Aug 23

Falsifying Documentation and Its Impact on International Public Opinion: “Underage Chinese Gymnasts” and “Bogus Americans”.

Written by bianxiangbianqiao on Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 at 7:26 pm
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ChinaWatcher’s response to my last post has struck me as particularly thoughtful and reasonable. However, I have a different view on the following statement and feel the issue is important enough to write a separate post, to ensure sufficient attention. My writing is 99.9% dead serious and 0.1% over the top satire. The Olympics have been criticized for being uptight and lacking in fun. We need to make it up for Beijing.

“In the court of international public opinion…….China will be seen to have gotten away with cheating in these Olympics.”

ChinaWachter’s understanding of the Court of International Public Opinion strikes me as naïve. This complicated issue requires clear-headed analysis for correct understanding.

Let us look into the issue of “doctoring passports and falsifying documentation” and its ramifications in the Court of International Public Opinion, which is the heart of Kexin’s age controversy. I ask a straightforward question. Who was manipulating paperwork, and tinkering with due processes in the run up to the Olympic games? To put it more bluntly, do we have “bogus Americans” on Team USA in the Beijing Olympics?

There are at least 33 foreign-born Americans on Team USA, “compared to 27 at the 2004 Summer Games, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee…. They include four Chinese-born table tennis players, a kayaker from Britain, Russian-born world champion gymnast Nastia Liukin and seven members of the track-and-field team.” – USA Today.

Not all of 33 are “bogus Americans”. Although Nastia Liukin was born in Russia to Soviet daddy and mommy, she is all American herself, because her formulating experiences were American.

An interesting case is Lopez Lomong, the Sudanese runner who carried the American flag in the March of the Nations in the opening ceremony. We know he was born in 1985 in Dafur. Mr. Lomong’s official webpage is alarmingly mute about the specific year of his arrival in the United States, so are most mainstream American media. I read his entire bio and found no info on exactly when he landed in this great country and became a proud patriotic citizen. Somebody is definitely hiding something.

Internet digging ensued (despite my busy schedule and panic over next week’s classes). According to the Internet Home for High School Track and Field,

“On July 31st 2001, Lopez Lomong was able to run from Africa and landed in the upstate New York community of Tully and into a new life.”

Let us assume Lopez arrived in the US with a green card (permanent residence) already in hand. According to the US immigration laws he would have to wait 5 years to be eligible to even apply for citizenship. That will make him eligible for applying for US citizenship in July 2006. Do you know how long it takes the US immigration to process an application of any kind? Let us assume that he applied immediately and his application received immediate attention and was approved on the spot. Then he would have a three-year waiting period to represent the United States according to the IOC. Did he follow the rules in the books to earn a spot on team USA in the Beijing Olympics in 08/08/2008? The numbers do not add up.

Let us overlook the legality of Mr. Lomong’s citizenship application process (the in-house lawyers at US Immigration Services have taken care of the details) and ask a simple question. Did the United States bend its laws and standard procedures to make it more expedient for Lomong to become a citizen than for the average Jose from Mexico? Has this manipulation been conducted for the purpose of winning medals and serving national interests? Is this government sponsored cheating?

If Lopez’s adherence to the Three Year Waiting Period for new citizens to represent a country is only slightly dubious, some “American” representatives in these Olympics are bogus in a straightforward and unpretentious way. Can you get around IOC rules if the Nation’s Interests are involved? Oh yeah, Americans can do it with no problem.

“Two new Americans received the I.O.C. waiver (of the three-year waiting period after getting citizenship) this year: the equestrian Phillip P. Dutton, who won two gold medals for Australia; and the canoeist Heather Corrie, who is also a British citizen.” – New York Times.

Have anybody cried foul and asked why on earth the Court of International Public Opinion remained mute on this glaring transgression on the part of the Americans, the moral leader of the world? How did they get those waivers? If this not government sponsored cheating, then what is?

By the way, every single one of the athletes on Team China has been born to Chinese parents and raised in the territory of the People’s Republic of China, under the red flag, wearing the red Young Pioneers’ scarf, nourished with Chinese food, water and culture. Take that, hypocrites of the world.

In the court of International Public Opinions, the Americans and Europeans get away with all sorts of shady stuff everyday, but every time there is even a fleeting doubt about the Chinese, the “judges” climb on top of the roof and scream their lungs out. Here is a new wisdom I have learned about the court of international public opinion. How do you win in this court? You win by manipulation, duplicity and above all, by just being a jerk; learn from the Americans and Europeans and don’t be an idiot.

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87 Responses to “Falsifying Documentation and Its Impact on International Public Opinion: “Underage Chinese Gymnasts” and “Bogus Americans”.”

  1. JXie Says:

    How long did it take Kaman to become a German, or Hammon to become a Russian?

    It used to take a few years to have your second citizenship, in cases such as Holden (Russian), Deco (Portuguese), Camoranesi (Italian), Santos (Japanese), and then to represent your new country. Now it’s like drive-through. Speak of which, if you are a Brazilian football fan, phone Dunga to call up Amauri now before Italy does.

    In my opinion, China needs to consider recognizing dual citizenship. China is getting more and more internationalized. It can benefit from that far more than just its sports performance.

  2. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    “In my opinion, China needs to consider recognizing dual citizenship. ”

    I am 100% against that.

  3. Daniel Says:

    For some odd reason, I can see several issues regarding this one topic. After reading for some time this whole summer, I sort of get a clue how this blog is and the style bxbq types. I’m aware that people might attack this post for being another one of those “two wrongs don’t make a right” or whatever they see fit to criticize harshly about.

    For one thing, there is a lot that can be discussed regarding immigration in the United States but maybe another blog or forum will be better for that. I don’t think anyone out there will doubt that immigration at least the way it is in the US, even with all the discrepencies and problematic issues, has benefited that country which many tend to over-looked, ignore or take for granted.

    Going back to the topic regarding falsifying documents, no one really knows, it’s all speculation. Even if it was very obvious, it’s going to take more than a Hacker or Diggers of internet knowledge to get to the point. I think the main theme from what I’m reading that people have with China seems to be credibility in the systems. Another is bias of course, but I mean think about it for a moment. Putting aside how outsiders viewed yourselves, from what I’ve noticed, it seems that there are many citizens and people who actually live and work in China who are having issues with it. If you take care of them first, building trust and such, it’s not going to really matter how outsiders percieve you and it turns into obvious meaningless noise…in a way.

    I know it’s quite simplistic but that’s pretty much the main point. Another is the specific professions and activities with global status. Realistically, a lot of people do not know all the quirks or rules there is in certain topics. Not just sports such as gymnastics and figure skating, but also economics, politics, science, cuisine, etc. Other than those who are quite involved with the field and intense interests, most people like many in this blog mentioned, only see narratives, the superficial layer…the show and maybe little substance. In the “extreme sense”, one may never get the entire story or all the details without physically participating. So, in another “extreme sense”, it’s not reliable to place 100% value on international public opinion. I could go on and on but I think I listed enough straight-forward main points so that people who read this won’t twist it around or misunderstand it I hope.

  4. Hemulen Says:


    You have taken xenophobia to new levels, I’m speechless.

  5. huaren Says:

    Btw, regarding the “investigation” – it was basically a lie by Times in London. Here is what NBC had to say about it:


    “The IOC has not ordered a formal “investigation” or even launched a formal “inquiry.” The Friday report from London completely mischaracterizes such a process as well as the IOC’s role in the course of such an action.

    If the IOC had launched an “investigation,” it would likely have named the members of such a commission as well as the persons of interest in such an inquiry. It did no such thing.

    Nor could it have done such a thing. The way any such process plays out is that questions of age eligibility would be first directed to FIG.

    If the IOC were dissatisfied with whatever findings FIG made, then the IOC could take the next step of perhaps launching its own follow-up inquiry.

    Again, the IOC has done no such thing. “

  6. huaren Says:


    My conclusion is that on the U.S. side, there are always a group of unreasonable people who will cut any people down to their bones without remorse. Likewise, there is the same group within China. The problem is when these two groups perspectives dominate the discussions in the media.

