Friday, August 8, 2008

China's Olympic Promises

The Promise: The air over Beijing would be clear in time for the Olympics.

The Reality: Beijing's air pollution exceeds the World Health Organization's recommended target level by a wide margin.

The Excuse: "Good air quality does not necessarily mean blue sky."

The Promise: Complete media freedom.

The Reality: Access blocked to some Internet sites, including Amnesty International.

The Excuse: None.

The Promise: Improved human rights.

The Reality: Crackdown in Tibet.

The Excuse: None.

The Promise: A safe food supply for athletes and visitors to China.

The Reality: Hong Kong's Centre for Food Protection reported today that it is investigating 54 new cases of food poisoning. Ten of the victims were part of a group that visited mainland China on August 4 and 5; twelve people suffered gastroenteritis after eating at a restaurant in Sheung Wan (Hong Kong) on August 4; and 32 people developed stomach pains and diarrhea after eating a take-out meal on August 6. This is the most recent addition to a long litany of food poisoning reports published by the CFP, most of which are restaurant-related.

The Excuse: Hong Kong isn't Beijing?

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