Friday, April 18, 2008

Money Talks

Today comes news that the three main sponsors of the Olympic torch relay have decided to pull out, at least in the case of the Japanese leg of the tour.

The tortured history between Japan and China is well known and one hopes that nationalist sentiment on both sides will not obscure the real human rights concerns in modern China. That is certainly how the Chinese government seem to prefer to deal with things and it is alarming to see extreme Chinese nationalist sentiment expressed on blogs and websites in growing quantity.

It should be clear that those who express worries about human rights in China are not anti-Chinese. In fact this is completely the opposite as the biggest enemy of the Chinese people (in terms of citizens killed and locked up) remains the Chinese government.

Anyway it is pleasing to see commercial realities start to turn against the Beijing Olympics. The main sponsors of the relay, Coca Cola, Samsung and Lenovo have all pulled out of the Japanese leg of the trip.

As the only thing that seems to prevent serious critcism of the Chinese regime is economic fear and dependency it is encouraging that the worldwide protests are at least in some cases starting to create economic negatives for those who are seen to be too closely supporting the Chinese Government.

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