Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chinese Racism (pt5)

This picture was sent by my son. I think it sums up the hypocrisy of the Chinese protesters nicely.

Death to racism, the world over!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A useful link on Tibet

Take a look here:

Lots of useful information.

Chinese Racism in Canberra (pt4)

China calls for a people's army to march on Canberra to defend torch

John Garnaut and Maya Li in Beijing
April 16, 2008

THOUSANDS of Chinese Australians are being asked to rally and defend the Olympic torch from Tibetan "splittists", "scum" and "running dogs" when it arrives in Canberra next week.

The mass campaign is being organised by community leaders in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, while the Chinese embassy is also said to be actively supporting a peaceful show of strength.

One Canberra-based student organiser, Zhang Rongan, said he expected more than 10,000 patriotic Chinese to go to the capital when the torch arrives on April 24. He was arranging "strong men" to protect other torch defenders against violent attacks from pro-Tibet or Falun Gong forces, he said, adding there would be one nurse or doctor on site for every 100 protesters.

Chinese nationals and many ethnic Chinese worldwide have been angered by television news footage of pro-Tibetan protesters in London and Paris "attacking" the Olympic torch, which they see as the ultimate symbol of China's re-emergence in the world.

As the torch has travelled the world, cities along its route have cut its run through their streets and strengthened security to avoid further clashes. Pakistan, which will host the first leg of its Asia relay today, has changed the venue for the torch run, holding it in a stadium closed to the public. India has trimmed the route by two-thirds and Japan has cancelled a public celebration linked to the relay later this month in the city of Nagano because of security concerns.

Perceptions that the West is pro-Tibet and anti-China have generated a furious outpouring of ethnic Chinese patriotism, fuelled by private bloggers and the state propaganda machine.

But the Canberra campaign is unlikely to improve Western views of China because many protest leaders are borrowing the militaristic anti-Tibet and anti-Western rhetoric that is bubbling out of the mainland.

One letter widely circulated among Chinese Australians said "the China forces" in Canberra are weak and need reinforcement because the city is a "separatist base" for Falun Gong, pro-Tibet, pro-Uighur (an ethnic minority group in China's north-west) and other "splittists". It said that no Chinese can tolerate being humiliated by "scum of the Chinese nation" and "running dogs".

"Whether you carry a Chinese passport or are an Australian citizen, I believe that each and every one of you, the sons and daughters of China, are as one with us in loyalty and love for the motherland!" the letter said, adding registration details for free bus rides from Sydney and Melbourne.

This and other calls to protest are being promoted through Chinese-Australian websites such as

Zhang Zhuning, chairman of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association in Canberra, said Australian police were underestimating the "piles of monks" and Vietnamese "paid" thugs from Sydney who would create trouble.

But he was not afraid of local Falun Gong groups because Chinese triad gangs had "quietened them down".

The language about Tibet and the Olympic torch is more extreme inside China.

Individuals who have called for moderation or dialogue, such as Chang Ping, an editor at the Southern Metropolis Daily, have been subjected to vicious, personal denunciations on blog sites and in state-controlled newspapers.

Zhang Rongan, the Canberra-based student organiser, said the Chinese embassy in Canberra "is organising buses, food and places to stay" for protesters.

Chinese security official in Beijing has also told the Herald that the embassy was organising volunteers to provide a human wall to protect the torch, although the embassy did not return calls late yesterday.

Student organisers say they are arranging express courier deliveries of giant Chinese national flags from the mainland because shops in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne have sold out.

Chinese Racism in Canberra (pt3)

25 April 2008 - 8:46AM
City's shining example eclipses ugly side
By Megan Doherty City Reporter

Canberra had "shown the world" how to stage a successful leg of the Beijing Olympics torch relay despite seven arrests and ugly scenes among some moments of real beauty and pride yesterday.

A massive contingent of Chinese inundated Canberra for the day, most bussed in from interstate, leading to speculation it was only an orchestrated display of nationalism designed to swamp pro-Tibet sentiment.

Some violent scuffles erupted within the crowds but most stoushes were verbal not physical.

Police estimated 7500 Chinese were present in Canberra, compared with 2000 pro-Tibet supporters.

But the Chinese Students and Scholars Association said the figure was more than 20,000, creating unprecedented scenes in Canberra as the five-starred red flag took over the national capital.

The Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China which supports one China claimed 10,000 Chinese came just from Sydney.

"We are not here for protests, we are here for the Olympics because this is the dream we've been dreaming for 100 years," vice-president Dr Ven Tan said.