    I personally hope that most Americans haven’t jumped into some kind of conclusion about this age controversy. I feel that NBC at least has been fairly objective (especially compared to their past coverages of the Olympics). Outside of the U.S./U.K., I believe they tend to side with China and the IOC on this issue.

    You’ve made a very strong case about the “Bogus Americans” and I completely agree.

    I firmly believe the more the second rate media in U.S./U.K. make about this issue, the more it serves to unite the supportive opinions around the world for China and IOC.

  7. heiheianan Says:

    Nice post! Perhaps it’s time (for ordinary citizens) to take the Olympics a lot less seriously, seeing as how the participants, sponsors, and member nations are all, both directly and indirectly, cheating AND abetting others cheating.

    When people say “FU” to ALL the Olympics shenanigans, the games will have to be cleaned up quite a bit. At least, I hope that is what would happen.

    Sadly, all this other stuff has overshadowed the fact that several sports – tennis, basketball, and volleyball being the most popular – are strongly populated by profession athletes, not “ameteurs”, or however you spell that damn word.

  8. zhwj Says:

    bxbq, the IOC only imposes the waiting period on athletes who have previously competed for a different country. That doesn’t apply to Lomong, who got his citizenship in 2007 and never competed internationally for his former country, which he fled in 1991.

    According to the Olympic Charter, Rule 42, by-law 2: “A competitor who has represented one country in the Olympic Games, in continental or regional games or in world or regional championships recognised by the relevant IF, and who has changed his nationality or acquired a new nationality, may participate in the Olympic Games to represent his new country provided that at least three years have passed since the competitor last represented his former country. This period may be reduced or even cancelled, with the agreement of the NOCs and IF concerned, by the IOC Executive Board,which takes into account the circumstances of each case.”

  9. GNZ Says:

    The response to seeing one country (like Nth Korea) cheating is not to copy them any more than the response to the US invading Iraq should be China invading Japan. If Lopez Lomong, for example, is an illegitimate competitor then he should be investigated and stripped of his last place that he got.

    In the long run that sort of attitude should lead to the Olympics being a respected competition while the former strategy will lead to it being like that fake wrestling they have on American TV, and all those gold medals will be worth more melted down.

  10. GNZ Says:

    anyway Phillip’s case seems to have been that he had been living in America for 17 years and Heather’s case was probably that she was American because her mother is American and thus she has dual citizenship. Both debatable positions.

  11. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To BXBQ:
    what a load of mumbo-jumbo. It requires an over-inflated sense of self-importance to consider this a “clear-headed analysis”, especially in comparison to Chinawatcher’s entry.
    Foreign-born Americans are still Americans.
    zhwj seems to have an answer for your one long winded example.
    If the US asked for waivers and the IOC obliged, where is the controversy? If they went through the proper channels, what would the international court of public opinion have to cry about?
    Perhaps next time, if CHina has an underage gymnast, perhaps she too should apply for an age-waiver, and make things easier for everyone involved.
    BTW, China doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt in the court of public opinion because of her past behaviour. Rather than whining about it and blaming others, China would do well to reflect inwardly, take responsibility for her current state and past actions, and make changes for the better. That, to me, was the crux of Chinawatcher’s point, and in your attempt at high-brow, you’ve completely missed the boat.

  12. AmericanNow Says:

    If there are “bogus Americans” in the Olympics, it’s still not as serious as “underaged gymnasts”, because, more than unfair competition, that’s child endangerment. The Chinese government had put the games above the welfare of its citizens in more ways than one; “underaged gymnasts”, I’m sorry to say, is not the worst of these. For that reason, though born Chinese, I’m not proud of the gold medals that China has gotten in this Olympics. They are stained with the tears and blood of poor migrant workers who toiled to build the facilities then were thrown out of the city before the Games to make room for “foreign friends”, the weak and helpless whose homes were demolished to spruce up the city (like the two elderly ladies sentenced to labor camp for just wanting to protest exactly such an injustice done to them), and even the athletes themselves: how many young children’s health had been permanently damaged by the inhumanely rigorous training regimens to produce the few survivors who went on to win medals? As China gains self-confidence, I hope this state run sports system will be replaced by something based more on invidual initiative and a sense of fun rather than misguided and overzealous patriotism. Fortunately many Chinese, including those inside China, are beginning to think that way.

  13. tesa Says:

    I agree and of course everybody knows that some of athletes are not representing their own countries and that those athletes are purchased for possible medals. But still they are eligible athletes regardless of which country they represent. Drug free and age eligibility rules though effect the performance of athletes relative to others. Abusing age requirement has a performance enhancing effect on gymnasts and defeats the purpose of having these games which is not about having a circus act with child performers.

  14. Chinawatcher Says:


    Your post is symptomatic of China’s larger problem. You appear to have let emotion interfere with the clarity of your thought process. zhwj (No. 8) and S.K. Cheung (No. 11) above have already addressed the fallacy of your core argument: I’ll say no more on the subject.

    Even if US officials fast-tracked immigration processes and secured the IOC waiver, the instances that you cite are not quite in the same ballpark as the episode involving He Kexin. In L’ Affaire He Kexin, there is a prima facie case to argue that there has been wilful misrepresentation of the truth by Chinese gymnastic officials at some level (as you acknowledged in your own post earlier). In the American examples you cite, at the very least there was an adherence to the due process of IOC laws and “waiting periods” for athletes. Then again, there have been lots of discussions in the US media and the blogs about the merits and demerits of “sporting nationality” and “athletic citizenship”. (Lots of people even in the US appear to disagree with the morality of securing athletes from other countries to participate under the US flag, but even they concede that the due process was complied with.)

    As I said, your post is symptomatic of China’s larger problem, which is of credibility. Even you acknowledged there is a “can of worms” in China, but instead of addressing them you are now resorting to diversionary tactics – as evidenced by this post. And even when you make it, you cite parallels that are not quite in the same league and, in fact, establish the opposite of what you want to: which is that the US authorities abided by the due process of law. Net-net, all there is left of your “argument” is a bit of theatrical, over-the-top foot-stomping and invocations to Chinese nationalism/pride (but perhaps that portion of your was the 0.01 percent satire).

    Seiously, bxbq, if this is your best defence of China’s case in the He Kexin case, you haven’t been persuasive: in fact, you’ve scored a self-goal by drawing attention to how the US authorities abided by the due process in securing the waiver etc.

    To reiterate what I said in my earlier comment: Please get off the nationalistic platform and do a bit of honest introspection and ask yourself why Official China’s word is disbelieved. Reflect on the SARS cover-up episode, on China’s experience with the lead-toy-poison episode last year, of China’s “broken promises” at these Games (relating to media freedom/open Internet access and the protest parks etc). And you will surely realise that an important first step for China to address this credibility crisis is to set its own house in order – and not blame “western media” or resort to diversionary tactics.

    Based on this post, the score: bxbq 0, International court of opinion 1

  15. Chops Says:

    Chinese sports has been using foreign coaches for some time as well



  16. MoneyBall Says:

    @BX, wow this is a lot of effort…

    1st off this is not something worthy to be upset about, this is no Tibet. China has a problem with credibility we know it and we should acknowledge it, the West has a problem with hypocrisy they know it too whether they admit or not. Both sides whining over petty things like this is neither helping on finding mutual ground nor improving mutual understanding, it’s only turning into a piss-off contest, it defeats the purpose of this place.

    2ndly international public opinion is a bitch, it’s cheap, stupid and it’s dirty as a whore, There’s no need to sweat over it, you do what you’ve gotta do. U.S shit all over the so called international public opinion and they are just doing fine. China will never win a popularity contest in the west anyway even if CCP renames itself Chinese Cute Pandas, there’s no point of trying.

  17. MoneyBall Says:

    And last to our western friends here,

    If you ‘re saying now if IOC had no problem with Lomong ‘s warmhole trip to the citizenship,then there should be no controversy, I certainly hope when IOC gives a pass to Kexin later on you ‘d hold the same spirit. Dont come back and curse IOC’s corrupted ass off, LOL, coz I can visually see that happen rightnow.

  18. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Moneyball:
    IOC’s made their decision, so case closed. However, if I was ever inclined to curse at corruption/funny stuff, I don’t think IOC would be my primary target.
    It’s interesting you choose to denigrate something China currently doesn’t enjoy; perhaps someday if China finds herself in its good graces, you’ll find the concept somewhat more appealing.

