This week the Asian Baseball Championship gets under way, and Asia's three leading teams -- Taiwan, Japan and South Korea -- are fighting to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
These teams are fighting to get to Beijing, but on the human rights front, Beijing's performance has been disappointing.
Even if we don't mention its past record, China's commitment to human rights when applying for the Olympics has amounted to a bounced check.
There's been the muzzling of the media as the Olympics approach -- China has not only closed a large number of Web sites, but has also brazenly detained journalists.
The lack of human rights there is so serious that people seem to have forgotten its commitments when bidding for the Games several years ago.
The Chinese Communists believe that high-handedness and cracking down on the free flow of information can consolidate its hold on power.
On the contrary, political reform has become more scattershot and this has triggered more criticism and condemnation from around the world.