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McCain Urges Olympic Ceremony Boycott

Updated 2:27 p.m.
By Dan Balz
Republican presidential candidate John McCain added his voice to the growing chorus of officials urging President Bush to consider boycotting the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Olympics in China.

"Unless they change some things pretty quickly, I would not go to the opening ceremonies," McCain said on ABC's "The View" this morning.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called on President Bush not to attend the opening ceremonies in protest of China's human rights policies and McCain's tough words will add to the pressure on the president.

McCain said he wants to see a halt to the crackdown in Tibet and for the Chinese to engage in conversations with the Dalai Lama. "I would say to the Chinese, 'Look, clean up your act here. This is not acceptable,'" he said.

McCain went on to describe China's behavior as "oppressive and brutal" and said there should be a strong message sent to the government there. He urged Bush to keep open the option of canceling his planned attendance at the opening ceremonies.

Later, the campaign issued the following statement from McCain:

"Our relationship with China is important, and we value our ability to cooperate with the Chinese government on a wide variety of strategic, economic, and diplomatic fronts. But the Chinese government needs to understand that in our modern world, how a nation treats its citizens is a legitimate subject of international concern. China has signed numerous international agreements that make China's treatment of its citizens a subject of legitimate international concern, not just a matter of national sovereignty. To be a responsible stakeholder in the modern world, a government must also be responsible at home, in protecting, not trampling, the rights of its people.

"I deplore the violent crackdown by Chinese authorities and the continuing oppression in Tibet of those merely wishing to practice their faith and preserve their culture and heritage. I have listened carefully to the Dalai Lama and am convinced he is a man of peace who reflects the hopes and aspirations of Tibetans. I urge the government of the People's Republic of China to address the root causes of unrest in Tibet by opening a genuine dialogue with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, aimed at granting greater autonomy. I urge the Chinese authorities to ensure peaceful protest is not met with violence, to release monks and others detained for peacefully expressing their views and to allow full outside access to Tibet.

"I understand and respect Prime Minister Brown's decision not to attend the Olympic opening ceremonies. I believe President Bush should evaluate his participation in the ceremonies surrounding the Olympics and, based on Chinese actions, decide whether it is appropriate to attend. If Chinese policies and practices do not change, I would not attend the opening ceremonies. It does no service to the Chinese government, and certainly no service to the people of China, for the United States and other democracies to pretend that the suppression of rights in China does not concern us. It does, will and must concern us."

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 10, 2008; 2:05 PM ET
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Stop defending the oppressive, suppressive, brutal, deceitful, 1-party, monopolized communist government of China. I have to emphasize here that it is the digusted communist Chinese government that I'm extremely critical of, not the majority of the Chinese population.

The majority of the Chinese people don't have the freedoms or the rights to express or say what they want to say on opinions/subjects that the communist government feels threatened and embrassed, even the opinions are true. The majority are virtually entrapped in a gian prison by their own communist officials who are not elected by the population; they are seated there because of decisions pre-made by the Poliburo bunch. The communists control pretty much everything: the executive branch consists of hardcore communist party members with the police, military and security forces; the parliament also contains mostly party members with very few exceptions that have been recently non-party associates to advertise or make propaganda of some sort of democracy to the world; the judicial/court is headed by also communists. The congress/parliament is essentially a rubber-stamped group to go a long with decisions made by the powerful, higher level Politburo.

If 1 party controls and has the monopoly, how can there be fairness to the common citizens? Who would dare to challenge this bureaucratic system? Of course, there are some couragious and brave individuals that speak up to voice differing opinions to protect human rights, to help commoners who are evicted from their own lands or homes and compensated too little to find alternative places to live, and other corrupted cases. The government then turns around to sell the vacated areas to developers, other businesses at prices hundreds or thousand times higher than the compensation. There are countless vices, briberies and other corruptions in different government levels in China (local to central). These brave individual dissidents consequently are jailed, beat up, harassed or made disappeared (in more serious and political cases) and the charges are "revealing state secrets or disturbing national stability or some other bogus and ridiculous names.

