I have been very public about my distaste for the Chengdu – China Worldcon bid and, following the recent cancellation of the Mepmphis in 2023 bid, intend to be even more strident.
If you are voting in site selection at this year’s DCV based Worldcon – Discon III – you need to vote for the Winnipeg bid, and show your pre-support by purchasing/donating now.
I just did (following an email that I’ll be getting a T-shirt from Memphis).
I’m sure that there are a lot of good reasons to vote for a Winnipeg bid – the bid committee is well-experienced (very well); Winnipeg has not hosted a Worldcon yet, it’s not based in the US, the weather during Worldcon season appears to be very pleasant and there are apparently a lot of interesting things to see and do in this central Canadian city.
Unfortunately there are far more reasons to vote against the Chinese bid.
Having enumerated them before, I will simply link here to the post that details all of the fundamental reasons why the SF community should not award a Worldcon to China at this time, including an uncertain climate regarding expressions of LGBTQI affiliation, expressions of religious affiliations, compromised intellectual property security, the absence of a fair and open legal system (you could unexpectedly be prevented from leaving the country), the possibility of kidnapping for financial gain….
However, the two biggest reasons, at least in my mind, is a reluctance to support a government that is engaging in genocide and is using all manner of cultural initiatives to distract from that fact and the fact that the leaders of that country (dictators) have decided that the science fiction genre is a tool they can use to manipulate their population and, by extension, the rest of the world.
A Worldcon in China (at this juncture) is not just a science fiction convention. It has deep international political implications and it will potentially compromise the award and bidding process forever afterwards. On a much smaller scale, imagine if Scientology had successfully managed their entre to the Hugo Awards through the purchase of influence. The awards would no longer be the Hugo Awards, they would have become the Scientology Hugo Awards.
The sheer potential mass of China-based voters will ensure that if the awards continue on into the future, they will be FAIRLY influenced by a Chinese majority constituency. I’d like to see that happen organically, not under the influence of a government that has an agenda that does not include the integrity of the award.
It’s difficult to make these statements without running the risk of appearing to be prejudicial against Chinese fans; as others have pointed out, any country that seeks a Worldcon can be found to have (sometimes good) reasons why it should not be so awarded. The responses to those arguments remain the same: China is a dictatorship and China is engaging in genocide. These are problems that are orders of magnitude beyond the issues that accompany any country that has previously been awarded a Worldcon. Orders.
Make no mistake(s) about this: if you support the Chengdu bid by voting for it, purchasing an advance membership – OR BY DOING NOTHING – you will at best be turning a blind eye to genocide, as well as compromising the future independence of international SF Fandom.