  19. MoneyBall Says:


    I believe as an intelligent person as you are, it’s not hard for you to see what BX trying to do is not putting on a diversion or insinuating two wrongs make one right, he’s merely asking for the FAIR SHARE of public scrunity for China, because growing up under CCP’s propaganda craps Chinese want to believe that the west medias are something can be fair and ethical. I will have to beg for more time for my fellow Chinese, they will get beyond that stage sooner or later just like I did.

  20. MoneyBall Says:

    @S.K. Cheung,

    If you pick on China about corruption and environment, I ‘m with you all way to the end.
    If you pick on China about Tibet, I will meet you anywhere head-on.
    But when you pick on China about a girl’s age, sorry I really dont give a crap.

  21. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    “As I said, your post is symptomatic of China’s larger problem, which is of credibility.”

    Your sense of reality intrigues me. In fact you have quite a sense of humor, which I like a lot.

    Does the West have a better reputation and more credibility than China in being truthful? Where does this impression come from? On what reality is it based?

    I am not going to bring up how the US and UK misrepresented facts about Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction at the United Nations before invading Iraq, with a Powerpoint presentation and phone recording etc. We can focus on the Olympic Games. We know Salt Lake City got to host the Winter Olympics by bribing. We know Sydney got to host the summer Olympics again by bribing, paying IOC representatives from Rwanda and Kenya a total of 35000 dollars. If we check the record on which country rank highest in sending doping athletes to represent them in the Olympics, I am sure to find Western countries way ahead of China. Who has a credibility problem? One thing I have learned from my experiences is that those who are really crazy always insist that they are sane.

  22. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    Wow. I cannot stop smarting over ChinaWatcher and S. K. Cheung. I have always found it extremely intriguing that half of the people who wrote the American Declaration of Independence declaring “all men are created equal” were themselves slave owners. Now we have people from cultures that routinely obtain the right to host Olympic Games by bribing for votes having the audacity to question China’s credibility. The human mind can really be a freak of nature.

  23. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Moneyball:
    dude, how did this become about Tibet?? Is everything about Tibet?
    As I’ve said elsewhere, the girl’s age isn’t the focus for me; it’s about the flawed process, and the flaws in Chinese governmental accountability, at whichever level of government you feel the flaws occurred.

  24. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “Does the West have a better reputation and more credibility than China in being truthful?” – you bet.
    “Where does this impression come from? On what reality is it based?” – the balance of history since 1949.

    “If we check the record on which country rank highest in sending doping athletes to represent them in the Olympics, I am sure to find Western countries way ahead of China. Who has a credibility problem?” – those athletes who were doping.

    “the audacity to question China’s credibility.” – if the shoe fits…

    “The human mind can really be a freak of nature.” – if anyone’s, your’s.

  25. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Oops, missed one…

    “One thing I have learned from my experiences is that those who are really crazy always insist that they are sane.” – I’m comfortable about my sanity, so there’s no need to argue about it. You, on the other hand, I wonder sometimes, especially after a post like this one. Perhaps if I may distill things down to one word, “introspection” should be the topic of the day.

  26. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    I don’t know how to react to your two-word sentimentalism. Calm down and explain yourself.
    Got to go to bed now. Good night and hope you see you tomorrow.

  27. S.K. Cheung Says:

    For starters, introspection is one word. While you find it of sentimental value only, I feel it is a disappearing art, the practice of which I need to better employ, and have much to do in order to perfect. By the sound of things, you’re in need of a healthy dose of same, and you have much work to do.

    If I wasn’t calm, and of polite upbringing, I would have used much saucier language in response to your half-baked attempts to wrap your thoughts in a pseudo-academic veneer.

  28. Rawrr Says:

    ” Did the United States bend its laws and standard procedures to make it more expedient for Lomong to become a citizen than for the average Jose from Mexico?”
    …like that doesnt happen all the time, with people in high places? Are you telling me that its wrong if the President had a cousin who was born and raised in an another country, who didnt have to wait 3 years to become a citizen?

  29. Chinawatcher Says:


    I take your point about China and the Chinese people needing more time to make the changes to bridge the credibility gap (which you acknowledge exists, but sadly bxbq is in denial about). I’m not impatient. But won’t you agree that the starting point for those changes is an honest acknowledgement that there are things that are wrong (be it gymnasts’ age or the protest park sham or, going further back, the SARS cover-up or the lead-toys controversy), and then remedial measures to address those? And until there is demonstrable proof of such change, do you not see why China will continue to face embarrassing situations where it’s official word is discounted – as they are by more than a few Chinese people – to say nothing of the “western world”?

    Also, I’m a little intrigued by your savaging of “international public opinion” as “a dirty little whore” and a “bitch”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the raison d’etre of Fool’s Mountain was to initiate a dialogue with the intention of changing perceptions about China. If you care little for public opinion, I hope you’re not saying Fool’s Mountain has outlived its utility or has given up on that mission…


    If only you’d calm down and stop “smarting”, you’d probably be more receptive to other points of view (not necessarily from me – I’m a nobody – but from Nimrod (who first acknowledged on FM that the Chinese officials’ actions on the gymnasts’ age controversy represented a can of worms) and others like Yale University finance professor Chen Zhiwu (陈志武), who in a recent interview to Windon on the South, offered this comment:

    “… There is less and less potential for self-examination and innovation. This is particularly true this year, as people [in China] have generally taken a self-defensive posture, and have built themselves up in a frenzy of nationalism, so that they can’t stomach home truths (逆耳忠言)…. Those who spend all day singing hymns of praise for China accomplish nothing for its progress. Saying pretty things is the easiest thing in the world to do. In fact, those who talk about China’s “coming collapse” are far more valuable for China. We can look constructively at them and try to understand the reasons and forms of collapse they’re talking about, and we can look at what we might do right now to help China avoid this trap.

    Interview here
    CMP translation in English here

    Off to watch the US-Spain basketball match. Won’t be posting for the rest of the day. (That should also allow bxbq to cool down 🙂 )

    Thanks for the space.

  30. Gan Lu Says:

    In general, the developed West emphasizes citizenship while China emphasizes race. For China, Olympic success is about proving that the Han race (whatever that means) is as good as any other. (Foreigners have long since stopped thinking of the Chinese as 东亚病人. We’re the only ones who continue to obsess over it.) For all the talk here about our 56 ethnic groups and the 大家庭, China is still 92 percent Han (China’s eastern population centers are better than 92 percent Han). Before our own athletes won medals, we celebrated ethnic Han athletes from other countries who performed well. The West simply doesn’t share our preoccupation with race. As such, granting citizenship to established athletes from other countries is no problem for them. While most Chinese would react in horror to find a white person from the U.S. or Western Europe playing for China, western countries do not share our hang-up. In fact, it strikes me as a particular strength of western countries that a person of Chinese decent can be seen as American, British, or French. Likewise, it strikes me as a glaring weakness that Chinese continue to be so preoccupied with preserving their Han identity. Why is it that I can blend-in in the U.S., but no white person can blend-in here? In the end, western nations seem to view their Olympic athletes much the same way that they view their professional ones. That is, it’s athletic talent that counts, not racial homogeneity. Besides, what’s particularly Han about contemporary China? I look around and see the cars, the computers, the banks, the fast food restaurants (2000 KFCs, 900 McDs, and 250 Starbucks in China), the clothing, the foreign advanced degrees, the preoccupation with football and basketball, the foreign loan-words, the desire to win gold medals and Nobel prizes, the structural and economic reforms borrowed from the West, membership in western-inspired institutions (WTO, WHO, UN). etc. The list is endless. China is no longer purely Chinese. Far from it. Get used to it.

    You could say that the West’s willingness to import talent is even more apparent in other areas. Just think of all the foreign students in U.S. graduate schools who, after receiving their advanced degrees, choose to remain in the U.S. They have made the U.S. better, stronger, and more diverse. How many Chinese have permanently settled in the U.S.? And in spite of China’s recent economic success, how many Chinese continue to aspire to study abroad (mainly in the U.S.)? U.S. universities are the best in the world, in part because they admit the most talented students, not simply the most talented American students.

