Thursday, February 14, 2008

Something I don't understand

BEIJING was defiant yesterday in the face of its most embarrassing Olympic crisis so far, sparked by the US director Steven Spielberg's announcement that he is quitting as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Olympic Games because of China's continued support for its oil-rich trading partner Sudan.
Of all the things that the People's Republic is doing and has done, Sudan would not be the reason I suddenly decided to stop working with them. I can understand refusing to work with them from the beginning because of Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, all of which China has shown a willingness to abuse and ignore people's rights.

But Spielberg decided it was okay to work for the People's Republic of China despite Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong -- things that the PRC is unquestionably responsible for -- only to throw a snit over something far less directly traced to Beijing.

Darfur is horrible, and Khartoum should be ostracised, I suppose. But I don't get to set other countries' foreign policy. (If I did, there would be a million more Iraqis alive today.) And China's complicity with Darfur is pretty ephemeral, isn't it? I mean, America has had no luck in persuading Musharraf to not be a dick, and they've got a lot more influence over Pakistan than China has over Sudan, I'd say.

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