13 April 2008

Boycott of Beijing Olympics?

I just read a thoughtful article that explores whether boycotting travel to repressive countries is a good idea or not.

MSN Travel

The consensus, for the most part, seems to be that travel encourages exchange of ideas, opens up the societies involved, and moves a step toward making the repressive societies, well, less repressive.

And for the most part, I will agree. Having visited China myself in 2002, I came away with lots of different images - modernity and tradition, openness and strictness. I also saw that the Chinese wanted to interact with the outside world more, and I was glad to do my part while taking in the best of Beijing.

I do, however, draw the line when it comes to giving more legitimacy to the governments involved. I will tune out the Olympics because it's giving the Chinese government street credibility that it doesn't deserve. Besides, even if I wanted to go to China this year, it'd be too hectic anyway.

Moreover, I am willing to do a total boycott, when the government is also involved in harmful activities that affect me right inside the US, and the said government enjoys overwhelming popular support of the people. As stated in my last post, South Korea and Taiwan are now in that category, with the people voting the Moonies into power by large margins so that they can work on exterminating the likes of me in the US.