2008 China Olympics

For good or ill, the International Olympic Committee’s decision to allow China to host the Olympics is going to be remembered for a very long time.

It says a lot about the disaster that's unfolding for the Beijing games that the withdrawal of an Olympic favorite caused hardly a ripple. And why should it when bigger stories are brewing? It's possible that:

A forced shutdown of Beijing's factories and power plants during the games will throw China into an economic downturn.

Diversion of safe food to the Olympic Village will cause food riots elsewhere in China.

The transfer of 80 billion gallons of water -- equal to the annual water consumption of Tucson, Ariz., a city of 535,000 -- from Shaanxi and other provinces in northwestern China will shut down factories and agriculture in the region.

Yes, the Beijing Olympics, which were supposed to showcase China to the world, are still likely to provide exactly the kind of prestige-building extravaganza that the country's leaders had hoped for. But domestically, the games are quickly turning into an economic and political disaster. Once upon a time -- maybe six months ago -- investors (including yours truly) looked on the Olympics as a guarantee that China's stock market and economy would keep chugging along through the summer. "Safe until August" was the mantra.

Now, it increasingly looks like the games themselves could be the catalyst for a significant downturn in China's stock market and economy.

Just recently former Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek had his visa revoked by Chinese authorities Wednesday, hours before he was set to travel to Beijing to promote his effort urging China to help make peace in the war-torn Darfur section of Sudan.

Cheek, the president and co-founder of a collection of Olympic athletes known as Team Darfur, was planning to spend about two weeks in China, when he received an unexpected call from authorities.

The 2006 American gold medalist said they told him they were denying him entrance into the country and were "not required to give a reason."

"I didn't see it coming," Cheek said. "I figured once they gave me a visa, I wouldn't imagine they wouldn't allow me to come in later. That was a big shock. I wasn't expecting to get a call the evening before I was leaving for Beijing."

Cheek told The Los Angeles Times that he intends to meet with Chinese officials in Washington on Wednesday morning.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said the U.S. would protest China's decision to deny the visa.

One of Cheek's key initiatives was urging the international community to persuade Sudan to observe the ancient tradition of the Olympic truce during the Beijing Games.

1 comments:



gambling said...

that doesn't happen everyday. wish you all the best.