Aug 20

“Our relations with China were nearly broken at the plate.

A near-brawl with our Olympic hosts in a baseball game won 9-1 by the U.S. team Monday night resulted in an unexpected outbreak of tension for the international pastime.” Continue reading »

Aug 19

minipost-(Letter) Chinese Men’s Weightlifting Champion Was A Girl

Written by: guest | Filed under:-mini-posts | Tags:,
58 Comments » newest 2008-08-22 02:09:59

You think after the underage gymnasts allegation, lip syncing, Han children dressed as minority, and modern warriors pretending to be ancient warriors at the opening ceremony, China’s Olympic woes can’t get any worse – think again. Continue reading »

Aug 16

We have two distinguished guests today. They come from different backgrounds and have held different positions. But because of one common goal, they got close to each other and eventually became friends. That common goal is to bring the Olympic Games to China . CCTV9 – Up Close Continue reading »

Aug 16

Do not pressure athletes into saying sorry

Written by: DJ | Filed under:media | Tags:, , , ,
31 Comments » newest 2008-08-20 05:09:18

Note: The following is a translation of a post by “zl19860707” in 铁血论坛 Tiexue Forum, one of the popular online bulletin boards in China. This post was responding to the words spoken by the Chinese shooting athlete 谭宗亮 Tan Zongliang after he won the bronze in the men’s 50m pistol event on August 12. Beijing 2008 is the fourth Olympics Tan has competed in, and this bronze is the first of any kind he has received. (Tan, by the way, now officially owns a silver medal because the North Korean shooter ahead of him failed subsequent doping tests.)

Do not pressure athletes into saying sorry

Tan Zongliang said: “I feel that I have let the country down by winning only a single bronze through four Olympics.”
Continue reading »

Aug 16

minipost-(Letter) Done Too Much?

Written by: guest | Filed under:-guest-posts, -mini-posts | Tags:
No Comments » newest

Have the organizers put too much make-up on the Olympic opening ceremony? Isn’t it better to show a flawless-looking girl with imperfect voice or a perfect-voiced girl with not-so-good teeth? Because nobody can be perfect and if they make somebody perfect, they are inhumane. Continue reading »

Aug 15

minipost-The Beijing Olympics: East-West Confrontation and East-East Conciliation

Written by: bianxiangbianqiao | Filed under:-mini-posts | Tags:, ,
29 Comments » newest 2008-08-19 00:41:54

Before the commencement of the Olympic Games in Beijing, some Japanese were concerned about anti-Japanese sentiments among the Chinese, that their athletes might be booed and taunted in the competitions, and that the Chinese audience might refuse to pay proper respect to their national flag and anthem. Continue reading »

Aug 14

minipost-(Letter) Are the Protest Parks Being Used?

Written by: MutantJedi | Filed under:-mini-posts, Analysis | Tags:, ,
90 Comments » newest 2008-08-30 06:18:41

From the BBC, Protests still unwelcome in Beijing: Continue reading »

Aug 14

Last night after the women’s gymnastics team final, NBC announcer Bella Caroli commented that the Chinese team cheated with underage athletes, and their passports were doctored by the Chinese government.

After some digging, it seems the age allegation had surfaced some time ago, but was quelled after passports and birth certificates where produced to the satisfaction of the gymnasts federation in charge.

Have not seen much of this since, except the NBC commentator and some 2nd tier reporting from NYT.

The reporter mentioned that there were some government documents on this, so I set out to find them. Here’s what I found while searching the gov.cn domain:
Continue reading »

Aug 14

minipost-From the Beijing Olympics, Come the Drums of Change

Written by: bianxiangbianqiao | Filed under:-mini-posts | Tags:,
25 Comments » newest 2008-08-17 01:47:19

Harold Meyerson at the Washington Post compares the Beijing Olympics with Russian involvement in Georgia and believes that the Olympics are a game-changing event in world history while Russia’s Georgian adventure is not. The theme of the Chinese model of development offering an alternative to Western democracy has been repeated by many in Western media. Continue reading »

Aug 13

Last night after the women’s gymnastics team final, NBC announcer Bella Caroli commented that the Chinese team cheated with underage athletes, and their passports were doctored by the Chinese government. Continue reading »

Aug 13


At the risk of being seen as running an excessive self and cross promotional campaign, I highly recommend all interested readers to check out ESWN’s take on some of the irresponsible media reports in this case, particularly the collection of quotes from various medias, and the latest comment on the “uneven teeth” meme such reports created. Roland is very gracious in claiming only to frame this very post, but I think his “re-framing” does a very effective job in making the point.

I should also point out some subtle but extremely damaging distortions introduced and propagated by the media reports that earned my ire. As reflected by a Chinese blogger on his second posting on this matter after listening to the entire interview of Chen (H/T to ESWN again):


The words of Chen Qigang are used by the media out of context and are distorted. First, Chen did not say that Yang Peiyi was considered not good in appearance. He merely pointed out that Lin Miaoke was considered to have the best image. Second, when Chen talked about national interest, he was claiming that the national interest was served by combining the best stage presence with the best singing voice [to present the best perceived performance]. He did not mean that it was a matter of “national interest” to hide Yang Peiyi from the camera.