    Finally, I’ve read that some here still hope that China continues to prohibit dual citizenship. Very backward looking, not to mention short-sighted and ignorant. Moreover, it forces many Chinese living abroad to abandon their citizenship. Among other things, allowing dual citizenship would preserve and strengthen the bond that many foreign Chinese have for China. Something that promises to help, not hurt China. If the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Israel, and Russia can recognize the wisdom in allowing dual citizenship, certainly we can too. Of course, the Chinese preoccupation with race, combined with our belief that Chinese who leave China are somehow diminished, will probably interfere with our doing the right thing. In the end, we Chinese prefer mediocrity. 中庸之道万岁!

  31. Gan Lu Says:

    China Digital Times (blocked in China – must use proxy) has picked up Joel’s essay.


  32. JXie Says:

    bxbq, didn’t want to say this earlier but here it goes:

    It’s a nation’s prerogative to grand whoever its citizenship and takes however long to do so. Chris Kaman acquired his German citizenship in a matter of weeks, and Becky Hammon got her Russian citizenship in a matter of maybe days if not hours — through a Russian presidential executive order. At the international level of sports competition, you are only forced to wait a certain number of years if you represented another nation in the past. Otherwise as long as you get the passport, you can suit up.

    Even without a special executive order, Lomong might’ve married an American citizen, which would reduce the total wait time to 3 years. Or he might fit in a general executive order (similar to the one expediting active-duty soldiers’ naturalization), or some less known acts (similar to the one covering Hmong veterans).

  33. Joel Says:

    This is another way that North America and traditional Chinese thinking are different. Two ways, actually.

    Race works differently in North America. You pretty much can’t be white (and especially not black) and be “Chinese.” Is Da Shan a Chinese? But you can be anything and be “American,” and be born anywhere and be “American,” and have (almost) whatever family cultural traditions at home and be “American.” America is mostly a nation of people that came from somewhere else (or their ancestors). So it’s quite acceptable to have people from other countries play for Team USA. Racial allegiance is not required. Americans (and Canadians) pride themselves on their cultural and racial diversity.

    Also, since in North America people place a high value on individual self determination, most people figure you can more or less play for whoever you want to. Besides, in the Olympics it’s legal.

    People who understand America know this.

    “This complicated issue requires clear-headed analysis for correct understanding.”
    When does Buxi get back?

  34. Joel Says:

    @Gan Lu
    Here’s that link:

  35. FOARP Says:

    “By the way, every single one of the athletes on Team China has been born to Chinese parents and raised in the territory of the People’s Republic of China, under the red flag, wearing the red Young Pioneers’ scarf, nourished with Chinese food, water and culture. Take that, hypocrites of the world.”

    Dude, you’ve flipped.

    @Zhwj#8, SK Cheung#11, Chinawatcher#14, – Word.

    There really isn’t much more to say on this subject, except that it has precisely zero to do with ‘removing the mountain of ignorance and misunderstanding’ – in fact it represents another few dump-truck loads being added to the top of that aforementioned prominence.

  36. JXie Says:


    Instead of North America vs China, it’s more or less the old continents vs the new continents. Some of the South American countries, such as Brazil, Peru and Chile, have much longer history of welcoming Asian immigrants than the US and Canada — they are the original melting pots. In the new continents, for instance Canada as a concept only exists in the realm of nationality; in the old continents, concepts such as Chinese have the duality of nationality and ethnicity. If you limit Chinese in the realm of nationality, FYI, there are some 10,000 Russian Chinese in PRC today (Russian is one of the 56). Since the founding of PRC, there have been some non-Asian immigrants granted Chinese citizenship. So you see, albeit rare, there are white/black Chinese.

    If Canada stops immigration today and in a few hundreds to a thousand years, it will appear to be one people just like Chinese. In quite probably the best time in the Chinese history, Tang Dynasty (with its first emperor even being half Turk), China was an incredibly open society. It had received and accepted immigrants from all over the world. Only in later time, China gradually became an inward-looking and eventually backward country.

  37. bb Says:

    @ bxbq,
    ~~“In my opinion, China needs to consider recognizing dual citizenship. ”
    “I am 100% against that.”

    Why you are ‘against’ dual citizenship here in China? Being foreign born and having now lived in China now for 6 years, I would sure like the opportunity to stop having to BUY my way into staying in a place where my Chinese wife and I have both business, property, family and friends. Also, once my child is born, why should it have to make a choice between either being American or Chinese, when its DNA is both? I assume you’re not facing a similar predicament.

  38. BMY Says:

    @Gan Lu #30

    I agree with you about the dual citizenship.

    Re” “The West simply doesn’t share our preoccupation with race. As such, granting citizenship to established athletes from other countries is no problem for them. While most Chinese would react in horror to find a white person from the U.S. or Western Europe playing for China”.

    JXie has already said what I was going to say. China only opened door 30 years ago and most of Chinese never meet foreigners in person and they have a clear line between Chinese and foreigners so it can’t be compared with pot melting countries. It was just like the first wave of Chinese or Arabic migrants in the US were not called Americans by the local white/black Americans. Chinese were in shock when they saw Chinese born and trained athletes competing for other countries 20 years ago but we are not in shock any more today. To expect Chinese interact with foreigners in China as people do in countries which receive millions of migrants(the number in Sweden is much less but the ration is still much higher than in China) each year is unrealistic.

  39. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    The problem with your “Court of International Public Opinion” thesis is a double-standard when it comes to judging Chinese and Western behavior. I feel you are dancing around it. Maybe you are not.

    If we limit our purview to the 2008 Olympic Games, there is as much ground to be suspicious about the legality of some practices of US, UK, Australia and etc. as about Chinese gymnasts’ age. We do not see as much of an outcry and call for investigation/retribution over either the American/European dubious citizenship granting to “their athletes”, or Christine Ohuruogu’s suspicious drug testing record. There is very little transparency in Western media on the details these shady practices that are clearly open to abuse. If we extend our purview beyond the 2008 games, we cannot help smarting over the queer fact that Salt Lake City and Sydney were regarded successful hosting cities even when their hosting rights were bought with bribes, while Western media are suggesting somehow the accusation on Chinese gymnasts could tarnish Chinese reputation. Does this Court of International Public Opinion of ChinaWatcher et al run on pure bias and prejudice? I am surprised even China’s friends like Joel is sporting this idea. Are you guys all brainwashed and now trying to brainwash us with the same old mentality?

    At this stage of discussion the wisdom I have learned about the court of international public opinion stands. “How do you win in this court? You win by manipulation, duplicity and above all, by just being a jerk.” I do not think that you have laid out sufficient evidence or rationale to convince me that this wisdom should be modified.

    The notion that there is an “international public opinion” worth heeding is an illusion, as long as a single universal standard of evaluation/judgment is missing. In fact this illusion is carefully constructed by the West, and imposed on China, as a trap, to constrain China’s behavior in a way that would benefit the West. This framework must be applied to the understanding of the entire China-West interaction. The activism and demonstrations against China over Tibet and other issues during the Olympic Relay in Europe and North America and Mia Farrow’s Genocide Olimpics serve the purpose of creating this mirage of a “public opinion” and imposing it on the Chinese. I am glad that the Chinese torchbearers and their supporters (especially the overseas students) fought back vigorously with counter-demonstrations, to assert their right to set public opinion.

    The mistake of ChinaWatcher and others is that they view the Chinese as a passive and helpless recipient of Western public opinions. More important, they try to make the Chinese accept this view and internalize it. The “court of internal public opinion” is a rope they want to tie around China’s neck so that they can lead China their way. I do not think this strategy will succeed; they Chinese are wide wake and see clearly that the Emperor is totally naked, with dripping private parts. I hope we all have clear vision on this issue.

  40. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    A related issue this thread got me to think about is the purpose of discussions in this blog in particular and in the various media in general. Moving the Mountains of Misunderstanding between two persons is an apt metaphor in China-West communications. Like all metaphors, it is open to multiple interpretations. One misunderstanding arising from the metaphor is the expectancy that China and the Chinese have the same ideologies, aspirations, values and preferences as the West (we all want democracy and liberation from the tyranny of our system), but are just having difficulty in communicating this spiritual affiliation to the West. Communication will uncover Chinese commonality and affiliation with the West. This expectancy is partly due to the natural Western tendency to patronize others in general, and some Westerners’ lack of insight and thoughtfulness in particular.

