International Olympics Not Magically Fixing All of China’s Problems
posted by July 29 at 13:05 PMon
Remember when people said it was a good idea to have the Olympics in China—despite its lousy environmental and human-rights record—because the eyes of the world would be on Beijing and they’d clean up their act and clean up their air and blah blah blah?
It hasn’t worked out that way. According to Amnesty International, human-rights violations are getting worse:
The human rights situation in China has deteriorated in the run-up to its hosting of the Olympic Games this year, Amnesty International says. It documents the use of “re-education through labour”, the suppression of rights activists and journalists, and the use of arbitrary imprisonment.
And, according to the BBC, the air is still bad:
(Notice that Beijing isn’t just failing to meet the WHO’s ideal target, it’s not even meeting WHO’s adjusted-for-longstanding-filthiness target.)
These photos come from my friend Erika, an anthropologist who lives in Beijing. She writes:
Here are comparison shots of the view from my bedroom window. The first is after a rain (very, very rare here)…
…the second is an average day — that isn’t clouds you see, just soot.
One day in December the air pollution index reached 500, the maximum measurable level (at numbers above 300, it is recommended that you avoid spending time outside).
The runners had better pray for rain.