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Olympic Crackdown Continues; Media Internet Access Restricted

As the Olympics draw ever closer, what the Chinese government is willing to accept grows clearer.  Having already clamped down on visas and having made it clear that undesirable banners and the like will not be tolerated, China has now announced that reporters Internet access will be censored.  Having already roughed up reporters trying to cover the chaos of people trying to buy Olympic tickets is not a particularly encouraging precedent.   That the BBC and Apple Daily, out of Hong Kong, were cut off for the media recently is also not encouraging.

We fully understand that China has a different point of view on any number of things, but the fact is that they made commiments and promises when they won the right to host the games, and they are not living up to them.  If the government goes overboard in a desire to control everything, the legacy of these games won't be, friendship, as actress Zang Ziyi would like. Instead, it will likely be an international referendum on the Chinese government.

Clearly China has accomplished great things since economic reform started, and just as clearly, they have a brilliant and ancient civilization which the rest of the world would do well to understand.

Just as clearly, however, the Olympics could still blow up in their face.

By the way, WUNC had a program Tuesday on the Olympics which featured DBR reader Scott Savitt. You can listen to that here.