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Olympic restrictions

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James Reynolds | 10:54 UK time, Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Beijing's imposed a huge number of restrictions in the run-up to the games - traffic, security, entertainment, residency.

So, I've asked a few people in Beijing how they think the restrictions are affecting them so far...

Restaurant in Beijing
• Barbecue chicken wings restaurant temporarily closed - restaurant says this is because it's been told its barbecue counts as a pollutant

• Can't drive family to visit zoo because of traffic restrictions

• Favourite pizza place temporarily closed down because it's too close to an Olympic venue

• Can't order vodka lime at bar because the restaurant can't import the lime during the Olympics

• Fencing club has closed, because of restrictions on large gatherings

• Harder to get pirated software from the side of the road, because suppliers can't get the software into Beijing

• Can't order salad in Thai restaurant - waitress says it's because of the Olympics

Traffic passing Beijing National Stadium
• Tried to move furniture from home on coast into Beijing - told you can't hire moving vans till after the Olympics

• Need special pass to enter apartment building because it's near an Olympic venue

• Can't post DVDs - courier says you're not allowed to send or receive DVDs during Olympics

If you're in Beijing, please let me know how the restrictions affect you...

Comments

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  • 1. At 12:23pm on 22 Jul 2008, harpboy wrote:

    sheer nonsense

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  • 2. At 1:18pm on 22 Jul 2008, mybusyblog wrote:

    This all sounds like fun....
    How are the nations taking part and visiting going to experience the true Beijing. Okay, realise something needed to be done about the pollution but surely some of these measures are a step too far.

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  • 3. At 1:39pm on 22 Jul 2008, KrSund70 wrote:

    Ludicrious and one of your least impressive posts James.

    First, you post scientific and professional looking charts and graphs about poor Beijing air quality in the run-up to the Games, as if to state that not only was Beijing a poor choice for a politicla stand-point, but also simply from a physical health stand-point for athletes. You say Beijing has taken drastic measures, and that we'll see how it goes, but clearly, the entire tone is that Beijing won't make it.

    Next, we see that after emergency measures are taken, clearly, most days on your new chart are within WHO parameters, all are within the parameters for developing countries, and most are further within WHO parameters for everyone. Of course, you can't lie. You simply post the results -- No words of lauding or congratulations for Beijing, which is clearly sacrificed much for the sake of the Games and foreign guests, some of whom come, of course, with secret political agendas as well as athletic ones ... but that's another day.

    NOW, these bullet points. One by one, after failing to press home the attack on the air, you attack the emergency measures, with each bullet point basically pointing out to Westerners who read this blog, how oppressive, controlling, tyrannical, unreasonable, totalitarian, insert negative China stereo-type and description here ...

    That's why they're called EMERGENCY measures James! No doubt for the sake of the EMERGENCY, they may be logically perceived as over-broad or worse, but it's what we sacrifice so that the air, which you cared so darn much about a few days ago, can be as good as possible for the athletes. By high-lighting the personal individual sacrifices via your bullet points -- China is clearly painted into a damned if it does, damned if doesn't light. There's no such thing as an EMERGENCY measure which does not infringe upon individual rights which otherwise we would all love to have and enjoy without limitations. Are you suggesting that we stop them so that you can post you bar-charts again ... with the bars again higher than the WHO standards???

    If you're in Beijing, please, how about not providing james with ammo for his little - how to make Beijing look bad - Game.

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  • 4. At 2:14pm on 22 Jul 2008, antimatterbomb wrote:

    The traffic control, pirate softwares, DVD things and security passes are somehow understandable...but what's wrong with bbq wings (how much pollution would some bbq wings produce)?! and that pizza place?! no large gathering?!

    Why doesnt the gov just tell us to stay at home and watch the telly? Anyway it's no fun watching tv without bbq wings at hand~~~

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  • 5. At 2:16pm on 22 Jul 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    James,

    a lot of restrictions...i will be giving an updated summary when i have time..to read it more in depth.

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  • 6. At 2:23pm on 22 Jul 2008, cambridgestuart wrote:

    I am currently in China on holiday. I happened to go down to Qingdao, a secondary Olympic city. There I met a construction boss who lived quite close to the new Olympic sailing venue. He told me that he couldn't get home without a special pass either, also he couldn't bring home left overs from restaurant meals (i.e 'doggy' bags) without them being in a clear container and checked before entering the building.
    I've actually heard a lot of complaints about the Olympics getting in the way of peoples lives. People late for work because of preperation for the torch relay. Friends not being able to leave their houses because of the torch relay.
    What tops it all off for myself as a visitor to China is that I am lucky enough to acquire tickets to see three Olympic games. Trouble is my VISA cannot be extended for the fours weeks I need, so I won't even be able to see two of them.
    I have to say KrSund70 is right about your air quality report, it was a bit unscientific, but Olympic security measures and little nitty bitty rules have most definitely been taken to an extreme.
    Stuart R

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  • 7. At 2:39pm on 22 Jul 2008, zhongguotong wrote:

    I'm more curious about that article in the South China Morning Post about bar owners not being allowed to serve 'black' or mongolian people!!!

