilized world must seriously consider shunning China by using the Beijing Olympics to send the clear message that such abuses of human rights are not acceptable."[http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL2759374820070927?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0] 
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  ===References:===  +  ==See also== 
    +  *[[Debate: Boycotting the 1936 Berlin Olympics]] 
  colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;"  +  ==External links== 
  ===Related pages on Debatepedia:===  +  *[http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0506/0506boycott.htm ESR, May 15, 2006: Boycott Beijing? ] 
    +  *[http://www.boycottbeijing.eu/ Boycott Beijing.EU] 
  colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;"  +  
  +  
  ===External links and resources:===  +  
}  }  
  *[http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0506/0506boycott.htm ESR, May 15, 2006: Boycott Beijing? ]  
  *[http://www.boycottbeijing.eu/ Boycott Beijing.EU]  
  [[Category:Global priorities]]  
  [[Category:Sport]]  
[[Category:China]]  [[Category:China]]  
+  [[Category:Olympics]]  
+  [[Category:Sports]]  
+  [[Category:Morality]]  
+  [[Category:Tibet]]  
+  [[Category:Asia]]  
+  [[Category:International politics]]  
+  [[Category:Diplomacy]]  
+  [[Category:Human rights]]  
+  [[Category:Protests]]  
+  [[Category:Conflict]]  
+  [[Category:International]]  
+  [[Category:History]]  
+  [[Category:US foreign policy]]  
+  [[Category:Boycotts]] 
Current revision
[Edit] Should countries boycott the 2008 Olympics in China due to human rights concerns there? 
[Edit] Background and contextSince China received in 2001 the honor to host the 2008 summer Olympics, one of the primary questions was whether it would be able to improve its human rights record to a level deemed appropriate by the international community for the purposes of hosting such an international event. Many believe that, as of 2007, it had failed to do so. In protest, many suggest that the most powerful tool that a country can level against China's alleged abuses, is a boycott of the 2008 Olympics. China, desiring very much to see its 2008 Olympics become a success, is fearful of such moves, and defensive against threats that move in this direction. 
[Edit] [] Human rights: Has China failed to improve its human rights and is a boycott the right response?  
[Edit] Yes

[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Tibet: Has China been abusive in Tibet to the extent that it warrants a boycott?  
[Edit] Yes 
[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Athletes: Could boycotting the Olympics be fair to athletes?  
[Edit] YesSome athletes have chosen to not participate in these Olympics. 
[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Politicizing Olympics: Is it acceptable to politicize the Olympics with boycotts?  
[Edit] Yes

[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Historically: Have Olympic boycotts been effective/desirable in historically?  
[Edit] Yes

[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Darfur: Would a boycott positively influence China's position on Darfur?  
[Edit] Yes

[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Burma: Should China's response to the Burma crisis be cause for a boycott?  
[Edit] Yes

[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Pro/con resources  
[Edit] Yes

[Edit] No

[Edit] [] Videos: Pro and Con Video Resources  
[Edit] Yes

[Edit] No 
[Edit] See also[Edit] External links