ACT Chief Police Officer Michael Phelan said the 550 local and interstate police had done their job well. He had received no complaints or reports of injuries.

"There were certainly enough police to look after, not only the protection of the torch, the runners, but also the public at large," he said.

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope declared the day an "outstanding success".

While he was dismayed by the aggression shown by some Chinese, he believed the vast majority were displaying "proud nationalism" equivalent to Australians at the 2006 soccer World Cup in Germany.

Mr Stanhope said the Canberra leg of the Beijing Olympics torch relay had been better than any of the previous 14 sections and "it didn't go to custard" like the London, Paris or San Francisco routes.

"I had one priority today a successful relay displaying Australia through its national capital to the world and we exceeded beyond my wildest expectations in doing that," he said

The police and a steel fence ensured the Olympic flame travelled the entire 16km route and even across Lake Burley Griffin by a women's rowing eight without being accosted by protesters or taken inside a vehicle or building for protection.

Olympic gold medallist swimmer Libby Trickett (nee Lenton) was beaming after completing her section down Commonwealth Avenue, in what was her first torch relay run.

"That was fantastic, so much fun and the crowd was amazing I'm still buzzing," she said.

There was jostling between an AFP officer and a torch attendant at the beginning of the relay. Mr Phelan said it was a minor miscommunication about how close the attendant could be to the flame.

"Once it was articulated, it was not a problem," he said.

ACT Olympic Torch Relay Organising Committee chairman Ted Quinlan was surprised by the numbers of Chinese who did turn out for the day but maintained organisers had not been overwhelmed.

"Australia has shown the world again that we can organise an event better than anyone," he said.

Veteran Olympian Ron Clarke, who was the second-last of the 80 torch-bearers, said the Canberra leg of the relay had been "a big success", as the Olympic flame left last night for Japan for its the next section.

"I think it's set the pattern for the rest of the world," Mr Clarke said.

"It just shows you what can be done when it's properly organised, frankly. It's a pity that other people like San Francisco didn't have the same sort of planning and forethought."

Mr Phelan said the seven people arrested had been charged with offences under the Major Events Security Act. The five pro-Chinese and two pro-Tibet supporters faced fines if found guilty.

One of the seven arrested was a man who sat on Commonwealth Avenue ahead of Rob de Castella as the Olympian ran with the flame towards Parliament House. Mr Phelan defended the manner in which the police removed the man from the road. "I thought it was appropriate," he said.

At Reconciliation Place and Parliament House, there were tense stand-offs and violent scuffles between pro-Chinese and pro-Tibet or pro-East Turkistan groups, with police either forming a barricade between the opposing sides or dragging protesters out of the crowd to be detained on police buses.

One small section of the Chinese were aggressive, screaming abuse at Tibetan supporters and sticking their fingers up at monks. There were complaints of Tibetan supporters being roughed up and their flags being smothered.

Some Tibetan demonstrators, too, seemed to want to provoke a response, repeatedly walked past the aggressive section of the Chinese crowd, ignoring the majority who were standing peacefully watching the unfolding ceremony.

Pro-Tibet supporter Loretta Rosa said she had taken shelter near a media tent at Reconciliation Place because she did not feel safe walking through the crowds displaying a Tibet flag.

"As an Australian, I should be able to come here and feel safe to carry my point of view as well as the thousands and thousands of Chinese flags I've seen around Canberra," she said.

Gungahlin student Yongjie Qi, 22, who came to Australia from China seven years ago, said he wanted no trouble yesterday.

"We are peaceful, we are happy to be here and we wish to have a really, really good Olympics this year," he said.

There was tit-for-tat protest action throughout the day: Greens senator Bob Brown commissioned a sky-writer to emblazon the sky above Parliament House with "Free Tibet"; it was quickly followed by a light plane dragging a "Go Go Beijing Olympics" sign.

Before the relay start, Mr Stanhope had called for respect for the torch-bearers, "some of whom have done more to advance the cause of human rights on this planet than most of us will ever dream of doing".

The total cost of running the relay would double to about $2 million mainly due to a "significant" police overtime bill. Mr Stanhope did not yet have a firm commitment from the Commonwealth to pay half.

"I would have spent 10 times the $2 million we spent to achieve what I've achieved in the national capital today," he said.

The ACT Government estimated there were 20,000 people at Reconciliation Place, 15,000 at Parliament House, 3000 at the Australian War Memorial and 40,000 at Commonwealth Park, but said some people would have moved from location to location.

