Boycotting the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

The following letter ended up in my inbox today from Huang Jinming of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party of China. Their website is under construction and there wasn’t much I could find out about them online. However, their letter lays out some principled, well-reasoned arguments, so I thought it was worth sharing.

For continued coverage and commentary on China, the Olympics and Human Rights, check out Human Rights Watch’s China Olympics website.

请不要出席29届奥运开幕式–致世界各民主国家首脑的公开信
作者:
中国社会民主党中央委员会

尊敬的先生们、女士们:
第29届夏季奥运会四个月后将在北京举行。我们获悉世界上的民主国家中,有的国家领导人拟定出席29届奥运会的开幕式,如美国布什总统等;有的拟定不出席,如加拿大哈珀总理等。我们谨敦促所有民主国家的领导人都不要出席29届奥运会的开幕式。
本来,作为中国人对奥运会能在中国的国土上举行是有着由衷的喜悦。可是我们又不能不看到举办奥运已被中国共产党政府高度政治化。它倾全国之力来举办奥运,仅为奥运改善北京空气一项就投入了150亿美元,这本身就是政治行为。中国共产党是想通过举办奥运来粉饰现实,来为它充满暴力、谎言、贪腐的政权涂脂抹粉,以欺骗世界舆论,延续其一党专政的政治结构。
虽然我们深刻地洞察这一点,但我们考虑到运动员们经过几年的刻苦训练都希望在运动会上显示自己的成绩;考虑到一些中国民众以在自己的国家举办奥运为荣;考虑到更多的中国民众将观看奥运比赛作为重要的娱乐项目,故此,我们不主张抵制奥运,我们愿意看到奥运如期举行。愿意看到中国运动员多获奖牌。
但是,你们作为国家领导人出席奥运开幕式就有着不一般的意义。开幕式不同于一般的比赛项目,高层政治人物云集的开幕式明显带有政治意味。你们出席开幕式可以诠译为对中共政权的认同、支持。作为民主国家的领导人去支持一个专制政权明显是不恰当的。我们诚恳地希望你们都不要去出席奥运开幕式。如果你们对某些体育运动项目确实爱好的话,你们可以专项地去观看那些比赛。
敬请你们能认真考虑我们的意见,并作出有利于中国民主事业的正确的抉择。
顺致崇高的敬意!

中国社会民主党中央委员会
2008年4月15日

Please Do Not Attend the Opening Ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games
—A letter to Leaders of Democratic Nations

Respected Ladies and Gentlemen:

The 29th Summer Olympic Games will be taking place in Beijing about four months from now. We learn that some leaders of Western democracies, such as the president of the United States, have planned to attend its opening ceremony; others, such as the premier of Canada, have decided not to. We, members of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party of China, urge all of you not to attend the opening ceremony.

As Chinese, we are sincerely happy to see the Olympic Games take place in China. However, we cannot ignore the fact that hosting the Olympic Games has been highly politicized by the communist government of China. On the one hand, the Chinese government makes an all out effort to host the Olympic Games and takes advantage of this opportunity to promote nationalism. On the other hand, it does not keep its promise to improve human rights in China. Its goal is to whitewash reality, to cover up the regime’s brutality, lies, and corruption, and to deceive the world community. Its real intention is the legitimization and continuation of the current political structure, the one party dictatorship. Therefore, its actions are highly political.

We do not advocate boycotting the 29th Summer Olympic Games even though we see through the Chinese government’s intention. We understand that all athletes want to show their accomplishments achieved after many, many years of hard practices. We understand that most Chinese feel honored to have the Olympic Games held the first time in their country. We understand that the Chinese view the Olympic Games as the most important sports event, and they want to see them in their own land. For all these reasons, we would like to see the Summer Olympic Games take place as scheduled, and we hope Chinese athletes will win a lot of medals.

Nonetheless, we want to point out that, unlike sports games, the opening ceremony featuring the presence of high ranking political leaders is a highly political event. As leaders of nations, your attendance will have political implications. The presence of leaders of democracies at the opening ceremony may be interpreted as approval and support for the Chinese communist regime. It is obviously inappropriate for democratic leaders to support an autocratic regime. We sincerely call on all of you not to attend the opening ceremony. You may certainly go and see your favorite items if you really like sports games, but please do not attend the opening ceremony.

We respectfully request all of you to consider this suggestion and make the right choice to support the cause of China’s democratization.

With best regards,

The Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party of China

2008.4.15

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