Chinese media savage their Olympic successors

Jeff Gross/Getty Images Boris Johnson may have ruffled some feathers in Beijing by declaring London the “sporting capital of the world” and boasting about Britain inventing ping pong. But the London mayor still had some kind words for China after his Olympic visit. Chinese bloggers and members of the Chinese media, on the other hand, ...

592939_080827_johnson5.jpg
592939_080827_johnson5.jpg

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Boris Johnson may have ruffled some feathers in Beijing by declaring London the “sporting capital of the world” and boasting about Britain inventing ping pong. But the London mayor still had some kind words for China after his Olympic visit.

Chinese bloggers and members of the Chinese media, on the other hand, did not take kindly to the performance of Britain — and Johnson in particular — during the Olympic changeover ceremony. One blogger blasted Johnson for not buttoning his suit jacket, while another said the mayor appeared “rude and arrogant” while interacting with his counterpart from Beijing. 

Some of the harshest words, however, were reserved for Jimmy Page and David Beckham:

Unfortunately, the singer and Jimmy Page are absolutely not famous enough to be known or recognised by millions of the Chinese audiences. As for David Beckham, he was supposed to kick the football towards the red circle in the centre of the Bird’s Nest, in the end, just like any of his penalties at a football match, he totally missed it. 

Ouch. The Brits may not be rallying for Chinese press freedom anytime soon.

Patrick Fitzgerald is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

More from Foreign Policy

A photo illustration shows Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden posing on pedestals atop the bipolar world order, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Russian President Vladamir Putin standing below on a gridded floor.
A photo illustration shows Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden posing on pedestals atop the bipolar world order, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Russian President Vladamir Putin standing below on a gridded floor.

No, the World Is Not Multipolar

The idea of emerging power centers is popular but wrong—and could lead to serious policy mistakes.

A view from the cockpit shows backlit control panels and two pilots inside a KC-130J aerial refueler en route from Williamtown to Darwin as the sun sets on the horizon.
A view from the cockpit shows backlit control panels and two pilots inside a KC-130J aerial refueler en route from Williamtown to Darwin as the sun sets on the horizon.

America Prepares for a Pacific War With China It Doesn’t Want

Embedded with U.S. forces in the Pacific, I saw the dilemmas of deterrence firsthand.

The Chinese flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics at Beijing National Stadium on Feb. 4, 2022.
The Chinese flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics at Beijing National Stadium on Feb. 4, 2022.

America Can’t Stop China’s Rise

And it should stop trying.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on prior a meeting with European Union leaders in Mariinsky Palace, in Kyiv, on June 16, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on prior a meeting with European Union leaders in Mariinsky Palace, in Kyiv, on June 16, 2022.

The Morality of Ukraine’s War Is Very Murky

The ethical calculations are less clear than you might think.