Monday, August 11, 2008
The Beijing Olympics are well underway. The games are of course controversial - my view has been to support Tibet and to lodge protests four years ago. I am rather skeptical of the celebrity types who come out 1-2 months before and during the event.
I take my lead from the Dalai Lama.
After all if we really wanted to send a message to China - stop buying every product you pretty much own. Write Nike and tell them you are willing to pay another 50% for the product if they produced it north america.
I think a lot of diplomacy can happen in and around the sports field.
Athletes participating have spent four years or more preparing so my approach is to focus on some remarkable abilities and accomplishments and resume the politics after the games are over.
An interesting bit of sports/political trivia is that US/China relations took an upswing as a result of Chinese/US athletes friendship and ultimately led to a faster initiation of the famous Nixon trip. In many texts and papers that visit is credited with an increased awareness and an opening up of China and ultimately led to western interest and eventual acceptance of for example-acupuncture.