We all know the Chinese are putting forth a huge effort to look good on the world stage during this Olympics … but is it possible they’re trying too hard?
First of all, everyone seems to be in agreement that the Chinese gymnastics team is composed almost entirely of 12- and 13-year-olds with passports forged to make them appear 16. Shadiness.
Then, earlier today came news that the adorable Chinese girl singing beautifully at the opening ceremony was actually lip-synching. The actual little girl who sang was considered not to be pretty enough.
“The main consideration was the national interest. The child on the screen should be flawless in image, in her internal feelings and in her expression,” says Chen Qigang [the Chinese musical director of the show].
The musical director says it was a “last-minute decision, a choice we had to make” to swap out the singer.
“Our rehearsals had already been vetted several times â€“ they were all very strict,” he says. “When we had the dress rehearsals, there were spectators from various divisions, including above all a member of the politburo who gave us his verdict: we had to make the swap.”
Despite her young age, Yang Peiyi is said to have been a good sport about the situation, reputedly declaring, “I am proud to have been chosen to sing at all.”
Heh. You know little 7-year-old Peiyi’s concerns have been assuaged with promises that she’ll be allowed to compete with the Chinese national gymnastics team at the London Olympics in 2012. After all, she’ll be 11 by then.
And now comes news that Chinese journalists have been censored in their coverage of the murder of the father-in-law of the U.S. men’s volleyball team.
Several Chinese reporters had their notebooks and at least one tape recorder confiscated after a news conference held by the US men’s volleyball team …
The players had been discussing the impact of the murder on them. The victim was the father-in-law of team coach Hugh McCutcheon and the father of former national team member Elisabeth McCutcheon.
Such removal of notebooks and equipment is a common occurrence for Chinese journalists covering protests or other undesirable activities, but it is the first time this has happened at an Olympic venue. Earlier, reporters covering a small protest in Tiananmen Square by pro-Tibet US Christians were manhandled by plainclothes police who tried to take away microphones and notebooks.
Hey, China, this kind of shit is not helping your image at all.