The Art of the Australian Insult


Condescending Westerners focus too much on Tibet
August 25, 2008, 2:06 am
Filed under: International relations, Politicians | Tags: , ,

“In a Western and elitist way, we have viewed China’s right to its Olympic Games, to its ‘coming out’, its moment of glory, with condescension and concessional tolerance.”

Paul Keating, who also argues that China’s horrible human rights record is just a different “value system”:

“The Western critic, feeling the epicentre of the world changing but not at all liking it, seeks to put down these vast societies on the basis that their political and value systems don’t match up to theirs.”

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2 Comments so far
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Ironically, it is the Chinese who are doing exactly that to Tibet, and have been since my family left the border between Tibet and China in 1949. The Chinese are eviscerating Tibetan culture, because they seek to 1) consolidate power over this region which is not traditionally Chinese, and 2) they didn’t like the Tibetan political and value system and decided it was their right to force Tibetans to abandon it.


“The Western critic, feeling the epicentre of the world changing but not at all liking it, seeks to put down these vast societies on the basis that their political and value systems don’t match up to theirs.”

Comment by SauLaan

SauLaan, the problem is the inconsistency and double standards shown by the West. If those in the West seeing the Beijing Olympics through the prism of Tibet also saw the Sydney Olympics solely through the prism of the plight of the Australian Aborigines, or the London 2012 Olympics through the prism of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, then it would be easier to accept their argument.

But there seems to be double standards operating in the way the Beijing Olympics were viewed by the West, particularly the Western media, which seems to suggest they have motivations other than a genuine concern over what is happening in China with regards to Tibet.

This seems to be what Paul Keating is referring to when he refers to the West’s condescension and concessional tolerance.

Comment by Joe Howard




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