By Dr. Shao Jiang
Since Beijing first began bidding to host the Olympics, I have argued that the international community should reject Beijing’s hosting of the Games because of the lack of change in Chinese Communist dictatorship since the Tiananmen massacre and the continued deterioration of human rights in P R China. The peaceful protests across Tibet in March 2008 were brutally cracked down five months before the opening of the Beijing Olympics. But many leaders, business and media tycoons and academic influential in democratic countries were not willing to take action to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They argued that the Games would bring positive change to China.
Fourteen years on, the assumption that positive change would happen in China through the Olympics has proved to be totally wrong. The 2008 Beijing Olympics have only encouraged the Chinese dictatorship to repress even more atrociously on human rights defenders, democracy movement and self-determination campaigns in China, East Turkestan, Hong Kong, Southern Mongolia and Tibet. Dozens of Charter 08 signatories received long prison sentences, including Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo was the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in prison since Nazi Germany. Dozens of prisoners of conscience including Cao Shunli and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche also have died in prison.
In past fourteen years, more than 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in protest against the cultural genocide in Tibet. The Uighur area has been turned into an open-air prison through street surveillance and police checkpoints after Urumqi bloodshed created by the Chinese authorities. Uyghur scholar Ilhaam Tohti has been sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 after advocacy for the rights of the Uyghurs. Since 2016, millions of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims have been imprisoned in “re-education” concentration camps, where they are subjected to forced labour and their slave products have been sold across the world.
Over the past dozens of years, many democracies have seen their democratic principles have eroded and human rights standards lowered after attempted to gain economic advantage with China. During Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK, the British police were pressured by the Chinese and British governments to detain peaceful protesters, raid their homes and confiscate their electronic equipment. To this day, the British government and police continue to cover up the inside story of their dealings with the Chinese dictator and refuse to take responsibility.
The international democratic community must unite to boycott the Beijing 2022 Olympics. If human rights and democracy continue to be sacrificed to elites’ economic interests and business of sport, then finally we will lose democracy and more rights. To boycott the Beijing 2022 Olympics, uplift our humanity and consciousness, safeguard our own democracy and freedom, fight for human rights and equality for all.
(Dr. Shao Jiang, a scholar, Chinese dissident, and survivor of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, lives and works in exile in London. He is the author of Citizen Publications in China before the Internet. This Statement was released to Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) on 23rd June 2021 for the Global Day of Action – Boycott Beijing 2022 Olympics.
Follow Dr Shao Jiang on twitter: @shaojiang
NoteApple Daily, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper targeted by a national security police raid last week, will shut down online at midnight today (23 June) and will print its final edition on 24 June 2021.
在過去的14年中，超過150位藏人自焚抗議中國政府在西藏實施的文化滅絕政策。在中國當局製造烏魯木齊血案後，通過街頭監控和密布的警察檢查使維吾爾地區成為露天監獄。 2014年，維吾爾族學者伊力哈木因倡導維吾爾權利被判處終身監禁。 2016年後，上百萬維吾爾人和其他突厥穆斯林被關入集中營，他們被強迫勞動，生產的奴工產品遍布全世界。