China’s power today is driven by economics first and foremost. Want to lead the charge, make a difference, influence their human rights policy? Forget the Olympics, forget Olympic Torch protests. The Olympics are symbolic, and while as a Buddhist, I certainly acknowledge and applaud any attention given to the plight of Tibet, protests will accomplish very little in the long run.
Want to really make a change?
Every time you go to the store, check to see where a product is made. If you have a choice between goods made in China and any other nation (and you may not), buy the product made somewhere else as often as you can.
Commit today to buy 25% fewer goods made in China, and 25% more goods made in the USA or other countries that support the human rights initiatives you value.
Economic power made the giant, and economic power can change its course on human rights – but only if you have the will as a consumer to vote with your wallet, no matter how great the sale is.