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- Johnny Erling on China’s youth: giant babies, rebels or nationalists?
China often expresses the wish that not everything should be overly politicized. However, it is difficult to satisfy this wish. Because the Communist Party, for its part, turns everything it touches into an object of systemic competition. This also applies to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, which begins today at 1 PM (CET). That is why China.Table is particularly interested in what impact the Olympics will have on international relations, and especially on Germany.
Although the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is now in parliamentary opposition, it ruled continuously for 16 years until recently. We asked the human rights spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group for his opinion on the 2022 Olympics in China. Michael Brand does not mince matters in today’s interview: The IOC is prostituting itself for money and is thus betraying the Olympic idea, Brand says. Even now, he is calling for a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics because awarding the Olympic Games to China was a mistake in the first place. If values no longer play a role, the Olympics will be “run into the ground,” Brand believes. Germany must not look the other way in the face of genocide.
In an exclusive survey, we commissioned the opinion research institute Civey to poll the German population on this topic. The results confirm Brands’ position. Three-quarters of respondents think it is wrong that a country is allowed to host the Olympics while serious human rights violations are being committed there. The Olympics are also facing criticism from citizens’ groups and other organizations, writes Marcel Grzanna. The heads of state who attend the Olympics are mostly from authoritarian-ruled nations.
Meanwhile, the winter sports industry is getting into the Olympic spirit. Although not quite as many Chinese have become active skiers as is sometimes claimed, sports schools and equipment suppliers are reporting a significant increase in sales in the Middle Kingdom this year. At least the commercial promise of the Olympics is partially fulfilled, report our Beijing correspondents. If it only weren’t for Covid. The pandemic is holding back business.
Today, Johnny Erling writes about the enigma that is China’s youth. True, the propaganda machine has successfully instilled patriotism in those born after the year 2000, but this generation is also very self-conscious and urbane. We will see if they will always follow Xi as obediently as he hopes.
‘The IOC betrays the Olympic idea’
Mr. Brand, do you watch the broadcasts of the Winter Olympics?
I am a sports enthusiast and I like to watch the Olympic Games. But with the decision to award the Olympics to Beijing, the Games have lost their innocence. The IOC is betraying the Olympic idea. I, for one, will not be watching the Chinese regime’s display at the opening ceremony; there is really no need to put yourself through that. All the more reason for me to keep my fingers crossed for everyone, especially the German athletes, and hope that they will have a lot of fun and success.
What specifically do you criticize about the International Olympic Committee?