Tuesday, April 1, 2008

China draws ire as Olympics approaches: Pelosi

Ed O’Keefe has a story from ABC’s “Good Morning America” “Pelosi: Bush should consider boycott of Olympics’ opening; on homefront, Democratic Speaker says fight should ‘run its course’”, April 1, 2008, link here.

Pelosi said this morning that the United States should participate in the Olympics as an amateur sports event, but that Bush should consider skipping the opening ceremony.

Pelosi said that the United States must work to see an improvement in China’s behavior, in terms of worker wages and product safety, and treatment of ethnic minorities, especially in Tibet. China needs to improve its environmental policies (as in Anderson Cooper’s film “Planet in Peril”). Likewise, China has drawn ire for censorship of dissent on the Internet and for “blackmailing” American companies into complicity. China is still a post-Communist state.

China has also been criticized for brutal use of "eminent domain," clearing away land for the Olympics and other projects without properly compensating property owners or residents.

There is also an issue of protests about Sudan's behavior in Darfur. Katie Thomas has a front page story this morning in The New York Times "Issue for Athletes: Protest on Darfur at Olympics," link here. I have a blog entry reviewing movies from 2007 dealing with the Darfur problem, here.

Many readers remember Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980, spurred by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which, as we know, still has ramifications today. A typical blog entry is by Ronald Smothers back from 1996 at the New York Times, “Olympics: Bitterness lingering over Carter’s Boycott”, here.

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