    This new restriction should be looked at more closely!!!

    Its easier for me to believe chinese authorities capable of such blatant racism because I've seen it happen before! Only a few months back they attched in Sanlitun, beatinge very dark-skinned person in sight including the son of a high-level diplomat!!! Shame on you!!!

    One World One Dream??? Whose world? Whose dream???

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  • 8. At 2:48pm on 22 Jul 2008, wobblypickle wrote:

    Hi James,

    When you have a city with a population over 17 million, extreme restrictive measures are necessary to control the pollution.

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  • 9. At 2:50pm on 22 Jul 2008, powermeerkat wrote:

    International Olympic Committee knew that they granted games to a heavily polluted city.

    IOC knew that China is rulled by a ruthless, authoritarian regime which couldn't care less about human rights, including freedom of movement, assembly, protection from illegal search and seizure, property ownership, etc.

    IOC knew that this regime would not keep its promise to relax draconian laws, increase freedom of media, religion, etc.

    Morover, even if it didn't it became amply clear at least a year ago that PRC's regime broke those promises.

    And yet IOC and its member-states still looked the other way and pretended that everything was hanki-dori.

    So why suddenly a shock that Chinese regime acts thet way it always has?

    Has anybody actually expected anything else?

    Time for second thoughts was then, not now.

    Here's hoping that it's not too late to change a decision to grant Soccer World Cup to South Africa.

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  • 10. At 3:11pm on 22 Jul 2008, Cantab wrote:

    life is normal then? :D

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  • 11. At 3:37pm on 22 Jul 2008, endyjai wrote:

    The Olympics have subjected me in reading endless non constructive articles. I'll ask my Beijing friends what they have experienced during/after the games.

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  • 12. At 3:44pm on 22 Jul 2008, neilruston wrote:

    I had to laugh at the suggestion that EMERGENCY measures are to be expected since there is an EMERGENCY issue(s).

    Let's step back and ask ourselves why the emergency exists in the first place, why the games were allowed to go ahead given that the IOC were well aware of the issues and why PRC choose the resolve the issues at the 11th hour.

    An emergency (by definition) is a situation which needs action to be taken QUICKLY. I argue that the emergency only exists since no action has been taken - the issue was therefore largely avoidable an thus not an emergency at all.

    Do we solve all environmental issues only when we need to act immediately and quickly or do we agree here and now that measures are required ASAP and need to be maintained for an extended period - can we really expect PRC to clean up the air in it's large cities in a matter of weeks???

    As for the suggestion that we're all stereo typically describing PRC as tyrannical etc etc - PRC have yet to attempt to address those attitudes and so what else are we believe except what we read and see through the media?? [I wasn't (quite) born when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and didn't see it with my own eyes but based upon evidence I've seen and heard, I believe it happened.]

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  • 13. At 4:05pm on 22 Jul 2008, ScouseFrog wrote:

    At least there are no restrictions on this blog or a censorship delay before publishing as with all other BBC blogs ;D

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  • 14. At 4:08pm on 22 Jul 2008, ScouseFrog wrote:

    maybe some of the "606"moderators should be assigned to China blog sites because they are published without delay.

    Nice to see China leading the way, but the BBC still have a bit to learn from them...

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  • 15. At 4:13pm on 22 Jul 2008, objection2it wrote:

    Well, may be the Chinese will stand on their heads next for the westerners. What else can they come up with? Will they stop the locals which are too close to the Olympic site from cooking lunch and dinner in their homes?

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  • 16. At 4:16pm on 22 Jul 2008, topbear1974 wrote:

    to post 6 cambridgestuart:

    I am sorry you can not see 2 out of 3 games. Try to sell the ticket on the internet I hope you at least get money back.

    I wanted to go to see but the tickets are too expensive now :-(. So many chinese wants to see it hence it pushed the price up.

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  • 17. At 4:16pm on 22 Jul 2008, pitapat wrote:

    To be honest, this Olympic games feel like a party for the rich and powerful upper level in China. Look at all the torch relay players in Chinese cities - most are either successful business men or government officials. ordinary people, and dogs are treated as potential trouble makers and are told to go away. I have been checked ID card three times recently in Beijing, once on the street, and twice in my own apartment - because it is a rented apartment. Also all dogs in my neighbourhood were forced to be vaccinated two weeks ago, whether or not they were already vaccinated before. Beggers in Wang Fu Jin, the high street in Beijing, are all sent home.

