Is there a method to Beijing’s madness regarding the Olympics? Obviously there is. But if the objective is to make China look good, its ruling oligarchy is going the wrong way.
They found themselves wrong-footed when the Olympic torch relay became entangled with the Tibetan human-rights issue. All their heaving and weaving about the unrest in Tibet failed to convince audiences abroad that it was the work of the Dalai Lama clique involving some wayward monks.
All this talk of cultural genocide in Tibet, Beijing believes, is a canard fostered by the Dalai clique to defame China and split it from the “motherland,” a heinous crime by enemies of the country. It was an overkill, figuratively and literally speaking, by a regime used to this sort of talk.
Having been caught on the defensive, Beijing decided to go on the offensive.
It is sheer madness to elevate the Olympic torch relay into an issue of monumental importance to China as if the country’s future depended on it.