Years of engagement with the democratic West opens up China for sure economically (otherwise it would be like the berlligerent North Korea by clinging to communist/Karl Marx economics) in order to survive potential tensions due to inequal wealths between cities vs. rurals. Politically, just a little progress but as a whole, it is still tightly controlled by iron fists and 1 party.

The press is also state-owned to public/broadcast 1-sided events. In the recent protests (not riots) in Tibet, the government only feeds information to project Tibetans as attackers and Chinese as victims, including communist police/army/security who are armed with guns, tanks, helicopters ... whereas the Tibetans have relatively nothing (on the relative scale). It is true that some Chinese citizens are victims but the Tibetans killed, arrested and persecuted by the government crackdowns/suppressing would be many fold higher. However, because of unfair, 1-sided propaganda by state run mouthpieces, the Chinese people are fed of the "untruths", lies by the communists to incite Chinese nationalism. Results are that more hatred, grievances and vegeances between Tibetans and Chinese because of wrong information.

By the way, Tibetans are led to protest because of harrassments, abuses, oppressions, ... by communist Chinese (not regular, common Chinese). China invade Tibet in the 1950's to self-claim Tibet belongs to China. Vietnam's offshore islands also are gobbled up by China in similar forceful manners. Taiwan is threatened of reunification; had it not been of the US's backing, Taiwan might have been invaded a long time ago by China. What is the next country(ies) as China rises on the world stage (but acts "un-worldly)?

Communist China is deceitful and brazen. Promised to open up and allow more freedoms if allowed to join the WTO, host the Olympics, granted permanent Most Favored Nations status (for trading with the US) ... But once granted, China does not keep promises. Instead, it suppresses its own citizens (let alone Tibetans), shoots Vietnamese fishermen in Vietnam's oceanic territory, incite violences on Japanese, exports poisonous pet foods/medicines, counterfeits products, exports dangerous toys with lead paint, has no regards for human rights and intellectual properties, supports genocides in Sudan's Darfur and brutal regimes (such as Burma's dictator generals who plunder Burma's resources and practice China's textbooks on human right abuses).

Collectivelly, the world needs to speak up to help desperate, unarmed victims (such as Tibetans) for freedom and indepence in the face of China's aggresion and UN veto. Boycott Bejing Olympics. Restrict unfair trades (pegging the Yuan over the US dollar to give advantage to Chinese exports but hurt US) with China. China is ignorant and does not care on criticism from any country and all countries because of its brazen/brass nature. The only way to get communist China to change its bad behaviors is to use economic leverages, eg boycotting Olympics, impose trade sanctions and the likes. These actions are a lot more effective than diplomatic efforts. Don't we see how many years of engagement with the West's naïve leaders and officials (starting with the Clinton administration) that China would change and have things (political, basic human rights, ...) changed?

Posted by: DVD | April 13, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

The globalist idea is to build the Chinese middle class and thereby mitigate population expansion (middle classes have less children.) But these wise men have stumbled badly in thinking they can roll over human beings in their headlong pursuit of a globalist vision. The good people of China (95% who are NOT in CCP) are being trampled upon by minority rule government that wants to control every aspect of life. CCP and its globalist backers have tried to hide the abominable record of abuses against Tibetans, Burmese, Sudan. They think they can hoodwink the world into celebrating a "coming out" party in Beijing. The world will celebrate when CCP gives up archaic totalitarian behavior and honors its commitments to UN Resolution 217 and to the IOC Association and protection of Human Rights.

Mr. Bush and the rest of the Western leaders will attend Beijing ceremony only when significant progress is confirmed.

Posted by: Thotful | April 11, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I heard on NPR today that a president has never attended the opening ceremony for an Olympics. If that is so one does have to wonder about Bush attending the opening ceremony for an Olympics held in a country run by dictators. Did he plan to go before the Tibet stuff came up?

