Rounding up people’s dogs and putting them down? No problem! Complaining about it? A national disgrace! The protests in Beijing over the recently imposed “one dog” rule following a rabies scare have apparently shamed Beijing in the eyes of the world, in the eyes of its own law and order officials, that is. As one animal rights activist put it in the South China Morning Post,
“Friends with the Beijing Public Security Bureau told me they wanted to punish the event’s leaders, who made the city lose face in international society while the 2008 Olympics host city is under the spotlight.”
While I can appreciate on some level that allowing organized protests of any kind makes the PSB lose face in front of city and central government authorities – since it reflects badly on their ability to control the public in the run-up to an event where everything must go according to plan, or else – this is a ultimately a losing PR move and only attracts negative international attention. Like, for instance, from the Washington Post.
Especially so when your city is still having days like yesterday, when “thick fog”, as Shanghai Daily so generously puts it, caused 80 planes to be delayed at Beijing’s Capital International Airport. Let’s not kid ourselves here – there’s a word for that weather, and it isn’t fog. Just take a look at this picture, taken yesterday:
There may be some moisture in the air there, but there are definitely plenty of sooty particulates as well.
Somebody, please explain to Beijing city officials which is the bigger loss of face internationally, not just within their own bureaucracy.
Photos from ENS Newswire and Shanghai Daily websites.