August 06, 2008
OLYMPICS ARE COMING
“China Surveillance may extend to taxis.” Front page of the WSJ Asia, a gripping reality to all free world born tourists heading to the Beijing Olympics. As it turns out, those little black microphones that started popping up in taxis a few years ago, were really part of the governments protective defense against terrorists for the planned summer Olympics. These days it is no joke. The majority of the friction so far seems to be coming from Xinjiang and Tibet, which both have just cause to despise the Chinese way of life, but there are still plenty more dissidents in line. Still, the massive Chinese surveillance system that spans cameras, phone bugs, cell phone/online tracking software, vast networks of informers and the low tech system of tracking where foreigners have traveled through our passport checks at all hotels, will exist for years after the games have left Beijing. China may be blossoming into one of the most culturally vibrant and exciting courtiers in the world, but it is still leans heavily on its controlled communist past.
With the games only a few days away, locals are quickly cowering in their homes in fear of the terrorist strikes to come. Personally, I would say that the safest place would be right by the Olympic venues. If there were any government that I would trust with keeping the peace (Americans, British, Australians), it would have to be Hu Jintao and his armed guard. There is something about the tattered velvet glove over the iron fist that is China that soothes my fears. They may be crude and rude, but they are certainly not sloppy. With one and a half days to go, I wish them all the luck with the coming Olympics!
Labels: News and Interests