"Both sides of Olympic protests miss the point", Sunday Morning Post Leader - 20-04-2008
"Protesters in the west believed they were simply making a statement about the central government's human rights record or its policies towards Tibet. They seem to have failed to understand that the torch, with its intricate design and Chinese symbols, has come to represent - in the eyes of most Chinese on the mainland and around the world - their nationhood. Therefore, organised attempts to grasp it from torch-bearers, such as paralympic fencer Jin Jing in Paris, became in the eyes of Chinese people a deliberate affront to their nation's dignity and pride, not just the ruling party in Beijing".
"In a similar way, mainland protesters calling for boycotts aimed at French companies fail to grasp the wider implications. These companies provide jobs for mainland workers, encourage trade and improve relations between countries. They were not responsible for the Olympics protests in the west".
"The mainland protesters are entitled to express their feelings and their pride in hosting the Olympics, so long as they do so peacefully. But patriotic passions are not like tap water that can be easily turned on and off. Having launched an intense media campaign against the Dalai Lama, Tibetan rioters and their supporters in the west, it may not be easy for Beijing to calm the passions which have been aroused.
"The Olympics should be a means to bring nations together, through sport. The world needs more co-operation and dialogue. This is argument enough for each side to seek better understanding of the other - and to allow the Games to proceed peacefully".