[Letter to the editor]A boycott will be good for China

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[Letter to the editor]A boycott will be good for China

I would like to differ with Pascal Boniface’s opinion in “Don’t boycott Beijing Games” (Aug. 27).
First of all, Boniface thinks boycotting the Olympic Games would not be an effective way to change China’s stance over human rights violations.
However, as he himself mentioned, the Olympic Games is the most-viewed event world- wide and China is looking forward to earning a tremendous amount of money as well as raising its own image in the world. This is why China is launching such a big international sports festival. In fact, China has already revealed its nervousness about calls for a boycott of the Beijing Games because it is an event that China has set such high hopes on. For instance, as Amnesty International urged China to stop human rights violations, China responded by shifting its stance, trying to solve violations of the human rights of child laborers and also promising to provide more freedom to the press.
Another issue Boniface is mistaken about is comparing China’s current situation with Mao’s period, stating that there is no need to worry anymore because China’s situation has progressed.
It is definitely true that people have gained more freedom than before and there has been progress in protecting their human rights. But does this mean it is OK when only 5 million people die now compared to more than 10 million who died last year? The reality is China should not be compared with the past period when violations of human rights were pervasive; rather, it should be compared with other countries in the 21st century.
Doing nothing but anticipating that China will fix its wrongdoings by themselves is unacceptable. If the world does not act, Beijing will be inflated with pride and will keep playing the bully.
China, as a member of the international community, cannot survive on its own. Responding to the cries of the global world is necessary for China to prosper as the world’s most powerful country.
Therefore, as individual international actors, we should urge China to stop transferring weapons to the Sudanese government and also stop violating the human rights of its people.
Lee Kang-eun, a senior at Ewha Girls’ Foreign Language High School
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