Chinese Racism in Canberra (pt2)

25 April 2008 - 8:49AM
Street war victory to the red army
By Noel Towel, Canberra

Canberra was given a taste of red power yesterday as up to 10,000 pro-Chinese demonstrators descended on the capital for the Olympic torch relay.

Armed with red flags and loud voices, the activists, mostly students bused in from Sydney and Melbourne, outnumbered Tibetan protesters and their allies by at least five-to-one.

While the Tibetan side was outnumbered, it enjoyed some star power, with Canadian singer k.d. lang lending her voice to the push for a "free Tibet".

All up, seven people were arrested.

The style and mood of the protests changed throughout the relay route, with hot spots breaking out along the way. One man who tried to block the path of torch-bearer Robert de Castella was quickly whisked away by police.

A few hundred metres from the Australian War Memorial on the so-called "peace mile" brothers John and Nick Price, of North Canberra, claimed they incurred the wrath of an angry pro-China mob.

Nick Price said the trouble started when he and John walked down the middle of Anzac Parade carrying a large "Free Tibet" banner.

"Everyone [was] running with their flags and probably a mob of 100 Chinese surrounded us, pushing us, trying to steal the banner, throwing sticks at us, a lot of abuse," he said. John Price added, "They hit us with sticks on the head and threw rocks at us."

There were more disturbing scenes near the parliamentary triangle with claims the great wall of China supporters was intimidating anyone supporting the Tibetan cause.

Tibetans were not the only ones who turned out to air their grievances against China; Vietnamese, East Turkistanis, Mongolians and Falun Gong devotees were also in voice.

Tibet supporters claimed the Chinese were "rent-a-crowd", university students who had been bussed in from Sydney and Melbourne for the benefit of Chinese TV.

But the Chinese denied it, claiming they came to show their support for their country, and to spread the Olympic spirit.

According to the men and women in red, the human-rights protesters were "liars" who were being paid by foreigners to destroy China's reputation and it was a patriotic duty to defend their nation from the "slurs" of the Tibetans.

The Chinese were well organised with larger groups marshalled by stewards dressed in white and carrying two-way radios, who issued strict orders for the students not to discuss politics with the media.

Canberra-based Chinese Students and Scholars Association representative Zhang Rongan was thinking big yesterday, putting the numbers of Chinese nationals in the capital as high as 20,000 police estimated there were 7500 to 10,000 and denied widespread speculation that the crowds were organised by the Chinese Government.

"We were thinking initially at the most 5000, but it turns out more than 20,000 came," he said.

Mr Zhang said the students paid their own travel costs to Canberra and were not funded by the students' association.

"They just rented the buses to get down the cost," he said.

"They paid their own way. Nobody could afford to pay for so many people."

David Sun and Yoyo, who work for the Chinese state company CATIC in Sydney, said the pro-human rights activists were not telling the truth.

"These people are employed by someone who pays them money to be here," Mr Sun said.

"Many of them are not Tibetans at all. I do not know where they are from. I don't think they should tell lies."

Temay Rigzin, from Canberra's Tibetan community, said the movement in Australia was disappointed by the day's events.

The Tibetans who mustered a crowd of about 2000 believed their message had been drowned out by the behaviour of the Chinese.

Mr Rigzin said he and his fellow protesters had been "mobbed" by pro-Beijing activists.

"A fair few people were pushed around and subjected to mob intimidation but no one was seriously hurt," he said.

"A lot of the time the police were watching the torch and this was going on between stages of the torch relay.

"We felt from the start to have our message heard, but then we felt we got intimidated and overwhelmed and stifled by the Chinese supporters.

"So in that respect, we didn't get the chance to talk about our message as much as we'd like to."

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said he was proud of the efforts of the 550 police officers on duty yesterday to control the situation and praised his police chief.

"Today was a remarkable success," he said.

"There were some incidents and some very strong expressions of nationalism from the Chinese groups in Australia."

But the Chief Minister said there was none of the violence or disruption which marred the torch relay in London or Paris, and which Canberra had feared.

"It ran its full course, it was peaceful," he said.

"I'm absolutely chuffed."

with AAP

Chinese Racism in Canberra (pt 1)

25 April 2008 - 8:50AM
A coup for the cadres of the embassy
Jack Waterford, Canberra

The emergence, and, in their terms, effectiveness of the red Chinese army in Canberra yesterday was a stunning success for a Chinese embassy intelligence operation which has long maintained close surveillance on most of the nearly 100,000 Chinese students in Australia, and which controls most of the Chinese student associations.

