The Fake Wall of China 中国的假墙
August 16, 2008 | Stephen Hutcheon
As we enter the Beijing Olympics home straight, relations between Games organisers and the foreign media are getting increasingly testy.
On Wednesday, Beijing Olympic vice-president Wang Wei, accused the foreign media of nitpicking:
"We welcome the people and the colleagues of the Olympic Games with us and we welcome suggestions that are constructive advice from these people, all kinds of peoples. But the foreign press, you come here to pick, critically dig into details, but that doesn't mean we don't fulfil on our promises. "
Although he didn't specify which details we are supposed to be picking on, it's clear that the organisers are in a huff about:
:: the blow-up about internet access that hit the fan before the Games got underway;
:: the discovery that fake fireworks were used in the broadcast of the opening ceremony;
:: the fake minority children at the opening ceremony;
The sand used for the beach volleyball venue comes from Hainan Island, over 2000km to the south of Beijing. The nearest beach to Beijing is about 150km away. Photo by Steve Christo
:: the fake singer Lin Miaoke, who lip synced to a pre-recorded rendition of the patriotic Chinese song Ode to the Motherland sung be Yang Peiyi.
Photo taken by Aussie tourist Graeme Bray outside the entrance to the cycling time trial event on Tuesday. It shows army trucks busing in a rent-a-crowd to line the route because authorities had restricted access to the area because of security concerns
:: and they're probably also unhappy about reports about empty stands and the absence of spectators.
My colleague Jacqueline Magnay pulls it together today in a piece about the growing crediblity gap.
"... the Chinese attempts to manipulate the messages that are conveyed around the world through the written press has backfired."
In the interest of documenting these faux pas, I've assembled a gallery of fake Olympic moments:
The People's Armed Police's APC which briefly appeared outside the Main Press Centre this week. Photo by Kent Blechynden
The Beijing skyline today. It's only this clear because half of Beijing's private cars are off the road and they've shut down all the construction sites.
_(博讯记者：远望) (博讯 boxun.com)