Posted by: Keith Hood | April 11, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Dear Sir/Mdm:

I do appreciate that article mentioned above.We should call a strike not to watch out or attend the Beijing Olympic Games on 08.08.08 because they are supporting the twisted and cruel Burmese Military Government seriously.
Thank you.

Tommy Oo Htun Myint(OHM-KL)

Posted by: Oo Htun Myint(OHM-KL) | April 11, 2008 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Now President McCain, YOU are aware that it WAS China we were fighting in Vietnam, NOW, DON'T YOU? ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | April 10, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Shame on CHINA! I am so thankful that i live in a FREE COUNTRY. ! LOVE LIVE AMERICA!

Posted by: Tsepel | April 10, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

McCain put out a beautifully worded and strong statement. It is a good reminder of what a strong character and decisive mover McCain is.

It feels good to have a man like McCain to fall back on for a mature, experienced voice and a leader with a record of action, to vote for in the event that Clinton doesn't get nominated by the Democrats.

If McCain were to select Condoleeza Rice as a running mate, that would seal the deal for me. Because I do feel Clinton is one of the best Presidential candidates ever, I can only vote for her if she's nominated.

But McCain is a very, very strong alternate.

Posted by: Annette Keller | April 10, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Come on now China, don't make me sing my little song! What you're doing is unacceptable and you have to stop. I mean it, I don't want to sing THE song but if you don't asked for it:
Bomb, bomb, bomb,
Bomb, bomb, bomb, Hunan.
Bomb, bomb, bomb,
Bomb, bomb, bomb, Hunan.

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 10, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

it bring the world no way in such a vey bad example set by boycott governments to the children of generations to come.

Posted by: adam | April 10, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

People don't go to opening ceremony to show their support for the government of the hosting nation. They go to support the athletes from their own nation. Boycotting opening ceremony is disrespectful to the athletes that have worked hard to get there. Moreover, the olympics were intended to be apolitical. I regret that we ever boycotted the olympics and set a precedent of using the olympics as a tool for expressing disagreements with other nations. It's really unfortunate.

Posted by: Cliff | April 10, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

With Bush's torure (d purposely omitted) logic, how can he claim the high ground on abuses of human rights? If we as a nation are willing to live with Bush's torture logic, how can we say we have the moral authority to change Chinese policies?

Think about it...

Posted by: scott032 | April 10, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll
Latest Results Just Posted Yesterday.
Thanks for Voting!

Posted by: votenic | April 10, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

These kinds of articles are dishonorable to excellent respectable happy fun joy Chinese government.

Posted by: Peoples Committee | April 10, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Should the U.S boycott the Olympics?


Posted by: Frank, LA | April 10, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The article fails to mention that Obama has also called for a boycott, barring a significant policy changes by China between now and the Olympics. McCain's statement was very similar to Obama's, yet the article implies by omission that Obama does not share McCain's stance.

Posted by: davestickler | April 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

No way that the same calls from Hillary and Obama would sway Bush. Might the fact that this now has bipartisan support (meaning that it isn't just a lefty fantasy) push Dubya into action? Surprise McCain would concur with the Dems, but he never was one to back down from China.

Posted by: matt | April 10, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

In any event, us no the Internet do not seem to be into McCain;

Obama vs Clinton vs McCain -
The Google Primary:

Posted by: Dave | April 10, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Who doesn't McCain want to pick a fight with when he's President, he wants to boycott the Olympics which is a high priority for China, he wants to kick Russia out of the G8, he wants to bomb Iran and wage endless war in Iraq? The only question is when will he institute a draft to man all these wars we're going to fight!

Posted by: RCD | April 10, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The woords above are NOT true. McCain is AHEAD in Alaska and Montana. The way it is spun for political reason leads you to think a different story!

Posted by: scott | April 10, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

5 new general election polls today paint a very interesting picture for the fall campaign: McCain is way ahead in Ohio but he struggles against Obama in the unlikeliest of places: Montana and Alaska. Full roundup:

Posted by: Dan | April 10, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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