Most of the expenses, and virtually all of the organisation, down to transport, accommodation, strategies, tactics, marshals, face markings and issues of Chinese flags, was arranged by the embassy, which has good reason to think that what occurred overwhelmed protests about Chinese actions in Tibet, other ethnic regions, treatment of the Falung Gung, or actions in Iran, Darfur or Zimbabwe.

By comparison with the value of international and Chinese headlines reporting basic calm, a few arrests, local shock and official distaste in Canberra for the ruthless efficiency of the operation is of little moment.

But to read from that either that the Chinese manipulated a group of brain-washed automatons, or that they blackmailed student participation by threatening repercussions at home, is probably to fundamentally misunderstand what occurred.

It was not threats, real or implicit, that mobilised the students, even if a good many of them understand perfectly well that negative reports could make life unpleasant back home, including for members of families. Nor, by and large, were the numbers gathered in the way of a traditional "spontaneous demonstration" of the sort familiar to those who watch the antics of Arab dictators such as the late Saddam Hussein or political militias in Indonesia.

It was by appealing to a sense of pride, a sense of siege from "unfair" criticism, and a strong belief by many ordinary Chinese students that the upsurge of affected interest in Tibet, or criticism of China, is itself a staged intelligence operation by China's enemies.

A read of the internet discussions focuses particularly on CNN as a supposed senior conspiricist in this propaganda.

The students were invited to rally to defend their country, to show their pride in it, and to express their pleasure and satisfaction at what China has achieved, particularly in recent times.

It was accompanied, of course, by invocations of the wicked motivations, and manipulations, of the enemies of China and the Chinese. These enemies were provoking "splittism" wanting to weaken China by encouraging separatist movements, whether of Tibetans, Uighurs or Muslims.

Canberra has a substantial population of Chinese students, but, even if all mobilised, these were bound to be overwhelmed by splittists, "scum of the Chinese nation" such as Falun Gong supporters, and others wanting to humiliate China in front of the world because Canberra was a "separatist base", full also of monks and "paid Vietnamese thugs".

The Chinese embassy circulated a letter to students hooked into Chinese Students Association networks asking for a voluntary organised and spontaneous peaceful patriotic activity ... to prevent the disruptive actions of Free Tibet campaigners and anti-Chinese elements from interfering with the Olympic torch relay.

The letter an English translation was published by told students:

"Discipline: obey orders, act collectively. Prevent all actions that can be detrimental to the image of China, including words, comments and provocative behaviour, or any use of force. When confronting provocation, you must be aware that the media will exaggerate even your most minor actions ... Maintain a smiling face to onlookers, the media and other peaceful demonstrators. Demonstrate the good behaviour of the Chinese.

"The organisers will pay costs in advance. However if any participants wish to pay for themselves, they will be most welcome."

Chinese students in Australia are great internet users, and, like students elsewhere, enthusiastic users of mobiles and other communications devices.

Pride, common purpose, and often, local language difficulties, loneliness and some alienation from Australians as well as a stronger sense of purpose, means most not only socialise with each other, but keep in touch with bulletin boards, representative groups and home.

Chinese Racism In Australia

Further to my last article, we have another example of Chinese Racism and Nationalism being used to drown dissent.

Right to speak extinguished
Christian Kerr | April 25, 2008

AT times it looked like Lygon Street or Leichhardt on the night of a big game: young blokes driving up and down; flags sticking out of the windows.

But the context was wrong. This wasn't Melbourne or Sydney's inner city. It was the wide, formal avenues of the nation's capital.

The mood was different, too. It felt like one of those soccer games where 500 years of Balkan history is played out on the pitch.

The Olympic Torch Relay run through Canberra was supposed to be a celebration. Instead, it became a clash of cultures. Australia's lost. Yesterday, Beijing suppressed freedom of expression in the heart of our democracy.

Up to 10,000 Chinese students descended on Canberra in a show of national pride, but much of that pride was chauvinism. The T-shirts made this clear. Some simply said "Beijing 2008". Others read "One China". Some were explicit: "Tibet, Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands were, are and always will be part of China."

Banners bore a message, too. "Media: truth shall set you free," one warned. Before the torch had started running, pro-Tibetan protesters had been penned in by a ring of Chinese on Federation Mall, outside Parliament House.

It was a pattern repeated through the day and reflected in arrests. Five of the seven arrested, police media said, were Chinese.

