Foreign Policy In Focus World Beat Vol. 3, No. 31 Going for the Gold
Forty years after the historic 1968 Olympics, the eyes of the world are focused on Beijing. The torch traveled 85,000 miles across the globe, the longest trip it has taken before a game since the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin. Just as in 1936, the run-up to these games has been fraught with protests focusing on the host country's human rights record, leaving many to question if China is using the games for political cover, just as Nazi Germany did.
Critical issues facing China, including conditions in Tibet, the war in Darfur, their support for undemocratic regimes, and most recently, the government's decision to censor journalists' use of the Internet during the Olympics, are all garnering media coverage. These competing controversies ultimately beg the question of whether China should have the games at all, and if the United States should participate.