[Letter to the editor] Olympic hopes

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[Letter to the editor] Olympic hopes

Can China really host the world’s biggest games this year? I am not talking about pollution, security or food poisoning worries. I am talking about fundamental human rights and the idea of peace, which is the point of the Olympic Games.
Recently the film director Steven Spielberg quit from his involvement with the 2008 Summer Games over China’s human rights failings. Some days ago, the Chinese government condemned a foreign singer for yelling “Tibet!” during a Shanghai concert. Now, Tibetan people are getting killed struggling for liberty.
Half a century ago, China forcibly occupied Tibet. Since than, the people of Tibet have suffered for liberty.
The issue of Tibet always has been the dark side of the vibrant prosperity and economic development of the proud country that stands at the “center” of the world. Listing its human rights violations would fill a thick book.
The Olympic Games are held to promote harmony and peace. During the Olympic season, athletes from different places around the world compete and mix together in the spirit of brotherhood. The games, I would say, are sacred.
However, the country that is going to host the games is killing people who struggle for freedom. Isn’t this contradictory?
Can China regard itself as one of the leading countries in the world? Can it have the right to host the sacred games?
Is China hosting the Olympics to learn the spirit of peace or is it just for economic interest? As a citizen of a country which was once illegally occupied in the past, the position of China regarding Tibet makes me so angry. China should have let Tibet keep its independence, or at least it should have tried to find more peaceful ways of coexistence.
China is a country with a rich historical heritage. Its history, culture, arts and so on are very valuable for everyone. However, China is giving a bad name to its valuable assets as it ignores human rights.
China seems to consider the Olympics only as a means for advancing its economic and political interests. Why are they spitting right on their own face?
The Olympics could be used to show the world how great a country China is. I want to plead to China to think about the true meaning of the Olympics. I really do hope China secures human rights and hosts the international games successfully. Otherwise, the world should reconsider hosting the Olympics this year. Citius, Altius, Fortius (Swifter, Higher, Stronger) is the Olympic motto. China should find a peaceful solution to human rights issues for peace and the future of mankind.
Kang Yoon Seung, student, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
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