Chinese flags were draped in front of signs and used to block off cameras. Tibet supporters were struck with flagpoles. There were racial taunts. The students looked well funded and well co-ordinated. "The way the world is ... we need events like this more than ever before," Robert de Castella said. "It's really important to continue to promote the ideals of events like the Olympic Games and the Olympic spirit."

But if anything ruled the day, it was a spirit of intimidation. Tiffany Mahon, from the Canberra suburb of Calwell, said she'd come to see the relay with her husband and mother because "we love the Olympics and we wanted to see Ian Thorpe".

But as she passed dozens of young Chinese people, encircling and shouting down a protester in Commonwealth Park, she said she was shaken by the aggression and lack of respect shown to people's right to free speech.

Ms Mahon said she had seen China supporters grab and throw away a flag from a Free Tibet protester and others surround and shout at a small band from Amnesty International, who were eventually extricated by police.

"It's pretty insulting that Australians in their own country need riot police to protect them from foreign nationals," one of the Amnesty group said.

Lars Hahn, from Canberra, attracted debate and abuse by wearing a "Free China" T-shirt and calling for Chinese people to be given a vote. "I like China but it would be a much better country as a democracy, not a dictatorship," he said.

Chinese Racism Abroad

My son is studying for his PhD in Canberra. One interesting little tidbit he relayed to me is that it is widely known in amongst the national security services of the various organs of the Australian government that the various Chinese Student Associations (CSA's) are controlled by the Chinese equivalent of the Secret Police or Secret Service to actively monitor the activities of their citizens studying abroad.

In this case it seems to have gone a little further with the CSA's organizing huge rallies (20,000 Chinese student bused into Canberra, the capital of Australia, pop 300,000) to effectively drown out Tibetan protesters and also to monitor Tibetans (for what purposes one can only imagine).

Whilst I firmly support free speech and the right to protest, one cannot help but think that this crosses the line between the right to protest and agitation by a foreign government in another country. That said, I'm fairly certain that many of the Chinese students attending the rally would have been there out of legitimate nationalistic feelings that Han Chinese seem to associate with them own 'race'.

Death to racism and intimidation in all it's forms!

Chinese students bully torch crowds
Paul Maley | April 25, 2008

GANGS of Chinese students have marred the Australian leg of the Olympic torch relay, assaulting, intimidating and harassing vastly outnumbered pro-Tibetan activists as the torch was carried through Canberra's streets.

Last night, the ACT Government proclaimed the event an "outstanding success" after managing to avoid the violence that has marked the flame's passage through Europe and the US.

"This is the 14th stop of the Beijing Olympic torch relay ... and it's the first successful relay that's been run," ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said.

While the majority of the crowd was peaceful, there was sporadic violence during yesterday's 16km run. Seven people were arrested - five pro-China supporters and two pro-Tibetans. Early in the relay, one man jumped a barrier and sat cross-legged in the torch's path, only to be quickly bundled away by police.

And in what was described as an example of poor communication between Australian authorities and paramilitary flame attendants, members of the police security detail were forced to push aside Chinese security guards early in the run after they attempted to run inside the phalanx of Australian Federal Police officers surrounding the flame.

While the torch carriers were allowed to travel unmolested through the streets, dozens of Tibetan activists were assaulted or intimidated by highly organised groups of Chinese students who flocked from around the country to support the relay.

In one incident witnessed by The Australian, brothers John and Nick Price were forced to jump a barricade to escape a gang of young Chinese men who attacked them after they attempted to walk down Anzac Parade with a Free Tibet banner.

"We were being pushed and spat on, abused. We were kicked in the back and punched. We were hit with flagpoles. They pushed me to the ground," John Price said.

The Chinese members of the crowds became angry when a plane skywriting the words "free Tibet", bankrolled by Greens senator Bob Brown, crossed the sky.

The relay began at 8.50am when 2007 Young Australian of the Year Tania Major carried the flame to a rowing scull that took it across Lake Burley Griffin.

It was greeted by thousands of Chinese supporters waving flags, chanting slogans and singing the Chinese national anthem. It then proceeded back past Parliament House and the War Memorial, before travelling down Canberra's main thoroughfare where there were numerous skirmishes.

The Chinese contingent, estimated by police to be between 7500 and 10,000, appeared well organised, arriving before dawn in a convoy of buses mostly from Sydney and Melbourne.

Chinese marshals mustered the students via two-way radio. By contrast, pro-Tibetan groups numbered about 2000, police said. At least 550 police were called on to control the crowd of 20,000.