    My vision of the end state of the communication is that Chinese and Westerners may very well find out they have fundamentally different ideologies, aspirations, values and preferences. The notion that “we are all created in the image of God” is false. The value of removing the mountain of misunderstanding is to reveal this basic falsity. Suppose that Westerner John Smith and Chinese Zhang San tunnel from the opposite sides of the mountain to meet each other. Once they have completed the tunnel and met each other face to face, John is going to see San in front of him, with Chinese features; he will not see himself.

  41. Hemulen Says:

    @Gan Lu, #30. You nailed it.

  42. Hemulen Says:


    There have been the usual cries of “Why us? Why us? Why pick on us?” But the IOC investigates everyone. Athletes from Spain, Vietnam and North Korea have been kicked out for doping. The annoying Swedish wrestler was stripped of his medal for misbehaving at the ceremony. Even the hero Usain Bolt was cautioned not to act too arrogantly. It’s not just China that the IOC tries to keep in line.
    Few know that the IOC tested swimmer Michael Phelps for drugs 7 times in 12 days in Beijing, between Aug 4 and Aug 15, including twice on the same day — which is a bit ridiculous. The U.S. Team did not make a big deal of this, which is why it is little reported.
    Unlike the Chinese, the U.S. coaches were not sulky and defensive in face of questions. They did not make excuses. They did not call Phelps’ multiple tests a “false accusation.” They allowed repeated testing quietly and uncomplainingly. No U.S. coach came out with a ridiculous statement like “drug testing makes Michael Phelps’s mom feel bad,” which is one line the Chinese have used.
    If Phelps was found to be guilty, the U.S. would fess up and the U.S. media would report on it. (NB: He’s tested negative on all drug tests so far.)


  43. B.Smith Says:

    Gan Lu (#30) has an good point. But I think that as time goes on, China will become more and more open. I don’t think Chinese are as backward-looking as many people believe. The younger generation, especially, seems all too willing to pick up the styles, music, and culture of other countries, both Western and Eastern. Sometimes it seems that they were losing interest in some of the distinctively Chinese traditions, and that’s sad. I hope 50 years from now we can still see elderly Chinese men drawing Chinese characters on the ground with water, and groups of people sitting around with their shirts up drinking tea or beer.

    A little off-topic, but does anyone know how the Chinese choose what Western standards to adopt, and which to refute? I am confused that Beijing went along with the West’s superficial and culturally-specific ideas of “manners”. If the Chinese want to spit and pull their shirts up and mob for train tickets, that is their right. Heck, I loved being able to spit on the street in China – sometimes you have to spit, you know? And putting your shirt up on a hot day just makes sense. The West has no business looking down on China for things like that. If a Westerner was ever to look down on a Chinese person for spitting, the correct response from the Chinese would be a middle finger. Or you could spit on the Westerner, whatever.

    But when it comes to things that actually matter, like misrepresenting ages or forced evictions, many people lash out at the Western standard. Isn’t this odd? It seems like it should be the other way around to me. Everyone can agree that honest and fairness are good things; spitting on the streets is none of the West’s business.

    …And BXBQ, your rants are ruining this blog. “Take that, hypocrites of the world.” – “”You win by manipulation, duplicity and above all, by just being a jerk; learn from the Americans and Europeans and don’t be an idiot.” I mean really, just wonderfully persuasive arguments. I second what Joel said, but with added emphasis: When the hell does Buxi get back?? At least when he writes something I disagree strongly with, he does it intelligently.

  44. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    S. K. Cheung,

    A round of applause to your polite upbringing. But what are you so pissy about? If you have something much more saucier to say, say it right here. I would do so if I were you.

    I have told admin (aka CLS) that he can delete things I say that is clearly out of line for polite consumption, which escapes my mouth all the time. I have never met CLC and don’t know his real name but he sounds like a wise and civilized man. I think he will grant you the same fair treatment. There is no need to hold back.

    Good luck with your introspection and I am looking forward to learning about the results.

  45. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    FOARP # 35,

    You keep saying things I strongly disagree with. Why did I flip? The Chinese athletes are 100% Chinese. Being represented by athletes 100% Chinese looks better than being represented by athletes who were born elsewhere, trained in their sports elsewhere, know little about your culture or even language.

    Yesterday you were saying the the British athletes made you proud. If you can be proud of Christine who have been banned from competition for three years for refusing doping tests, we are well entitled to be pround of our 100% Chinese athletes.

  46. Joel Says:

    Right, that’s why I used “North America” instead of “Western” in that comment. Although Western European nations are also increasingly diverse, they weren’t founded as nations of immigrants. I’m just explaining partly why Americans might not see any problem having athletes from other countries on their team.

  47. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    My opposition to dual-citizenship is based on practical considerations, as well as emotional attachment. Dual citizenship is not good for the individual citizen. Japanese Americans were locked up in concentration camps (did they call it “internship” or something? what a glorious name) during world war two, even if they had Japanese ancestry and sole American citizenship. I guess if they had Japanese citizenship at that time they would have been simply deported, instead of being locked up. Imagine if there is a war between China and the United States and you have US and Chinese dual citizenship plus a Chinese origin, what will happen to you if you happen to be in the US? Do you want to be in that position?

  48. MoneyBall Says:

    @Chinawatcher #29,

    Dude dont put words into my mouths I didnt say Chinese need time to fix the credibility. I said they need time to forget about west medias can be fair to ethical to them. And as I said China will continue to face embarrassing situations as long as CCP is still in place no matter what. CCP will never ever be popular or win the trust from the west, not in a million years and they know it. If they have to do something, it’s to earn the more trust from the Chinese people, which means they will have to have a totally different things of priorioty than yours, overhyped things like girl’s age lead in toys protest parks wont find their places there.

    Intenational public opinion is a bitch, you do what you have to do with a bitch, take her out buy her shit, but never let a bitch ruin your day. Chinese wants foriegn correspondents/expats to know what we think, to like China, everybody wants to be understood, but there’s only so much you can do, the last thing you want to do is to start a piss-off contest with a bitch. It’s totally not worthy it and it wont go anywhere.

  49. MoneyBall Says:

    To BX,

    “The mistake of ChinaWatcher and others is that they view the Chinese as a passive and helpless recipient of Western public opinions. More important, they try to make the Chinese accept this view and internalize it. The “court of internal public opinion” is a rope they want to tie around China’s neck so that they can lead China their way. I do not think this strategy will succeed; they Chinese are wide wake and see clearly that the Emperor is totally naked, with dripping private parts. I hope we all have clear vision on this issue.”

    that hit the spot.

  50. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    MoneyBall #49,

    Thanks for the agreement.

    The key thing in achieving understanding is to look at the pattern, the trend, the big picture, the gestalt, with a historical and global perspective. Coming up with sharp theoretical models for representing the patterns is the crucial step. Incidents looked in isolation are never illuminating.

  51. Observer Says:

    Slightly OT (maybe not really), but I found this article quite amusing:

    Interview between Jacques Rogge and Bob Costas:


  52. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    MoneyBall #48

    “Intenational public opinion is a bitch, you do what you have to do with a bitch, take her out buy her shit, but never let a bitch ruin your day. Chinese wants foriegn correspondents/expats to know what we think, to like China, everybody wants to be understood, but there’s only so much you can do, the last thing you want to do is to start a piss-off contest with a bitch.”

    I agree with the spirit of your opinion. However I would rather use a different metaphor than “bbbbb…bitch”. I think it is disrespectful to women. In my limited life experiences (migrating from one school to another) I have never had concrete experiences with this group of females. All women I have encountered are nurturing and wonderful.

    I am a crass person and I know that. But I would hesitate about using disrespectful words about women. I hope you are not upset by my frankness. I agree with the spirit of your statement, but have a different preference for the form of expression.

    I hope we can improve together. 互相鼓励携手共进。and 好好学习天天向上。

  53. RUMman Says:

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but hasn’t Singapore done much the same with importing Chinese talent to win medals?

    I don’t actually see the problem provided it is not against the rules of the Olympics. And if you have a problem with it then have the rules changed.