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  • 18. At 4:24pm on 22 Jul 2008, topbear1974 wrote:

    As to James' article: whatever you say. Can you show me some evidence, like in written?
    Or are these jokes you get when drinking in the SanLiChun pub?


    Plus what is so wrong that a host tidy its home and told families to be polite when expecting guests? Whatever effort china made is going to be laughed by you.

    Luckly not everybody in the world is as rude as BBC. At lease somebody would appreciate the effort and enjoy it. you can be as much a party booper as you want. In the end you will just have bad time yourself.

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  • 19. At 4:35pm on 22 Jul 2008, gigabespecific wrote:

    James,
    Be specific.

    Barbecue chicken wings restaurant temporarily closed -
    Which restaurant, name, location, how many of them?

    Can't drive family to visit zoo because of traffic restrictions
    - Zoo is open. you can always take public transit.

    Favourite pizza place temporarily closed down because it's too close to an Olympic venue
    - How close, name, location, please.

    Can't order vodka lime at bar because the restaurant can't import the lime during the Olympics
    - Ohhh, how inconvenient for the high society.

    Fencing club has closed, because of restrictions on large gatherings
    - Where is the club? name, location please.

    Harder to get pirated software from the side of the road, because suppliers can't get the software into Beijing
    - James, if you really need it, you can download it from a number of British or American web sites , you don't know that?

    Can't order salad in Thai restaurant - waitress says it's because of the Olympics
    - This one doesn't even make sense. You should ask more as a journalist.

    Traffic passing Beijing National Stadium
    Tried to move furniture from home on coast into Beijing - told you can't hire moving vans till after the Olympics
    - I can understand that. There are so many bad people running around. Do you still remember London bombing?


    Need special pass to enter apartment building because it's near an Olympic venue
    - It is for your safety dud.


    Can't post DVDs - courier says you're not allowed to send or receive DVDs during Olympics
    - Really?

    James, be more specific!

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  • 20. At 4:41pm on 22 Jul 2008, pitapat wrote:

    and also, I was reported to the police by my neighbour, in this tight atmostphere of Olympic Games of course, that suspicious foreign people hanging around in my home. Yes I hosted an English male friend, who was visiting Beijing brieftly, at my apartment for two nights. Usually nobody cares other people's guests at their own home. But everything is different because of the Games. I very much dislike the atmostphere the Games created for our ordinary people. We are at our own land, our own home, but are treated as suspects! All because ambitious Chinese rich wants to have a show off party! I didn't approve it...

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  • 21. At 4:42pm on 22 Jul 2008, baysidetina wrote:

    powermeerkat, where did you get all your angry conclusions from? Am I wrong to think you are claiming China will never have any improvement?

    Yes I think China faces a lot of problems, and there will always be more new problems. One of them being individual's interests are too often sacrificed for group collective interests.

    Another one being government officers (esp. local ones) like to see themselves as bosses of where they are governing. Often they seem to feel they have the absolute power and they are entitiled to use absolute power and not be challenged by anybody but their own bosses.

    The biggest problem I see in China now, is that there is not enough systemetic forces to counteract local officers' power. I believe the Centre Government is aiming to reform, to create some sort of power sharing but it is no easy task. Any mistake would cost the country a lot, so they have to do it slowly and carefully.

    Perhaps the speed of political reformation is not satisfying powermeerkat and many other outsiders. But hey, we are not living a life to satisfy you.

    Our central government know we are clever enough that if they get the big things wrong they will have to face very serious consquences, and we know if things are rushed the result wont be good for us. we have a mutural understand with our government, do you have such confidence with your government?

    I am still glad my country's leaders don't have to waste time to be a show-offer to please the average Joes in my country for votes, he can focus on getting the real deal.

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  • 22. At 4:44pm on 22 Jul 2008, Godasse wrote:

    I like the traffic restrictions. I take the bus every day and I save 1 hour commuting thanks to the restrictions.

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  • 23. At 4:45pm on 22 Jul 2008, chinesedespot wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 5:00pm on 22 Jul 2008, rrrrzzzz wrote:

    Here are some of my experiences~~~

    I can not drive my car to work since I have to pay 8 Pounds = 100 RMB to enter the city centre everyday and the price will rise very soon. Even I can drive, no place for parking.

    So I have to take DLR to work, however there are some constructions works for DLR. Tower gateway station will be closed until next Spril 2009. I have to take extra 40Mins everyday.

    Last month in UK, due to shell worker on Strike, I was not able to add petrol, left my car at home to shopping.