Continue reading »

Aug 12

An imperfect perfection

Written by: DJ | Filed under:media, News | Tags:, , , , , ,
237 Comments » newest 2016-04-07 05:04:31

Note: an update is inserted at the end.

The Beijing Olympics opening ceremony was, by most accounts, a brilliantly choreographed and spectacularly executed performance worth of a gold medal of its own. There were a fair number of notable highlights, and many journalists certainly were not shy from exhausting all the synonyms of the word “stunning” in the thesaurus in describing those scenes.

High on many Chinese viewers’ list of the most moving moments, however, is one that might not be easily appreciated by foreign audiences. Early in the process, China’s national flag was brought into the Bird’s Nest and raised while an young girl in a red dress stood singing “Hymn to the Motherland”. This song is perhaps best explained as the equivalent of “God Bless America” and is similarly considered an unofficial national anthem by many. The simple lyric line

歌唱我们亲爱的祖国,从今走向繁荣富强。 “We sing to our beloved motherland, on her way towards prosperity and strength.”

captures the hope and pride of so many Chinese for so long in merely 17 characters.
Continue reading »

Aug 11

H/T to The Boston Globe for a concise “Olympics TV Guide“.

Aug 11

No. I don’t mean the protesters or the political dudes mugging for the photo op. Continue reading »

Aug 10

The Olympics Demonstrate China’s “Soft Power”: on Baloney and Silliness.

Written by: bianxiangbianqiao | Filed under:Analysis | Tags:, , ,
104 Comments » newest 2013-06-24 07:07:30

Watching the NBC broadcast of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing gave me a sleepless night. Something about the ceremony and the games bothered me. I had to think it trough.

What do you make of the following features of the Opening Ceremony? Continue reading »

Aug 10

My wife and I, along with a German, an Aussie, a TCK (third culture kid), and an American watched the Opening Ceremonies on a giant screen in one of Tianjin’s biggest parks. There were thousands of people there, and very few foreigners. We’ve posted pictures, video, and blogged the experience, particularly the crowd’s reactions to different things (Watching the Opening Ceremony with a few thousand Tianjiners!).
Continue reading »

Aug 08

Who got the loudest cheers at the Opening Ceremony?

Written by: Nimrod | Filed under:culture, media, News | Tags:,
131 Comments » newest 2008-08-27 06:15:20

One of the interesting things about the Opening Ceremony is the outside world gets to see (or is made to pay attention to) a slice of raw Chinese public opinion on full display.

Besides obviously the home team, Taiwan probably got the loudest cheers from the Chinese crowd at the Bird’s Nest today, a sure head-scratcher to foreign pundits stuck in a brain warp, I’m sure, but no real surprise to Chinese people and those who know China.

As we watch the Opening Ceremony, let’s make a list of the teams that got the loudest cheers from the Chinese crowd today. It is bound to be interesting.
Continue reading »

Aug 08

The closing ceremony parade would be the most appropriate occasion for such expression of appreciation. Who will be the most likely among the spectators to display such affectionate banners, resident laowais or first time visitors?

Aug 07

How will Japanese athletes and their supporters be received during the Olympic Games in Beijing? Will they be booed by Chinese spectators? Will the Chinese show the propriety to stand up in respect when the Japanese national flag is raised and the Japanese national anthem played in the award-giving ceremonies?

From their past experiences in sports engagements with China, the Japanese are worried. How are they preparing themselves for possible slights and confrontations with the Chinese?

Do you think the spirit of hospitality in the Chinese governments’ adivce on the 8 questions Chinese shuold not ask foreigners during the Olympics will help put our Japanese visitors at ease?

This article is from the Sankei website (original in Japanese). 北京五輪で日本人の気骨を, by 平和・安全保障研究所理事長, 西原正, Fujisankei Communications Group, Opinion Magazine, July 29, 2008. Continue reading »

Aug 07

With the Beijing Games days away, the air quality issue has again surfaced, appearantly above the haze that’s settled on the city in the last couple days: Continue reading »

Aug 06

(Letter) Handling Olympic protests in Beijing – a ‘test case’?

Written by: es.nautilus | Filed under:Analysis, News | Tags:, , ,
38 Comments » newest 2013-06-06 12:29:59

Four members of the activist group, Students for a Free Tibet, have staged a lamppost protest in Beijing, unfurling a banner that read, ‘One World, One Dream – Free Tibet’, as the Olympic torch relay entered its final stage in the host city on Wednesday 6 August. All four – two British and two American nationals, holding tourist visas – have been arrested and are currently in police custody. In their interviews with the BBC, parents of the two British protesters spoke of their pride and explained that they were otherwise not unduly concerned about their children’s safety. They added that following the arrests the British students had made direct contact with their respective families, confirming that they had been treated well in custody. It is believed that they will now be entered into the deportation process within the coming days, whilst human rights campaign groups, including Students for a Free Tibet, have claimed further protests will follow in the weeks ahead. Continue reading »