I would like to respond to the opinions article, “China prepares to sweep gold in Relays of Shame.” I express my disappointment and resentment of the author, Mark Fleming, who wrote such a distorted, insulting article about the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay.

First, Fleming said, “The Chinese government has an abysmal record for human rights, does not respect free speech….” However, the death toll has dropped by nearly 50 percent in a decade, and the lethal injection is replacing the firing squad. This is just one of the many examples of how human rights have been improving in China.

Concerning free speech, people are rarely restricted about what they say online. On Tianya, a well-known forum in China, one can often see mixed views on government policy. No one has ever been arrested.

Second, Fleming showed his lack of information about the torch relay in Paris. During the torch relay, a mob even tried to assault a disabled girl, who was one of the torch carriers. The girl was mildly injured, but the torch relay went on.

I wonder how, if “Paris Defends Human Rights Everywhere in the World” (a sign quoted by Fleming when describing the torch’s route), the city could ignore the fact that a disabled person’s human rights were being barbarously offended in their own capital? If attacking a torch carrier is a form of “expressing human rights,” then should the legal term “assault” be permanently removed from the law?

I would not like to discuss the torch relay in San Francisco, but as far as I know, according to photos taken at the event, thousands of people proclaiming the Olympics came from all over North America to show their spirit. The relay was done successfully.

Finally, I have to mention that the Olympics are not Olympolitics. A distorted view against the Beijing Olympics is harmful.

-Zhenghui LiClass of 2010

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