    Police was also on strike, I was so afraid to go to the street since so many people killed on the street by knife. even on a Monday afternoon, a guy was killed on the Oxford street.

    Crispy Duck could be off the menu in Chinatown as the council have removed traditional ovens because of a safety scare. I love crispy duck, I can not eat it in Chinatown any more.

    Life is hard ~~~ :D






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  • 25. At 5:09pm on 22 Jul 2008, ccpbrain wrote:

    James,
    After the years of great re-education, we are SO happy to make the sacrifices you mentioned to earn the face for our great motherland and our dear leaders. Actually, we believe our officials are too kind and too tolerant to the people. They should have shipped all of the Beijing residences to Tibet so both problems could have been solved.

    Our so purpose of living is to make the Olympics the happiest party for all foreigners.

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  • 26. At 5:12pm on 22 Jul 2008, rrrrzzzz wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 27. At 5:53pm on 22 Jul 2008, jorgeda1 wrote:

    I think we all would say it would be rude to complain about the comfort of the couch or the quality of the food when we are a guest.

    So why does everyone feel the right to complain so much about China?

    Since everyone seems to think it is okay, mabye we could rember how disorganized (Olympic venues construction not completed, poor transport, etc) the Greek summer games were or the lack of safety (bombing) at the atlanta summer games?

    So thank you to chinese for making the sacrafices they did so that rest of the world could enjoy the games in a cleaner and safer environment.

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  • 28. At 5:56pm on 22 Jul 2008, gammaray9 wrote:

    I am in China at the moment and will be returning to Beijing in a few days. Since I left the rings of steel have started but security checks at stations and subways is expected. Road checkpoints for out of town registrations is causing tailbacks. I have read in the local Chinese English language papers about a number of restrictions some mentioned by James but I like the Stadium ones best especially about national flags have to be only a maximum of 2m by 1m - whos going to measure.

    I cant remember any other country who hosted the games completely shutting down their Capital city airport for the duration of the opening ceremony. Its not that close but i suppose its to combat a plane going off track and landing in the stadium. This will never happen as recently seen on CCTV they showed the missle placements around the Birds Nest stadium practicing action stations.

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  • 29. At 6:25pm on 22 Jul 2008, londonlurker wrote:

    wow, look at comment 9, sb is reading James' mind. :D
    I remember sb was asking why Chinese don't like criticism,well... maybe it's about the attitude not the content.

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  • 30. At 6:56pm on 22 Jul 2008, southerncoaster wrote:

    " you can't get salads in a Thai restaurant because of Olympics ??" - sounds like a lame excuse or joke made up by the owner...

    FYI, barbeque grills, both gas and charcoal, not to mention lighter fluid, do add up to the urban pollution; and their contributions can be significant considering densely populated metro city like Beijing. one example from a NY times article:

    Tris West, an environmental scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratories estimated, the total amount of carbon dioxide released from barbecue grills on July 4 is on the order of .003 percent of the annual U.S. total.

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  • 31. At 8:42pm on 22 Jul 2008, acas1018 wrote:

    The responses that these are reasonable and necessary measures for the safety of the games is absurd. I live in New York City, a city that has experienced true terrorism in every sense of the word and we don't have these ridiculous measures in place, even when large important events and meetings occur.

    "EMERGENCIES" include, pandemics, natural disasters, terrorism, and failure of infrastructure, among others. I don't quite consider the Olympic Games an emergency.

    Sure the government needs to take extra precaution as any other hosting city does. These are just examples of some measures being taken way too far.

    And FYI: The pizza place he's referring to I'm sure is Kro's Nest, right outside Workers Stadium. Anyone with familiarity with Beijing or has 10 minutes to do a web search could find this. NPR did a short piece about this the other day.

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  • 32. At 9:37pm on 22 Jul 2008, waikikisam wrote:

    What? You must be kidding!

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  • 33. At 9:59pm on 22 Jul 2008, TheTruthaboutChina wrote:

    Surely sending DVD copies is illegal, no ? Who is sending DvD's out China James ?
    These little things will all go back to normal as soon as the games are over, its only a minor discomfort in order to put as many foreigners off as possible. If you want to go there and spend a fortune (why is no one complaining about the huge hike in Hotel prices ?) you will have a great time, with all the rich, arrogant Chinese who genuinely believe this is their time to show the world that China is number one! Whats wrong with that, have we all not had enough of USA USA ?
    China is just taking over from the USA, who took over from GB as the arrogant number one's of the world. Living in China these past few years have been very interesting, but its just following the USA's greedy arrogant ways, and that will not help the rest of the world in the long run, but in the long run was the US looking out for anyone but the US ??