    It doesn’t compare with China’s history of lying about gymnasts ages – a history it shares with Rumania, Russia etc. Given that various eastern bloc countries engaged in this practice it is hardly an anti-Chinese thing.

  54. MoneyBall Says:

    S.K. Cheung Says:

    “dude, how did this become about Tibet?? Is everything about Tibet?
    As I’ve said elsewhere, the girl’s age isn’t the focus for me; it’s about the flawed process, and the flaws in Chinese governmental accountability, at whichever level of government you feel the flaws occurred.”

    I was merely saying I dont simply “choose to denigrate something China currently doesn’t enjoy”…. Jesus!

    I would say CCP officials are prob more accountable than any government you know, they make one silly mistake, their monthly pay gets stripped off just like that, they fuck up anything major, they gone. Not because they ‘re good at governing but because they are in constant fear. That’s one of the reasons there are so many cover-ups and tightness. But to say there is no accountablity is simply not true. If China said there is WMD in North Koreas and invaded that country, and turned out there is none, God knows how many CCP officials ‘s asses would have rotten in jail for the rest of their lives.

  55. Jeff G Says:

    In women’s table tennis (Ping Pong) 78 of the competitors where China born women and of which only 3 actually competed for their own country of China.

  56. MoneyBall Says:


    “bxxxx I think it is disrespectful to women. ”

    You are not seriously buying into all that western political correctness craps are you? tell it as what it is, that should be spirit. And women use this word far often than men. Besides some women are proud to be bitches now, they think the word has a mixed touch of fashionism and feminism, they have a top liner magazine titled Bitch, you are too Out. But if you say it’s the rule of the place I will certainly repsect it.

  57. bianxiangbianqiao Says:


    “And women use this word far often than men. Besides some women are proud to be bitches now, they think the word has a mixed touch of fashionism and feminism, they have a top liner magazine titled Bitch, you are too Out. But if you say it’s the rule of the place I will certainly repsect it.”

    Wow, exquisite and eye opening!

    It is not the rule of the place, nor political correctness, just my Youth Pioneer (少先队) upbringing (I wish I had S. K. Cheung’s polite upbringing too, sounds more polished and cooler. Well, you can’t own all the goodies in the world). It seems I need to be more progressive, 与时俱进。

    BBBBB……, still can’t say it.

  58. GNZ Says:

    come on,
    the CCP would have covered it up just like the US govt wants to – they would have just done a much better job of it. If a sufficient number of important people were involved they would deny their own hands in front of their own faces.
    there is a sort of accountability but it isn’t an accountability to the truth or anything anyone other than the CCP necessarily cares much about.

  59. Ted Says:


    BXBQ – The above article helped put me in a better frame of mind to respond to your comments #39 & 40 as I don’t want the sweeping generalities or cynicism to stand unanswered.

    For someone who is learning about China, your denigrating remarks certainly make it difficult to remain objective but its nothing I haven’t heard before. Growing up in the Southeast US taught me how naive it is to expect everybody to get along. Plenty of people I know will go to the grave thinking their skin color, religion, or sexual orientation makes them better than someone else.

    There plenty of folks who will agree with your belief that people from other cultures or races are fundamentally different and cannot coexist. Therefore, your insistence that there are no commonalities between certain individuals or groups is by itself something you share with individuals in many other groups.

    Here’s another commonality you can ponder or ignore. Those who drafted the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution and those who drafted the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China built into the respective documents ideals that neither society could live up to at the time. I assume I don’t need to go item for item on the Articles.

    You can join plenty of other Americans who get stuck on the hypocrisy of the slave holding drafters of the Constitution. I’ll point to the fact that the drafters of these and many other statements of principle possessed the foresight to established standards we are still struggling to reach. You can point to incidents of racism or cultural bias, I’ll point to the ongoing dialogs, including this one, resolving these issues.

    As you stated, “The key thing in achieving understanding is to look at the pattern, the trend, the big picture, the gestalt, with a historical and global perspective. Coming up with sharp theoretical models for representing the patterns is the crucial step. Incidents looked in isolation are never illuminating.” I especially agree with your last point. Am I still a patronizing westerner if I ask you to take your own advice?

  60. Jing Says:

    On a side note, the people claiming that American doesn’t tolerate it’s own cheaters and that any malfesance is the work of bad eggs is wishful thinking at best, bold faced lieing at worst. Sports “medicine” aka juicing to the gills is part & parcel of the American sports machine.

    Dr. Wade Exum the former head of US drug testing acknowledged that dozens of American Olympic medalists were allowed to compete by the USOC despite testing positive for banned substances. There has been and continues to be a systematic process to chemically “enhance” athletes that goes by with a wink and a nod because no one wants to see their stars humiliated. The more accurate statement isn’t that American’s don’t tolerate cheating, they don’t tolerate their cheaters being caught. The case about Marion Jones is particularly revealing. 92. Thats a number of administered drug tests she was able to pass. Her steroid use wasn’t revealed by any test, but by self admition after being caught in an unrelated probe.

    The east Germans themselves were never actually caught in any drug test, but were only suspected and later admitted to it after the end of the Cold War. It is the height of naievity and self-conceit that Americans tend to think their own athletes are clean while naturally suspecting everyone else of cheating when even their own champions have admitted that doping is rampant. Athletes fail drug tests not simply because they took the drugs but because they were sloppy enough to get caught. Truth of the matter is doping is and has always been ahead of testing. Case in point, Michael Phelps is certainly chemically enhanced, despite the brouha about the daily drug tests. His physique is a body made for swimming in more ways than one, it is evidence of long and continuous recombinant hgh use for years and his endurance is likely aided by some newer undetectable EPO or maybe some lactic acid inhibitor. Only idiots get caught for taking steroids, the key is to use them in the off season, beef up, and be clean when competition rolls around alas Usain Bolt, or the entire Chinese weightlifting team. Much of Olympics from top to bottom is a competition between the chemists and biologists but most Americans are living in a fantasy land of hear no evil see no evil in regards to their own but will shill to high heaven at the mere hint of impropriety from anyone else, particularly someone who beats them.

  61. pug_ster Says:


    Just an interesting note. In this documentary, towards to the end, about several potential women’s gymnasts who introduce themselves, which took place in 2003. One of them is Jiang Yuyuan who introduced herself as age 12, which verifies her correct and legal birthdate.

  62. Aussie Says:


    First, I’m assuming the “judges” are the western media, correct me if I’m wrong.

    The reason the judges ignore the shady dealings of the US and Europe and scream bloody murder at China’s every misstep is because our (US and Europe’s) governments allow our people personal freedoms, while the Chinese government is a communistic dictatorship.

  63. Wu Di Says:

    @bxbq: “You win by manipulation, duplicity and above all, by just being a jerk; learn from the Americans and Europeans and don’t be an idiot.”

    True, but what does the average Joe or Jose or Wang gain from putting up with this? Nothing!

    Besides, your so-called “clear-headed analysis” seems to be blinkered, at least unless you explicate how shifting the blame and avoiding responsibility (which you do by mixing issues of “bogus citizenships” with the age controversy in gymnastics) is conducive to creating a less manipulative system.

    And about your related opposition to dual citizenship: Don’t you think that narrow national(-ist) conceptions of citizenship are a bit outdated? They are exactly the problem when it comes to above issues.

    Just my 2ct.

  64. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Joel #33:
    love it, especially the last line! BTW, Da Shan is Canadian 🙂

  65. Michelle Says:

    Alex Tian Hua is a bogus Chinese? What’s everyone’s opinion?