Referring to reports the Chinese embassy had been involved in organising the students, Mr Stanhope said he was aware of "contact" between the embassy and some of the Chinese groups.

While the torch's journey was unmolested, the flame was twice extinguished. The torch went out briefly when it arrived on the northern side of Lake Burley Griffin and then most spectacularly at the end of the relay the Olympic cauldron went out, having been lit by swimming great Ian Thorpe only moments earlier. Last night, the Olympic flame left Canberra for the next leg of its journey in Nagano, Japan.

Censorship in Singapore

A great little snippet on censorship in the name of 'family values' in

Singapore censor fines TV station for showing gay family

April 25, 2008 - 6:29AM

A Singapore television station has been fined for airing a show that featured a gay couple and their baby in a way that "promotes a gay lifestyle," the city-state's media regulator said.

The Media Development Authority fined MediaCorp TV Channel 5 some 15,000 Singapore dollars ($A11,600), it said in a statement on its website.

The station aired an episode of a home and decor series called Find and Design that featured a gay couple wanting to transform their game room into a new nursery for their adopted baby.

The authority said the episode contained scenes of the gay couple with their baby and the presenter's congratulations and acknowledgment of them as a family unit "in a way which normalises their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup".

The episode was in breach of rules on free-to-air television programming, which disallows content that promotes, justifies or glamourises gay lifestyles, the statement said.

Earlier this month, the authority fined a Singapore cable television operator, StarHub Cable Vision $S10,000 for airing a commercial that showed two lesbians kissing.

Under Singapore law, gay sex is deemed "an act of gross indecency" punishable by a maximum of two years in jail.

Despite the official ban on gay sex, there have been few prosecutions. But authorities have banned gay festivals and censored gay films, saying homosexuality should not be advocated as a lifestyle choice.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Chinese Racism in Sport

Found a wonderful article on how China is perpetuating racist policies in sport.  Even Zimbabwe, with all of it's racist problems still allows a white woman to represent them in swimming, but, according to this report, if you are living in Hong Kong and want to compete at the Olympic level: only Chinese need apply.

When read in conjunction with the previous report on people who speak out on racism being labelled as promoting "splitism" by the Chinese Communist party, you can begin to see just how far China has to travel in relation to other countries in terms of confronting racism, both in society and, as this and the previous article demonstrate, at a governmental level.

One wonders when the world will take actions similar to those taken against South Africa.

Hong Kong’s Olympic Racism

17 October 2007
Original can be found here
Only Chinese need apply for the territory’s Olympic team

Until recently, qualification to represent Hong Kong at the Olympics was determined by length of residence, in keeping with the territory’s dependent status and the multi-ethnic origins of a significant part of its population. But now the Hong Kong government, perhaps abetted by Beijing, is changing the rules in a move that borders on outright racism.

Although qualification by length of residence remains the case with other dependent territories, such as Bermuda, it is being made a condition of joining a Hong Kong Olympic team that individuals have a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport, which requires that the person be of Chinese nationality. This is contrary to practice across the whole Olympic movement.

1. The Olympic movement bases nationality qualification not on passports but on “sports nationality.” Thus a British passport holder who has lived in Australia for several years would be eligible to represent Australia. In the same way a Canadian permanent resident of Hong Kong should be able to represent the territory.

2. The implementation of a Chinese nationality qualification for Hong Kong (and also Macao) in effect gives China three representations while depriving non-Chinese national residents any chance to compete for the territory. It also enables mainlanders to qualify very quickly to represent Hong Kong rather than China.

3. China’s definition of a Chinese national includes an ethnic element. Thus a Malaysian Chinese resident in Hong Kong for a short time may readily be accepted as a national while a person of Indian descent will have great difficulty even if resident for many years and willing to abandon Indian national status.

Hong Kong has only once won a gold medal – wind-surfer Lee Lai-shan in 1996 so its presence is largely irrelevant in the wider scheme of things. But it is not irrelevant to persons such as equestrian hopeful Jennifer Lee Ming-hua, who was born in the US and has a US passport but has lived in Hong Kong for 14 years and has a locally born husband and children. To compete she would have to become a Chinese national and acquire an SAR passport.

The International Olympic Committee is allowing Chinese chauvinism to trump its own rules and ideals. It is time either to make Hong Kong change its qualifications or take it out of the IOC, together with Timothy Fok, the territory’s representative on the IOC, who got there not through sporting achievements but as the son and heir of billionaire property developer and Beijing friend, the late Henry Fok.