China Meets the Free World

There were a lot of people who didn’t want the 2008 Olympics to go to China because of their human rights abuses. But awarding them the games may turn out to be accidental genius, because it looks like the whole thing is about to blow up in their face:

As activists and police readied for a chaotic torch relay expected to produce mass demonstrations and arrests this afternoon, China stood defiant in the face of growing criticism of its human rights policies. The superpower has downplayed protests — many by pro-Tibetan activists — that have aimed to snuff out the Olympic flame, and has ignored a chorus of calls for a boycott of the Games’ opening ceremony.

On Tuesday, International Olympic Committee officials in Beijing suggested the possibility of cutting short the torch’s odyssey, abbreviating the list of 19 countries it is scheduled to visit in the run-up to the Aug. 8 opening ceremony. Officials said they might even consider scrapping the international portion of the torch relay for future games.

“No force will disrupt the torch relay,” said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing organizing committee.

Mr. Sun Weide may have to change his name to Spoke Too Soon.

Leave a Reply