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Tuesday, August 12th 2008

Olympic Opening Ceremony Faked

The opening ceremony for the XXIXth Olympiad in Beijing was heralded as remarkable. It was an introduction for most of the world to the rise of China.

It should also serve as an introduction to China’s desperate personality disordeesque need to demonstrate its progress. I say that as more and more comes out that, at least some of, the spectacularness of the opening ceremony was was a work of ‘forgery’.

Don’t Believe Your Eyes

For example the Chinese pulled a Milli Vanilli. Here is a translated interview with the Musical Director for the opening ceremony,

Chen Qigang: The first condition was that the director wants the image to be very cute. We selected about ten children… Then we had to choose one from those who had a good image who can sing well…

We chose one ten-year-old child, whose voice was really good. All the rehearsals were using her singing… In the end the director thought her image was not the most appropriate, she was a little too old… so regrettably, we had to let her go.

Then, as we chose another singer, the standard was that she needs to be seven years old. Lin Miaoke was one of them, another was Yang Peiyi, and there were others.

Then we went to the Central People’s Radio Station to do the recording…

Except of those children auditioning, they decided to use one of their voices but put a different one out for the audience to see. Here is how he goes on to defend the decision to use the ‘voiceover’,

Chen Qigang: The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression.

Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects. But in the aspect of voice, Yang Peiyi is flawless, in each member of our team’s view.

TV Hostess: … So the one in front of camera is Lin Miaoke, but the voice [we heard] is from Yang Peiyi?

Chen Qigang: Yes.

As he says it, the decision was forced on the Olympic game organizers by some high ranking members of China’s national government.

The transcription of the original interview in Chinese, along with video of the interview can be found here.

Those footsteps which started the fireworks display of the opening ceremony were also faked. As Sky News reports,

Stunned viewers thought they were watching the string of fireworks filmed from above by a helicopter.

But in reality they were watching a 3D graphics sequence that took almost a year to produce.

It even included a ‘camera shake’ to mimic the effect of filming from a helicopter.

The dupe was revealed by China’s Beijing Times

Other questions about the technical aspects of the opening ceremony also raise the possibility of further ‘forgery’. For example, what were seemingly hidden projection screens in the roof of The Bird’s Nest stadium used for? One of them projected the Windows Blue Screen of Death during the lighting of the torch, thus revealing its presence.

There is a lot at stake, in terms of national pride, for China in these games. This ‘forgery’ during the opening ceremony is just a demonstration of the continued antagonistic, us versus them, thought process amongst the political elite in the Politburo. There is a drive from the top of Chinese society to present the rosiest picture for the outside world and amongst their own people. The Chinese continue to feel they can demonstrate no weakness and that they must cultivate this myth of incredible growth and China’s newfound relevance.

Yes, China has done incredible things considering where it started from. But, for a nation centered on the ideal of collectivism, it remains a nation with trouble in the distribution of its new found affluence. Despite China’s official (bogus) claims, poverty amongst the rural population may mean that 20% or more of Chinese continue to live on less than a dollar a day.

China faces other major problems of a third world country as well. For example, the problem of illiteracy in China. The official Chinese assessment that <10% of the population is illiterate is, to no one’s surprise who has read this far, bogus. Take this anecdote,

[In 2006], finally, everyone in Liupu village was able to read and write 1,500 Chinese characters, a census showed. Village leaders threw a big dinner to celebrate, presenting commemorative teacups to the last two adults to make the grade.

But ask Zhao Huapu, the earnest principal of Liupu Shezu Girls School, how many people here can actually read and write, and he gives an embarrassed smile. Nearly 30 percent of Liupu’s adults are illiterate.,

Or this detailed look at how the Chinese qualifications for literacy and their methodology in measuring such are complete nonsense.

In 2006 the director of illiteracy eradication at the Chinese Ministry of Education admitted that illiteracy was not only growing, but may have been underestimated in previous years. The official number of illiterates in China (and this is using that continued bogus definition) had topped 115 million by new figures. He was quickly slapped on the wrist and the Ministry of Education changed its tone.

In a rebuttal to earlier news reports saying China’s illiteracy rate has risen, a top Education Ministry official told press that China’s illiteracy rate is in fact decreasing.

the published statistics were not accurate and figures from the 2005 survey had been erroneously interpreted by some analysts. The mentioned survey merely consisted of a sample size of 1% of the population, and was then compared with official figures for 2000 from a once-a-decade population census.

Dr. Yang failed to offer any specific numbers…

I know, it’s a faked song and some faked fireworks…not an international incident. China continues to make great strides but really, right now, I’m not sure China is ready to lead the world. No matter how much they would like the world to believe otherwise.