February 14, 2008


Spielbergian Snub - Blow To Cultivated Image (Antoaneta Bezlova, Feb 14, 2008, IPS)

For image conscious China the public snub by Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg, withdrawing involvement with the Beijing Olympics to protest the country’s indifference to the Darfur crisis, is seen as a setback to painstaking efforts to stage the perfect ‘coming-of-age’ party.

Having sought Spielberg’s talents to help orchestrate the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic games this summer, Beijing was left deeply uncomfortable when the director abandoned his role this week, saying the country was not doing enough to help end violence in Darfur.

"Sudan’s government bears the bulk of the responsibility for these ongoing crimes but the international community and particularly China, should be doing more to end the continuing human suffering," the director said in a statement this week.

In Beijing, the announcement by Spielberg was met with official silence coupled with a blackout on news regarding the pullout both in the sanctioned print media and the semi-official Internet sites.

Chinese leaders regard the Games as a symbolic endorsement of their country’s growing global clout but do not relish the intensified scrutiny of their domestic and international record that go with the games.

International activists have mounted a campaign to spotlight the communist regime’s record and called for a boycott of the Olympics if Beijing does not live up to its promises for an improved human rights climate and total press freedom before and during the Games.

Bush says won't use Olympics to criticise China (Reuters, 2/14/08)
U.S. President George W. Bush said he would go to China for the Olympics but would not talk publicly there about Beijing's policies since he urges its president in private to do more to relieve suffering in Darfur.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2008 11:51 AM
Comments for this post are closed.