Pride and Prejudice

Marvellous. GBR wins lots of wonga at the Olympics and the superhuman Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps smash, annihilate or otherwise dismantle records. Fears of terrorist disruption seem to be fading with only five days to go until the IOC calls upon the youth of the world to assemble in London in 2012. I wonder, has the Chinese legendary mistrust of foreigners been softened by hosting the ballyhoo this time around? They have spent the most money, consequently have won more than anyone else, so national pride is satisfied. As Mao once said belatedly, ‘China is on its feet again’. Paying homage to China’s rich history and culture at the Olympics is a good starting point if rapprochement between the most rapidly emergent economic juggernaut in history seeks to assert itself on a cross-cultural stage. The flipside calls on China to get its international act together. Criticism must be aimed squarely at the CCP while keeping China’s national pride intact, as GWB chose to administer in Bangkok on his way to the opening ceremony. Western governments might do well to seek enriched relations between the Chinese community and their own by means of cultural exchange and co-operative projects. The message needs to be unequivocal:

We respect China and celebrate its culture, but demand responsibility on China’s part. Mismanagement of foreign policy, including decisions by Western leaders to pursue delegitimizing actions such as cultural boycotts, will create greater distrust bereft of constructive policy impact.

– from the Jerusalem Post today.

It’s ironic that the masters of rapprochement in Tel Aviv give such sound advice. Replace CCP with PA. Will it be heeded? Probably not.

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