    Its going to be extremely interesting when China starts really flex its muscles if anyone dares to dis them during the Olympics, I came back home for the summer, let them get on with it.
    Its sad tho as many genuine people are affected by the blanket racism shown by the Chinese PSB, who are kicking out as many non-white foreigners as they can for some reason. I know many English teachers who are from English Speaking Countries and hold the required level of education to legally teach in China, but are not white, who are not getting their work visa's extended, purely because of the colour of their skin, its things like this that should be being discussed !!! Not complaints about not being able to send dodgy DvD's home !!!

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  • 34. At 10:07pm on 22 Jul 2008, Walsh of Wembley wrote:

    Hey rrrrzzzz, last time I was in China: the highway was completely closed meaning a much longer journey, the taxi drivers were on strike, my friend got mugged on the street (in the afternoon), and I couldn't find cheese anywhere.

    Oh and there were frequent power cuts, child beggars followed me everywhere, and I had to pay more than the Chinese for the hotel as I'm a foreigner. Life is certainly hard out there.

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  • 35. At 11:23pm on 22 Jul 2008, ctw1959 wrote:

    And for the last week or so it has been impossible to send text messages from foreign mobile phones to any China Mobile users. How much disruption is that likely to cause to legitimate business? Or messaging between friends? (Though the Great Firewall apparently can't block messages sent through Skype.)

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  • 36. At 00:00am on 23 Jul 2008, Godasse wrote:

    In my opinion, James' point is not the restrictions, it's people reactions to what they think are the restrictions.

    He's a bit cheeky!

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  • 37. At 00:51am on 23 Jul 2008, tclim38 wrote:

    I believe James was just having fun posting those so-called 'restrictions'.
    He knows all these measures are necessary in a big event in a big city in a huge country with potential threats from all directions. Am I right, James?

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  • 38. At 05:31am on 23 Jul 2008, GrahamForbes wrote:

    Thankfully most bloggers are objective and fair in their comments about the Beijing Olympics, however, there is an element in the world and even here in Beijing, that want to see the Beijing Olympics fail. These are politically motivated and ignorant people whose comments should be seen as such – ignorant.
    Any city hosting the Olympics would insist on such restrictions, Los Angeles did, so did Sydney. We residents in Beijing were given notice months ago of the restrictions and I note that most Beijing bloggers make that point.
    Yes, some of the restrictions seem petty, but when the details are examined the reason becomes more understandable. I use the imported meat restrictions as an example. Meat going to the Olympic Village must comply with strict testing (for steroids, hormones etc) to protect the athletes from erroneous drug test results. This is standard practice and a requirement of the IOC. Few countries have experience of this type of testing. Even the land used for growing local vegetables has to be tested and approved before vegetable seeds could be planted. These are not petty Chinese restrictions, they are mandatory.
    I hope and prey that the Olympics go without unwanted events. If there is no security problems it will be because of the restrictions, but China will still be damned for being too draconian. If there is an incident, China will be damned for not being draconian enough – China can't win against the bigots and detractors.
    Jia you Zhong Guo (Good luck, China ).

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  • 39. At 06:33am on 23 Jul 2008, beijingren wrote:

    Some of the restrictions are understandable, some are welcome, - some are mystifying.
    I was in one of our favourite bars the other night (The Tree in Sanlitun - for the benefit of the pedantic gigabespecific) and noticed a sign saying that closing time during the olympics would be 10.30pm, last orders 9,30. Why? what on earth are they afraid of?

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  • 40. At 06:55am on 23 Jul 2008, tkbutt wrote:

    James, I agree with comment 7 on the news article regarding the banning of blacks from Beijing bars. As a chinese and as a human being, such crude racist edict runs counter to China's hosting of an event as international as the Olympics, its extensive involvement on the African continent, its desire to mend PR following the crackdown in Tibet, and its effort in building a "harmonious" society.

    So far I haven't seen the wording of the original edict, nor have there been any response from the Chinese government or the Olympic Committee on this damaging allegations.

    Your objective investigation into this would be greatly appreciated. Whether this edict is just a rumour, is official sanctioned, or just a threat from a petty corrupt local officer, all Chinese people as a member of the human race should distance themselves away from it.

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  • 41. At 09:45am on 23 Jul 2008, rrrrzzzz wrote:

    Hey Senlin,

    Wow, you do see there is strike in China.
    I thought in China, people never do that.

    Thanks

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  • 42. At 09:50am on 23 Jul 2008, rrrrzzzz wrote:

    come on China ~~

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  • 43. At 10:06am on 23 Jul 2008, topbear1974 wrote:

    Relax Senlin

    I think rrrrzzzz is trying to show how to feel when being accused for monior staff.

