One hears much guff that engaging the Chinese Government over the Olympic Games. There has been much talk about the possibility that the presence of western media (around 20,000 reporters) might help improve China’s human rights record.
It was not a good sign when British authorities, apparently colluding with Chinese oppression, decided to force UK athletes to sign a gag order, preventing them criticising the Chinese government, before they will allow them to attend the games. Why they felt it necessary to do this when other countries did not remains open to question.
Now it seems this may not necessarily result in an improvement after all. According to Amnesty International it is in fact making things worse.
Clearly the Chinese authorities see the prospect of any dissent as an embarrassment and are ruthlessly pre-emptively suppressing anything, or any one, that has the potential to flair up in front of the western media before they get there in numbers.
One only has to look at how they ejected reporters from Tibet and manipulated reports and figures. down playing the number of Tibetans killed by a factor of 10 or more. Or the vast numbers of troops they have sent into the country to suppress the native population.