Olympic President Makes Rare Criticism of China

After weeks of resisting politicization of the Olympics over the riots in Tibet, IOC boss Jacques Rogge is now asking to respect its “moral engagement” to improve human rights. From The New York Times:

China faced rare criticism of its human rights record from the head of the International Olympics Committee on Thursday, even as calls for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the games grew louder in Europe and the United States…

Though Rogge predicted the Games would still be a success, his comments were a sharp departure from previous statements in which he avoided any mention of politics. Beijing quickly rejected his remarks and said they amounted to meddling in its internal affairs.

Meanwhile, pressure increased on world leaders to signal their opposition to China’s policies in Tibet and its close relations with the government of Sudan by skipping the opening ceremony of the games. The European Parliament urged leaders of its 27 member nations to consider a boycott of the ceremony unless China opens a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet.

April 10, 2008, 10:05 PM
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