    Do you feel "ouch" when rrrrzzzz said those things? That is exactly how we feel for every single article published by BBC.

    Now you understand the pended frustration from Chinese?

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  • 44. At 10:34am on 23 Jul 2008, KennethWu wrote:

    wow. i love the amount of people for whatever reason hate the chinese olympics. These are also the same people that will find some pathetic excuse to hate all the other policies or actions of the CCP just because they are communist or just because they are chinese.
    This blanket hatred is so obvious and so annoying. If you don't llike china, i m fine with it, it makes you a very ignorant person, but thats your choice.
    Look, the olympics are for the chinese people to get together and enjoy (well the first one has definitely come true, considering the large overseas chinese societies got together to protest against the media slander and bias), but the second one is giving me great concern. Those restrictions were put in place to satisfy all the foreign visitors, we could have a party in ours cities whatever the air conditions are like, and without the foreign guests there would be less terrorist threats. So in fact, it is the international guests that will bring all these problems to china, and when we try to sorted it out for you, you start whinning again? come one people, if you don't want to come then don't come, but for those who international guests who truely wants to see china and admire china and understand the problems of china, then they are of course welcome. But for those whose only purpose in life is to insult and assualt china at every single opportunity, take a break, stop ruining the occasion for us.

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  • 45. At 1:04pm on 23 Jul 2008, knightkg wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 1:07pm on 23 Jul 2008, knightkg wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 47. At 1:16pm on 23 Jul 2008, Walsh of Wembley wrote:

    topbear 1974:

    monior? pended?

    I personally think it's great that so many Chinese can have their say on this forum. I wonder if those westerners who write Chinese would be able to post anything they like, including criticism of China, on the Sina or Chinadaily websites?

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  • 48. At 2:26pm on 23 Jul 2008, zhongguotong wrote:

    TKBUTT Comment 40

    - I greatly appreciate your sentiments on this very important topic.

    First of all I wish to assure everyone here that I am not some China-hating-CCP-bashing-foreigner.

    I honestly supported the Chinese Governments's efforts to ensure a safe and successful Olympic Games. However, I do believe that some of their 'policies' are against every single human rights rule/law they 'claim' to uphold. If they did not go out there and say that China is a friend of Africa and all that, I wouldnt complain about their anti-black (and Mongolian) policy.

    I am even going to admit that alot of the drug pushers out there are African....mostly from Nigeria (yes! I said it!!!) but this does not mean that EVERY African or Nigeran person is a drug dealer!!! and it certainly DOES NOT MEAN that every BLACK person (or dark skinned person) is a drug dealer. More than half of the people they beat up in SanLiTun a few months back weren't drug dealers.....they were just students out to have a drink!

    Why are we not hearing more of this?

    So I dont understand their suddent anti-black attitude! Friend of Africa, you say?? I highly disagree....its more like friend of African resources. Do you not hear about the objections from African citizens to China taking EVERYTHING??

    Does the Olympic Committee not realize that more than half the athletes are BLACK???

    And I agree that James should report on more interesting topics such as this ban on black people at bars ...oh sorry! They could go to the bars, they just can't order any drinks.

    And just to add to the seriousness of this matter....I didnt just read it in the newspaper....I saw the document my bar manager was forced to sign!

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  • 49. At 3:27pm on 23 Jul 2008, londonlurker wrote:

    To KennethWu No.44, Confucius said, friends come from afar, couldn't be happier. We should welcome everyone, even those whine.:) In fact, I would insist to invite those who hate China, only in that way misconceptions end.

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  • 50. At 3:58pm on 23 Jul 2008, chrisox wrote:

    I own a moving company and whilst there are restrictions it is possible to move household goods and personal effects into Beijing. Drop us a line and we will sort you out :)

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  • 51. At 4:16pm on 23 Jul 2008, boneycork wrote:

    I live in China and am currently on unpaid leave for 7 weeks because my company can't operate due to the Olympics. Apparently, this "secondary olympic city" that I live in does not have enough security to ensure our safety during the Olympics, so instead my life has been completely disrupted.

    I can understand the seriousness of "terrorist threats" - but you're supposed to prevent them without seriously affecting the lives of normal people. Once I include bills and the increased living expenses - I am missing a serious amount of money.

    What's worse - is the Olympics are in August, and we were only informed of this in July, so there wasn't even anytime to prepare. As a fairly well-paid foreigner, I can make ends meet, but my company employs lower-paid Chinese staff too, and I know many of them will struggle.

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  • 52. At 5:22pm on 23 Jul 2008, topbear1974 wrote:

    to Senlin

    Oh absolutely. YOu can post whatever on sina or Chinadaily website as long as you speak the lauguage. Chinese people criticise the government there too. If you know the lauguage go to have a look.

