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Beijing Olympics – Will All Hell Break Loose?

What happens when you combine the world’s largest event with a police state intent on silencing dissidents?

What happens when you combine the world’s largest event with a police state intent on silencing dissidents?

We’re going to find out! In 2008 the summer Olympics will be held throughout China with the events mainly in Beijing. It’ll be bad enough for travelers as they struggle to navigate an overcrowded, polluted city and a completely alien culture stunted by years of repressed education – so much so that some tour companies are even offering ex-pat concierge services to mitigate the misery. But even worse, Beijing is likely to be as downright hazardous as a war zone during the Olympics themselves.

In the run-up to August the ruling Communist elite have been doing whatever they can to silence outbreaks of protests by targeting the few brave souls who risk ‘disappearing’ by issuing statements critical of the government. Bloggers are imprisoned for 10 years just for suggesting policy change. This is not surprising in a country that goes to great lengths to ensure web knowledge repositories, like wikipedia and various news sites, are censored.

During the Olympics, the world’s eye will be trained on a country choking on the coal emissions of their unmanageable growth. The normal brutal methods used to repress crowds and dissidents will not be available to a regime eager to improve it’s image in world standing but not actually willing to make changes concerning human rights.

Things get dangerous since protesters with an agenda know that the government’s hand will be tied during the Olympics themselves. What better time to rally for real environmental regulation, property rights, cultural preservation in Tibet, fair and open policy creation?

Do you want to be caught in Tiananmen square when police and soldiers wonder what to do as the crowds gather?