Friday, July 25, 2008

25th May 2008

China unites for Summer Olympic Game

By Mathew Yakai in China

CHINA has seventy-four more days as off today before the grand opening of Beijing Olympic in August 8.

But I keep on questioning my self after seeing disturbing footages of the Monday 12 Sichuan earthquake of 7.9 magnitude that left thousands death, thousands missing, and thousands left in temporary shelters.

Not only me asking the question, but many foreigners and Chinese are asking, “What the hell is happening to China at this point in time when the Olympic Game is coming up?”

When China opened its door to the outside worlds 30 years ago (1978), it experienced an unprecedented economic growth in the human history.

Many scholars, journalists and individuals have paid close attention to this vast, over populated and yet a fascinating country with 5,000 years old history.

Many things happened in the past 30 years, importantly, Beijing rapidly built official diplomatic ties with other countries, including Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island countries.

Since the International Olympic Committee selected Beijing to host this year summer game, Beijing had gone through a lot of scrutiny from the international community, with both negative and positive assessment.

This is purely power-politics, as realists argue, because nation states, like individuals, always want to maximize their own interest in a world of scarce resources and competition.

China is no exception!

But the largest remaining communist state, after the collapse of the former USSR at the end of the “Cold War” (1991) has proven its critiques wrong.

Those who have been to China will agree with me that the 1.3 billion people have adequate food, basic government services reach almost all household.

The communist party puts the 1.3 billion people first, as seen in this recent earthquake.

In January this year, China was hit hard by the heaviest snowfall in decades. When the country was preparing for its Lunar New Year, thousand of commuters were stranded in train stations, bus stations, even the major airports .

Across China around nineteen airports have shut because of the weather. Around half the provinces in the country have had to start rationing power, according to the state media.

The government has suspended coal exports in favor of home consumption. At least a dozen people died because of heavy rains and the snowfall.

The Spring Festival is China's most important holiday when people journey home to be with their families. For millions of the country's migrant workers it's their only holiday.

Some two billion journeys were made during the festival last year, making it the largest migration of people on the planet.

Like in the current earthquake disaster, the top leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao travelled the country, visited and dined with the stranded passengers.

When the Olympic Torch made its world tour to Paris and London, Anti-Chinese protesters disturbed its scheduled journey, claiming protest over China’s policy towards Tibet and Darfur.

For the good of my readers, it is worth mentioning that Tibet is a province of Great China and any issue on Tibet remains China’s own. The international community knows that.

Because of the Tibet up-rise recently, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced his protest over the Beijing Olympic.

Immediately, the world leaders, including George Bush, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown accused Sarkozy for putting sports and politics together.

Also, French was warned not to interfere in China’s internal politics.

I also mentioned in my previous commentary that China is doing a lot to help solve the Darfur issue. It is not China’s issue, but concerns humanity, thus the world should put hands together.

Then the issue of Chinese made toys (products) in June last year. The toys were recalled because of the concern about paint containing lead, which has been outlawed for use on U.S toys since 1978.

The “toy issue” almost prompted diplomatic stand off between Beijing and Washington. Upon corporative scientific test, results have shown that no injuries were caused by the paint on the toys. Washington eventually apologized.

In late January this year, Tokyo and Beijing had the debacle over “dumpling case”, which was alleged the result in 10 people falling ill in Japan.

The populous and delicious Asian food is processed in China and exported to Japan.
Investigators inspected the manufacturer, Tianyang Food Plant in Hebei Province, but found nothing irregular.

They also found no problems related to the purchase of raw materials or the production process.
China also sent two groups of experts to Japan for joint investigations.

After a thorough investigation, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in late February that the dumpling poisoning incident was an individual, deliberate case, not a case of food safety resulting from pesticide residue.

Given the historical back ground of Tokyo and Beijing, the “dumpling issue” had the potential to impact badly on the relationship between the two countries, if authorities had not handled the issue with such a care.

China is very careful with its food manufacturing products. I consume Chinese made food, and other products. Any restaurants in my current Changchun home provide the best delicious menu, never experienced in PNG .

On Monday, Sichuan earthquake killed more then 41 thousand people and other thousands left homeless. Some thousand of people are still missing till today.

The world is watching closely on how China will take care of this massive humanitarian natural disaster in its modern history.

The communist party, under its new generation of leadership, have mobilized all its top commodities, and entered the affected area within four hours after the earthquake. Resources are still flooding in, from within and abroad.

China is faced with huge challenge, from international, regional and domestic levels to natural disaster, when Beijing is preparing for the Olympic Game this summer.

Outsiders always have bad impression of China, the country I start to fall in love with. Foreign media have regularly tarnished China’s image over issues that only concern China.

This earthquake disaster and other issues that China has handled with great caution will not tarnish China’s effort to host the Olympic Game in August.

Instead, the experiences have made the 1.3 billion people of China united, to stand together to fight their common enemy, as shown in this natural disaster and handling of their past problems and issues.

Sadly, loved ones have perished under the debris of collapsed buildings, but this disaster has united the 1.3 billion people, and they are now confident to host the Olympic Game, under the burner, “One World-One Dream”, aiming at imparting peace throughout the world.

Former US President, Richard Nixon, before resigning voluntarily after the Watergate scandal in 1974, gave a speech to his staff, “It is only a beginning, always.

The young must know it, the old must know it. It must always sustain us, because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

China’s President Hu Jintao rightly puts it when comforting his earthquake affected people, “I firmly believe that no difficulty can daunt the Chinese people.”

The experiences China goes through is an experience that will make China realize its weakness, and further improve its effort in enhancing its peoples life, and even further improve and strengthen bilateral relationship with other countries.

Papua New Guinea stands to benefit, as long as our two governments work together.
China’s experience is definitely other countries lesson to learn. Because, this great nation is heading towards becoming a better nation, if not, it is one.

Great China, with the 1.3 billion people, when their love and strength is put together for the betterment of the Olympic Game after going through the earthquake disaster, it will send fort 1.3 billion effect.

Welcome to Beijing for the Olympic and feel and experience the love of 1.3 billion people of China.
The Summer Olympic will take China up to a new height, the hill of prosperity and the 1.3 billion people will appreciate how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain after being down in the lowest valley.

Note: Asia-Pacific Perspective: China + looks at Chinese society, culture, economy, governance and China's role within the Asia Pacific region and the world over. It mainly focuses on how Oceania can learn from China's experience. The writer is a PNG student in China.

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