    Here is the example
    http://news.sina.com.cn/s/l/p/2008-07-22/001015971896.shtml

    just click the "comments" on the below left coner you can see all sorts of criticism there. There are 954 at the moment.
    Here is another one:

    http://news.sina.com.cn/pl/2008-07-23/073615982528.shtml

    Don't think we chinese live in a society which has less freedom than you. Just go to look for yourself!

    BTW, my comments on this blog has been deleted. I was only trying to explain something but got removed because the house rule, which I could not find at the moment. I guess BBC just want "balance the view" as there are too many pro china ones now, despite this could be the truth.

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  • 53. At 00:58am on 24 Jul 2008, baysidetina wrote:

    beijingren wrote:

    I was in one of our favourite bars the other night (The Tree in Sanlitun - for the benefit of the pedantic gigabespecific) and noticed a sign saying that closing time during the olympics would be 10.30pm, last orders 9,30. Why? what on earth are they afraid of?



    Errrr........

    Does that have anything to do with the
    international prostitution problem Beijing has at the moment?

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  • 54. At 03:40am on 24 Jul 2008, wikct2 wrote:

    What is the big fuss about the restrictions during the Olympics. Don't you witness the security check at US airports? That is the strictest security check in the world. You will be searched when you go to the ball games, any sport event, concerts. Americans would say, better safe than sorry. Why can't you say the same when China is taking the same measurements. I guess, when dealing which China, double standard always applied. Leave China alone and give China a break. China is not as evil as what you picture it. It is the others who purposely paint China as evil to make them look better. Evil is always evil no matter how much you put others down. Good always preveil evil.

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  • 55. At 05:55am on 24 Jul 2008, wonderfulchinese wrote:

    I went for new year firework night and my bag was search 3 times. That happened in sydney. Chinese people want a safe Olympic game and these temporary restrictions are nothing. James and all the China haters are just using it for another round of China bashing activities.

    To Boneycork. While you are in China, learn how to manage your finance from Chinese. It will be nice and relaxing time for them to be able take such long leave even if it is not paid. From what I know of most companies in China would not allow such long leave (except maternity leave or sick leave) without some special reasons.

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  • 56. At 10:52am on 24 Jul 2008, yiqinuk wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 57. At 11:56am on 24 Jul 2008, trytobefairenough wrote:

    James, what about me inviting you to have a barbecue chicken wing when you have time?

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  • 58. At 1:15pm on 24 Jul 2008, Walsh of Wembley wrote:

    Thank you topbear1974. I look forward to posting some criticism of the Chinese government on those forums. I'll make sure they know I'm a foreigner too.

    The next test comes when you set up a website (in your own name) criticising the Chinese government and I’ll gladly do the same here with the British government. Then we'll see what happens next time you try to get into China.

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  • 59. At 7:50pm on 24 Jul 2008, VancouverRaine wrote:

    "If they did not go out there and say that China is a friend of Africa and all that, I wouldnt complain about their anti-black (and Mongolian) policy."

    OK, so this has been repeated several times in comments on Jame's blogs. Is there a link to a report you can present or is it just vicious rumors you're trying to spread?

    Mongolians are part of the multi-ethnicities in China along with many others (Korean, Indonesian, etc), to say that there is a specific policy against them is hard to believe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:China_ethnolinguistic_83.jpg

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  • 60. At 9:46pm on 24 Jul 2008, londonlurker wrote:

    To Senlin no.58.
    Of course you can prove that now Chinese still has less right to criticize the government than the westerners. I'm sure this fact makes your superiority become rightful. And by pushing this down to every chinese's throat, I'm sure you will feel awesome and finally have a good night sleep.:) congratulations.

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  • 61. At 01:09am on 25 Jul 2008, beijingren wrote:

    baysidetina - I dont think so - this is not a prostitute bar by any stretch of the imagination. I am also curious about your phrase "international prostitution problem" there are certainly prostitutes from Eastern Europe and Mongolia in Beijing - but they are far outnumbered by Chinese girls.

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  • 62. At 10:53am on 25 Jul 2008, topbear1974 wrote:

    to Senlin

    I will take up the challenge. I need to find out how to construct a website first as I am a IT phobic. :-(.
    I will go home next spring festival. So I will try to get the website up and running before that and see if I can go home alright.

    Where can I find you afterwards? I don't want do all the work then you are just joking with me.

    To be honest, the taxi driver in Beijing or shanghai curse government in daily life as an entertainment. I did not see any problem with that. Maybe there are ones already in existence, that would save me trouble trying to read the html codes.

