What does Guangzhou Asian Games tell the world

The 2010 Asian Games that is currently being held in GZ is one of the world’s biggest sporting event. It is much bigger in scale than the Commonwealth games. Whereas there were about 6000 athletes competing in 21 sports in recent Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, there are more than 9000 athletes competing in 42 events in GZ Asian Games .

The facilities for the Asian Games 2010 are of world class standard. They were completed as planned without the hiccups and anxieties that marred the Delhi Commonwealth Games. The opening ceremony was just absolutely stunning. I would say it is better than the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Link to youtube videos of the opening ceremony

Below is the article from People’s Daily, providing an opinion from China’s perspective on the significance of  GZ Asian Games. Is there anything wrong with such a view? Well, a number of people outside the region are just feeling uncomfortable with it, because they believe the display of soft power by China is undermining their influence and bad for the whole world. One such writers is the SMH journalist John Gannault, who made the ludicrous and mischievous insinuation that the water based theme of the opening ceremony symbolises the emergence of aggrasive and ominous China naval power with the intention of dominating the seas of  Asia. The fact that such silly article can appear in SMH, alludes to the paranoia or insecure nature (草木皆兵) of these people who are feeding the gullible public in Western countries with such news. It is another case of ‘yellow peril’ fear mongering  appearing in another form and in another age.

This morning, the article by SMH international editor Peter Hartcher is another case in point to describe the bigotted mind-set of these journalists. They are of  the same bunch, coming from the same mould, though they might be working for different newspapers. The article is about India’s recent corruption scandals, but he could not avoid putting down China. First allegation was that corruption in China is just as endemic. What proof has he got?  If so, why was China managed to build the much Games facilities in accordance to the schedule and generally within budget. In India, datelines were extended a few times, and budgets were exceeded, while corruptions allegations were rife in the award of contracts.  If corruption is endemic, would China be able to build all those high speed train lines in matter of few years?

The other snide remark he made was that India would learn and thus take the appropriate corrective actions from the corruption scandal due to its democratic system of government, as opposed to China. Again, this Hatcher is just blinded by ideology or being a lazy thinker here. Corruption scandals involving politicians are not something new in India. They happened many times in the past, and where were the lessons learnt then and the appropriate correction action being undertaken in the name of democracy? How many time does India need to learn from this lesson? There have been numerous scandals involving top politicians in the past, but the Indians politicians can get away with corruptions due to the fact that the judicial process in India is far from being efficient. It takes years to settle court cases, and meanwhile these corrupted   politicians are still in the parliament wielding considerable power.  Whereas in China, it will not be easy for corrupted officials or politicians to avoid the long arms of the laws, once the transgressions become public. 


What does 16th Asian Games tell the world

 China has led medal count at the halfway mark of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou. This event is truly a grand festival which, held every four years, has kept going along the half-century history of Asian Games track under the banner of “Unity, Friendship and Progress”. The concerned efforts of three billion Asians have been playing a growing role of vital importance for the world’s economic, political and cultural progress and development.

Asian Games tells the world that best athletic achievements have been created in Asia as most of the top-ranked table tennis and badminton players have displayed their feats to the audience; many athletes have come to the fore in shooting, weightlifting, swimming, gymnastics, diving, wrestling and other events; and even players of the three relatively backward balls, track and field sports and other events have striven to catch up with the world’s advanced levels. So, Asia does not play a supporting role in world sports and, without these ace athletes, the World Series will be less attractive.

Asian Games tells the world that the Olympic movement should take more ethnical, cultural contents into account. Such popular sports as Dragon boat and the martial art and a few other typical games from the East that do not resemble Olympic events invented by Westerners due to their blending of richer cultural functions. People in the Orient now perform in line with their own understanding of the Olympic culture and make the physical culture so dazzling and splendor.

Asian Games tells the world that people in Asia need much harmony and their development need much passion as the Asian history has been plagued by frequent disasters or misfortunes. The Asian Games, having persevered in for nearly 60 years, is currently in full swing, alive and dynamic. Though most of the Asian nations are in a developing state, they can make the games a resounding success, and they likewise regard the great sports gathering as a great opportunity for development.

Asia has a vast territory with a variety of ethnics, a huge wealth gap, an ethnic diversity and multi-faiths of people. “Our Asia, the mountains are its exalted head, our Asia, the rivers flow like warm blood…” Asian Games’ sports spirit is shown no less advantageous than in any similar global sports competitions, and the attitude of athletes from Asian countries and regions in the Games is definitely no inferior in term of the callous approach shown at other great world games.

A teenage table tennis player from Qatar, Mohammad Al-Saadi, despite his loss to all peers at the Games, said he enjoyed it as he had a trial of strength with world top players. Meanwhile, famous South Korean simmer Park Tae-hwan, who beat China’s ace swimmer Zhang Lin in the final, kept pulling him to pose for pictures and consoled him, saying that whoever would have a state of downturn sometimes. Contents at the Asian Games create intense interest but a swap of skills can result in magnetic resonance image (MRI).

“Thanks to the great Asian Games volunteers, and this is what the President Jacques Rogge of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wrote down. And Prince Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah, the president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said at the Asian Games’ opening ceremony that “hundreds of thousands of security guards and volunteers are “Guangzhou’s business cards” and without their service and help the Games will be unable to function efficiently or effectively.

“Is it not a pleasure to have friends coming from afar!” This reflects an enlightenment of China’s ancient civilization from the land of ceremony and propriety as well as an inheritance or legacy that should not be got lost for a single moment in China’s reform and opening-up or scientific development. Millions of Guangzhou residents, who are just behind tens of thousands of volunteers, are all feeling very proud to contribute their share in hosting the great event.

In a great get-together during a dozen day event, athletes have been heard repeatedly that they felt an inspiring and exciting thing in the face of so much encourage from the audience and, as for the hosts of the event, they felt real great that guests to the Games would be left with more beautiful memories of the Guangzhou Games.

Medals will be carried way with the end of the festival, but 16th Asian Games will leave itself, Asia and the rest of the world not just sports feats but a brand-new outlook on an open city, a large developing nation and a rising continent. From the Asian Games in Beijing to the Asian Games in Guangzhou over the past two decades, some athletes competing for the games in 1990 have been turned into coaches and the newborn then are now leading players at the ongoing Games. The themed Song “Asia Mighty Winds” will continue to ring on and on with sonorous, deafening sounds.

By People’s Daily Online and its author is PD reporter Wang Dazhao


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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