July 31, 2008
China is angry that President Bush met with Chinese dissidents at the White House and accuses the U.S. of politicizing the Olympic Games. China reiterated they would limit internet access during the Games as well:
The Chinese authorities also remained resolute about their decision to maintain a firewall on the Internet and limit access for journalists covering the Olympics. Senior officials with the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, have said they were stunned to learn Wednesday that Beijing’s longstanding pledge to provide foreign reporters with unfettered access would not be honored.
Kevan Gosper, a former Olympic athlete from Australia and the chief of the IOC press commission in Beijing, said he had been assured that visiting journalists would have no limitations on their Internet use during the Games. But he said Wednesday that other IOC officials, whom he did not identify, had agreed to let some Web sites be blocked. Olympic organizers say they are trying to convince the government to reconsider its decision to limit access.
In an interview Thursday, Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, said reporters arriving in China in the coming week should not expect access to sites that discuss topics such as Tibet, Taiwanese independence or the Falun Gong, a banned religious group that China has deemed an “evil cult.” Such sites, he said, “contain information that is in breach of Chinese law.”
He also stressed that the number of banned sites were few — although he declined to provide a precise number — and he insisted that reporters would have no limitations in covering athletic events. Mr. Sun said the authorities would not monitor the personal e-mails of reporters at the Olympics’ main press center. “We always have been following international law on such matters,” he said.
And in Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra's wife is found guilty of tax evasion. Thaksin is the former Prime Minister, ousted in a military coup but, with the military government gone, is back in the country. While abroad the one-time chief of police bought the Manchester City football club and lived comfortably in London. Though out of government he remains the country's most popular politician.