Why China Has A Serious Credibility Problem
The investigation initiated by the International Olympic Committee into suspicions that Chinese gold medal-winning women gymnasts at the Beijing Olympics are under-aged has predictably angered Chinese people and commentators, who have responded with bilious rage on the Internet
“Why is China being subjected to this humiliating investigation when it has submitted a copy of (gymnast) He Kexin’s proof of age as required by the IOC,” wonders a blogger. “Some of the European and American female athletes look like guys — not only in their aggressive manner, but in their bone structure, body shape and facial features,” observes another. “Should we demand more testing, more intrusive and extended investigation than what the IOC has conducted so far?”
The mere fact that these investigations against Chinese gymnasts have been launched amounts to a serious loss of ‘face’ for China, with the implication that its word is being disbelieved. But in fact China has only itself to blame for the credibility crisis it faces: in the court of international opinion, it has in the past been caught making wilful misrepresentations of the truth, both on the sports field and off it. Indicatively, Chinese gymnast Yang Yun, who won individual and team bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, said later in an interview on state-run Chinese television that she had been 14 at the time of those Games.
Far more seriously, in 2003, as a killer virus claimed lives across southern China, authorities continued to maintain — despite media exposes to the contrary — that it was no more than a mild case of “atypical pneumonia”. Only when it exploded in their face did authorities acknowledge the gravity of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Although China has since then made some progress in its information dissemination system during emergencies, its knee-jerk response to the latest allegations relating to underaged gymnasts shows that its first reflex when it’s caught is to cover its tracks — and rather inexpertly at that.
Little wonder then that China finds itself easily disbelieved. In this case, as in the earlier cases, it has only itself to blame for the credibility crisis it faces.(DNA News)
Labels: Credibilty Problem