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  • 63. At 4:14pm on 25 Jul 2008, Walsh of Wembley wrote:

    I tried to post my criticism of the Chinese government on the Sina forum, but it was deleted unfortunately. I found it quite interesting how each response had their IP address and location printed for public view. I wonder if the 10,000 internet police keep a list of these IP addresses?

    I wonder if you really believe this deep down or you're just enjoying the argument:

    "Don't think we chinese live in a society which has less freedom than you."

    I admire your bravery but I would not want your safety or your family's safety on my conscience for the sake of trying to prove a point. I'm sure you and your family are worth more than that. What's more I'll be able to have a good night's sleep. :-)

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  • 64. At 3:23pm on 27 Jul 2008, tarimbasin wrote:

    Hi, James,

    Many thanks for your posts about Beijing which are very interesting and let me know something about my home city when I am studying in the UK.

    There are many inconvenience to Beijng residents indeed. In fact, my parents and most of my relatives are living in this city. But I shall say it's worthy, for a safe and succesfull olympic games. From another perspective, don't you see this as a kind of sacrifice made by Chinese people, as hosts, to their guests?

    For western tourists, there should not be too much to complain for, as even Playboy magazines will be found temporarily during the games.

    Again, for a safe and successful olympic games, I believe most Chinese would like to give up barbecue chicken wing, vodak lime, Thai salad, pirate softwares and whatever else for half a month. I believe Londoner would do the same if necessary, although it's not very likely to happen, 4 years later.

    Anyway, thanks for your interesting reports and good luck to your work in China.

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  • 65. At 3:50pm on 28 Jul 2008, londonlurker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 66. At 4:32pm on 28 Jul 2008, topbear1974 wrote:

    to senlin:

    I suspect your comments were not deleted but just shifted down. The comments updates and accumulation are fast there because the sheer volume of people.

    I truly see and hear people condemn governments without a problem. Those who got arrested are who took the matter into their own hand, i.e. breach the law, like spread lies and destroy others property.

    I have an air stewardess friend who fly over every week, she condemned the government say the current government is rotten to the core, despite she made huge amount money in the stock market and shanghai's booming house market and she is by far richer than me now. She flied back and forwards no problem as all.

    I think Chinese government don't mind constructive criticism, as long as there is no malicious intention behind it I can vent my anger on the net as long as I don't break the law.

    There is website in china call tianya, there are full of condemn of government. Sometime so extreme you can not even say calm down people, I think government might have a reason to do this. They will call you ccp dog get out. That website was in existence for like 10 years.

    Anyway thanks for worry about my safety, although I personally don't think I will break the law. It is good to talk to you. Let's look forward to see athlete playing after all the havoc calmed down.

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  • 67. At 5:51pm on 28 Jul 2008, topbear1974 wrote:

    Wow, londonlurker

    I don't know you can speak for me. How do you know that I am not telling the truth?

    Maybe your opinion is different from my opinion. But please do not speak for me. Thanks.

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  • 68. At 11:18pm on 28 Jul 2008, Walsh of Wembley wrote:

    Dear Londonlurker, when I added my comments to the Sina discussion, each post had an IP address and their hometown. Why would I lie about that? Have you checked that actual link? Please base your accusations on fact next time.

    Thank you for helping me understand that topbear1974 didn't really believe what they were saying and just wanted to save face.


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  • 69. At 11:26am on 29 Jul 2008, londonlurker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 70. At 11:41am on 29 Jul 2008, londonlurker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 71. At 4:14pm on 29 Jul 2008, londonlurker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 2:49pm on 30 Jul 2008, uk_cref wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 73. At 02:54am on 05 Aug 2008, tcpman wrote:

    Running a website business here in Beijing, we cannot insert new servers to the co-location facilities for the entire two month period up till the end of the Paralympics - why they think this will affect the Olympics is beyond me.

    Apparently I am not allowed to enter the building for maintenance either since i'm a "foreigner" - Hong Kong actually, but CNC obviously didn't get the memo that it's been part of China since 1997.

    To be told I can't access my servers is like telling a driver you can't enter the carpark.

    No... no inconvenience whatsoever!

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  • 74. At 10:12pm on 12 Aug 2008, dj1979 wrote:

    When I taught English in China in 2005 I was told by the school staff not to bring up political topics with students, especially Tibet and Taiwan. In private some students enjoyed talking about this with mean and they even told me jokes about Mao. But this was only after we got to know each other pretty well and we did it at home, away from anybody's eyes. It wasn't me who enforced this secrecy - it was my Chinese students. This kind of thing is unthinkable in the West.

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  • 75. At 04:31am on 26 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    James:
    the restrictions for the olympics....may have been harsh; but, they could have been most restrictive....

    --Dennis Junior--

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