Awareness of human rights violations is low among the Chinese public despite growing criticism from the international community over the issue ahead of the Beijing Olympics in February next year, a former Japanese ambassador to China has said.
Yuji Miyamoto, who filled the ambassador position at the time of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, said in an interview in late October that the continued criticism over the human rights situation in China could lead Chinese people to be less willing to build full-fledged relations with the international community.
In Europe and the United States, calls have been increasing for a “diplomatic boycott” of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, to condemn the Chinese government for its human rights violations.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China wanted to gain global recognition as an economically developed country, Miyamoto said. “With moral education given to citizens and buildings put up by the world’s most renowned architects, Beijing changed,” he recalled.
“Chinese people felt proud of having staged the Olympics and became confident that they could pursue further development,” he continued.
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