  66. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To BXBQ:
    tapping into my aforementioned polite upbringing and exercising my affinity for polished language to their fullest extent, I have concluded that you are several bricks short of a load.
    #39: This court of opinion has no single, double, or triple standard. It is what it is. An issue arises, and it speaks, not always uniformly, and not always harmoniously. The retread issues you’ve again listed have obviously not been deemed worthy of input by said court. If you’d like to start a petition, fly at’er. The court is run by the people of the world, and right now, those people have deemed that Western governments, warts and all, usually deserve the benefit of the doubt. Those same people have deemed that the Chinese government does not currently deserve such privilege. Such a judgment may or may not be justified. The response you’ve taken is to whine about it. The response I think Chinawatcher advocates, with which I agree, is for China to reflect within, in order to affect changes that might lead to a sea-change in attitudes over time.
    You seem internally confused, all the more reason for a dose of introspection. On the one hand, you want to win in this court. Is this a game, or an adversarial contest between appellants? Couldn’t you simply aspire for China to receive better standing in said court, without necessarily having it be at the expense of another nation or nations? But on the other hand, you say the need to subjugate oneself to this court is an “illusion”. Do you often strategize for imaginary games?
    If China’s view is to pay no heed to public opinion, that would be fine, and well within her prerogative. But if she were to strive for “one world, one dream”, she would do well to level the playing field in this court by affecting some of the changes oft discussed on the numerous threads of this site.
    Right now, the only rope in sight is the hogtie firmly knotted around your “arguments”.

    So I think, okay, can’t get any more ridiculous than #39; then you out-do yourself in #40. Of course Chinese and Westerners have different values, preferences, etc. But as humans, I think we have more fundamental similarities than differences. Moving mountains will hopefully increase the appreciation of our similarities and understanding of our differences. If I had doubts about you being a xenophobe before this, you’ve now opened your mouth and removed all doubt with the last statement. No one would expect John and Zhang to LOOK the same, but it’s not too foolish to hope that they could gain an understanding and appreciation for each other. Conversely, I clearly don’t understand you, and at this point I’d like to keep it that way.

  67. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To BXBQ #47:
    Japanese-American internment is not a shining beacon in American history. But it has nothing to do with dual citizenship. Dual citizenship would be a way to recognize one’s ancestry and heritage (something that you would likely appreciate), while also recognizing one’s current place of residence, or perhaps even birth. I’m in favor of it. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to oppose it either, and if that’s your POV, that’s fine. Just say so. But if you’re going to try to justify it, you’re going to need a much better example.

  68. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To MoneyBall #54:
    Your description of CCP accountability seems akin to “taking it out back and shooting it”. That might reflect accountability within itself, much like I suspect the Mafia are very accountable in similar fashion. But that’s hardly the same as being accountable to her subjects.

  69. Zentek Says:

    All systems designed by humans have elements of corruption
    whether political, religious, commercial, or sports. I don’t
    care. I just love to watch life. Every few years I escape from
    reality watching beautiful people test the laws of physics and gravity. Other observers of life see only the laws of human
    systems. Laws against lying and corruption. I don’t care.

    Just ignore the beauty of all athletes and count the national
    medals or bicker about cheating and lose the joy of watching.
    I don’t care. But I do care about killing. Words can kill as
    surely as guns and knives. Watch life and love it beyond
    words even if it’s only on Youtube. A couple below.


    Time to say goodbye to Fan Ye. I’m 78 years old and will
    take this time to say goodbye to all of you and hope you
    live long and love the view. Get a dual citizenship passport.
    One for heaven and one for hell. Love and luck! John in AZ, USA

  70. raffiaflower Says:

    Liu Xiang was also extensively tested in the months running up to Bei O, and there was no fuss. Most likely, too, was Usain Bolt, who gave such smash performances.
    In the case of athletes who outperform, batteries of tests are to pre-empt all possibilities. The tests were before they hit the tracks.
    In the case of the gymnasts, China complied with international regulations when the underage story broke.
    The issue was built to a crescendo again, AFTER the girls won.
    What else can officials do except deny, or maintain silence?
    The subtext driving this story is not transparency or accountability, though that is well and good for China over the sprint.
    It’s about power, and the corollary of “double standards’’ thrust upon China again, which are the themes by bxbq.
    It’s power to influence the making of rules and manipulate them, and those who have to follow.
    The sports arena could be just the starting point of the face-off.
    America works the system because it’s de facto in charge.
    Stonewalling may not necessarily mean something is being hidden. Sports norm requires only passports, and the matter extends into China’s domestic realm. It may mean internal wrangling to get all ministries in line.
    Deletions are consistent with censorship practice in an authoritarian state: knee-jerk and arbitrary. Real or false, the slasher robots get to work when their attention is called to an issue.
    If there was a conspiracy of the highest order, the state’s net nanny would have surely gone to work after the NYT “expose’’, and left no trace, much less on a chinese search engine itself?
    And I wonder: would the web warrior called stryde hax have posted his finding on kexin if the cached document had declared her birth date to be jan 1, 1992?

  71. Terry Says:

    The practice of fast-tracking people to be US citizens for the Olympics is practiced by most nations. There are a number of Americans on other countries teams, there’s the German gymnast, etc. The thing is, this may bend the rules, but it is not hidden, everyone has knowledge of it, and it does not break the rules.
    If 14 year old gymnasts are regarded as OK, then, they should drop the rule altogether so that all countries can do it, not just those who choose to ignore it. If they ignore it with impunity and everyone knows it, as in this case, the IOC and the Chinese government both lose credibility, and rightly so.
    This is just like the East German women swimmers from the 80’s. Everyone knew these “women” were doped up to be like men, but the East German government just denied and ignored protests of what was obvious to all. Everyone that sees these Chinese girls knows what’s going on, and the Chinese now are no better than the Germans were then.

  72. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Raffiaflower:
    but there is no double standard. There is just one “standard”, and by that measurement, western governments get a pass most of the time, and China’s doesn’t. Ironically, after 8 years of Bush, US government stature is also moving in the wrong direction. The reason why the standard rests at its current equilibrium is because of the past behaviour of the respective parties, insofar as this past behaviour has shaped current opinion. In order for there to be a shift in this equilibrium, China’s behaviour needs to change moving forward. To complain about the current state of affairs is to cry over spilled milk.
    Stonewalling MAY OR MAY NOT mean you’re hiding something. What is does mean is you leave a vacuum, and you know what happens to a vacuum. As a PR strategy, it is almost always better to get in front of a bad story, take the PR hit upfront, but at least have a hand in shaping the story; China, by sitting on her hands, completely lost the initiative, so the IOC had to come over and give them a shake.
    Contrast this, for example, to the current listeriosis outbreak in Canada. The suspected source is a meat manufacturing plant. The company CEO immediately gets on the tube, with a sombre face like someone just died in his family, and is contrite over recent events. Now the talk isn’t “Maple Leaf Farms is killing people”, but “isn’t it nice that Maple Leaf Farms has the decency to take responsibility”. Not saying that China needed to be contrite or apologize, but stonewalling was not a good strategy in this case.
    And if China’s domestic realm is a mess, isn’t that worth working to improve as well?

  73. tblightning_4 Says:

    Tp the author of this story maybe before you go talking about citizenship you should know the laws look at Tanith Belbin she was granted citizenship just weeks before the 2006 winter Olympics thanks to a little law that Bush signed giving People of extordinary abilities citizenship quicker if they have held a green card so yeah the numbers do add up. Maybe you should research before writing an article.

  74. scofo Says:

    . . . a different perspective . . . Nearly all the women gymnasts at Olympics are not adults (I take as a basis 18 years old as the age for being considered independently responsible for one’s life decisions, actions and consequences). All these “girls” are being guided (and one might say in some cases “used”) by adults in their life to accomplish the goals and glory of those adults who should be responsible for their physical, mental and moral well-being. Now, did anyone see the newscast where Chairman Hu Jintao of China specifically asked the age of these young gymnasts and their response was 16 or over. If (and this is a hypothetical) that response was false then if adults responsible for their development as athletes and persons instructed them to fabricate then we should all consider seriously the meaning of this. Let’s be clear all those “girls” (under 18 years of age) performed beautifully and nobly and none deserve recrimination for what those charged with their lives may have done or may have instructed them to do.
    The issue is not about western bias or eastern racism, its about the moral integrity of the adults (including the IOC and all sub-country, county associations) responsible for development of these young athletes.

  75. Xiao Says:

    FYI, an interesting article to read.


  76. scofo Says:

    Xiao’s article – good evidence that the western press is not biased against any particular country in reporting these events.

