Wednesday, March 21, 2007

China Faces Calls for Olympic Boycott

Way to go Bayrou!

Excerpt: Forbes/AP – 21 March, 2007 – China, as host of the next Olympics, should be pressured to use its clout with Sudan to stop violence in Darfur, two top French presidential candidates said - and one called for a French boycott of the Games if the violence doesn't stop.

But the boycott call from Bayrou and the criticism from other French presidential contenders were new in that they focused on China's foreign - not domestic - policy and linked it to the Games.

China is Sudan's biggest investor, buying two-thirds of its oil and selling it weapons and military aircraft. China has taken a hands-off approach to political violence and human rights abuses in Africa, where Beijing has been increasing its investment to tap Africa's vast natural resources.

China has been accused of not doing enough to pressure the Sudanese government, which is accused of funding militias and allowing its military to brutalize civilians in a conflict that has killed some 200,000 people and left 2.5 million homeless since 2003.

"We cannot stay silent before one of the great humanitarian tragedies of our time," Chirac said in a statement sent to the rally. "If atrocities follow, if the word is not kept, the (U.N.) Security Council will have no other choice, but to adopt sanctions." (more)

OLYMPIC WATCH: Human Rights in China and Beijing 2008

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