  77. fobtacular Says:

    Having read all the comments here and the previous post, I have come to the conclusion that whether the girls are under-aged or not are meaningless in many people’s mind now. Because there is no way for anyone besides the girls’ parent knows their real age. Are the girls’ parent going to go public are their real ages? Absolutely no fricking way. Even if they did, their version of the girls age will be discredited if it doesn’t suit the accuser’s agenda – “The parent are under pressure from the Chinese government”. Until the day we discover some robust scientific method to verify ages, their age are forever disputed.

    As for the accusers, they hold onto the evidence they found on the internet as the absolute truth. Nothing, not even the official document provided by Chinese government to IOC means anything compare to the evidence they have found on the internet. In the battle of credibility between Chinese government and the internet, the internet is the victor.

    I am sure people can figure out this age issue will forever be an unknown, and people have already made up their mind and taken sides.

  78. Xiao Says:

    scofo, I agree the western press is not biased in reporting these type of events. However, seems it has not generated so much interests in the western world.

    The miming in Sydney 2000 opening ceremony is much larger in terms of scale, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Nikki Webster’s solo and Julie Anthony singing the national anthem. Nikki was a teenager by the time and Julie is an adult and also an award winning singer.

    My question is why the miming singing involved 2 little girls generated that much attack on China from western general public?

  79. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Xiao:
    how long has the Sydney Olympics stuff you speak of been public knowledge? The reason I ask is that it’s news to me in 2008, so i don’t think people would worry too much about 8 year old history. Similarly, if the issue with the 2 girls didn’t come to light until 2016, likewise I don’t think that story would have any legs. However, if you say that the Sydney info was known since the day after their opening ceremonies, then I am surprised it didn’t cause more of an uproar. The only explanation I would have in that case would be that the internet was not nearly as pervasive then as it is now.

  80. scofo Says:

    Xiao, I understand your point but have a different perspective. Granted I heard nothing of Sydney miming until reading article you posted; however, in another miming case Milli Vanilli came under severe scrutiny that discredited the singers’ recording label and ended their career.

    The disappointment factor and the share number of the audience contributed to worldwide interest, but not condemnation. I believe the Chinese opening ceremony had record worldwide viewing and also impressed greatly all viewers (most have said it raised the bar tremendously in relation to all past openings).

    Myself I was captivated by the little girl singing and her composure as I’m sure the world audience was. She was so adorable and the song so melodious, thus, the disappointment factor was much greater (I didn’t watch the Sydney ceremony but am sure the symphony did not captivate viewers like the darling little girl and probably was in the background – not center stage). Also the actual girl whose voice was recorded is also adorable (though she may not have been as composed and adorable singing live).

    The host city comes under intense international scrutiny and the press will always be looking for stories to generate viewing interest. It is naive to think that such scrutiny and attention is due to bias and a worldwide conspiracy to “put China down”.

    Another point is the influence on worldwide events and attention between Australia and China. China has made a relatively sudden and impressive entrance onto the world stage in the past 20 years and impacts the lives of all people in and out of China much more than Australia (no offense intended to the Aussies). Simply China is a bigger story than Australia. When a country has such impact on the lives of people all over the world you have to expect intense interest in both the positives and negatives.

    There has been no government conspiracy by China to manipulate the opening ceremony nor possibly competitor’s ages and there is no conspiracy by the world of public opinion to denigrate China. The interest and scrutiny of China is due to level of its impact in the lives of all people.

    The reputation and perception of China is foremost the responsibility of China’s civic and civilian leaders – complaining about being an unfair target does not promote the cause outside of China; rather it promotes nationalistic xenophobia that is frankly worrisome especially when reading an earlier the comment of BXBQ:

    “By the way, every single one of the athletes on Team China has been born to Chinese parents and raised in the territory of the People’s Republic of China, under the red flag, wearing the red Young Pioneers’ scarf, nourished with Chinese food, water and culture. Take that, hypocrites of the world.”

    Word of advice, intense inward focus on efforts to celebrate the superiority of one’s “race” invoke haunting images of the 20th century.

    On the otherhand Gan Lu – thanks your very thoughtful and perceptive comments of 24 August. . . your voice and those in China like it has contributed most significantly to the momentous economic, social, political and cultural progress of China in the past 25 years as well as promoting greater understanding in the West of the Chinese “gestalt.

  81. scofo Says:

    Fobtacular: the requirement to verify age per my u/standing of available information is solely a genuine passport and a genuine passport was supplied. Under the current rules it is the only required documentation. I would guess that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would require a birth certificate and a “Hu Kou” or identity paper to verify date of birth (information for such documentation may or may not have been manipulated by individuals NOT the government). I have heard that x-rays can provide scientifically accurate verification of age, but this is not a current requirement of the IOC. Gymnasts are not currently required to undergo such verification; so, all that remains is lingering suspicion supported by possibly inaccurate surfacing of internet cached documents. No government is required to submit their citizen athletes to such testing and further it should not be the decision of the Chinese government but rather the athletes themselves (or the adult guardians of minors) to make such decision.
    To alleviate such traumatic (for the athletes themselves) doubts in the future, the IOC can revise the age-verification rules for future events to require scientific verification such as it has done to enforce the no-drug tolerance by drug testing.
    As to the premise of this blog – lingering suspicions do in fact taint credibility in world opinion.

  82. Xiao Says:

    scofo, I personally don’t like the miming singing decision in Beijing opening ceremony and I think both girls are lovely and pretty. I won’t have any opinion if the world scrutiny is as simply as what you described, it is not due to bias and conspiracy to ‘put China down’.

    However, I am not sure if you have noticed, any scrutiny on any issue in China, no matter how irrelevant they are, always leads to the points: democracy, human right, Tibet, communist and then ultimately Chinese government is evil. Then the western general public gets blood boiled…how can you explain this?

  83. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Xiao:
    I don’t think Westerners focus on all 5 of the points you listed. I don’t think Tibet is an issue Westerners automatically associate with all things China. I think most Westerners would consider China a one-party autocratic system that is intolerant of dissent, but I don’t think they view it as communism in its original form any more.

    It’s also readily apparent that China is an emerging economic force, and the Olympics have shown the world her economic might and potential. That China’s economy is as free-market as anything in the West is no longer a surprise.

    So when westerners consider China, one possible POV is to reflect on the differences. That’s where the lack of democracy and human rights come in, for those remain readily apparent in any comparison. And since such things are controlled by the government, by extension the manner in which the government conducts herself is also open to criticism.

  84. scofo Says:

    Xiao: The miming incident did not detract from my enjoyment of the Opening Ceremonies, but I agree with you that I did not like it. The reference to the Australian Symphony and the Chinese girl is a non-sequitur . . . the premise does not support the conclusion. This argument of media bias plays well for a home (Chinese) audience but garners no sympathy outside China. Western governments/countries have been trashed far longer and far worse than China by the international media and world opinion. Denial is blaming others for one’s own problems; the international media did not create the 5 issues you spoke of (though I do not agree with your supposition and SK Cheung offers a good explanation to the error of it) they have just been reporting on them.

  85. scofo Says:

    Xiao: seems i misread your last. you stipulate that the western public pays more attention to the negative stories about China (not that the media has bias about reporting them). Recall that China has been the focus of worldwide television lenses for the past 2 weeks. Moreover world attention has gradually been drummed into a frenzy since Beijing got the Olympics 7 (?) years ago. You’d have to do a scientific sampling as to the % of negative versus positive stories. As for the interest in the miming it comes from the great let-down after having marvelled so at her beautiful performance – simply put its the sense of having been cheated. Also agree with SK Cheung that the timeliness of reporting contributes to the ability to generate interest.

  86. greenjade Says:

    # bianxiangbianqiao Says: August 23rd, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    JXie, “In my opinion, China needs to consider recognizing dual citizenship. ”

    I am 100% against that.
    bianxiangbianqiao – hey, could you add some details as to why you are against that. that would make your posting more meaningful.
    personally, I am 100% against your opinion, and 100% with JXie. if China wants to play with the rest of the world, it must just the rest of the world.

    hey BXBQ, i found your post #47 – “Imagine if there is a war between China and the United States and you have US and Chinese dual citizenship plus a Chinese origin, what will happen to you if you happen to be in the US?”
    if you had dual citizenship, you could return to the other country. you have made a good point but unfortunately, have supported my point of view, rather than yours. The point about “Chinese origin” is moot as the discussion is about “citizenship” which is different.


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