Today at a press conference, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined International Relations Committee Ranking Member Tom Lantos (D-CA), other Members of Congress, and Olympic Silver Medalist Donna Chladek to call on the House Republican Leadership to schedule a vote on a resolution to oppose China’s 2008 Olympic bid.
I would like to thank International Relations Committee Ranking Member Tom Lantos for his leadership and dedication to protecting human rights in China and all over the world. We are here today to call upon the House Republican Leadership to schedule a long overdue vote on the Lantos-Cox Resolution opposing Beijing’s bid for the 2008 Olympics.
On Friday, the International Olympic Committee will decide which city – Toronto, Paris, or Beijing – will host the 2008 summer games. It is high time for the Republican Leadership to stop stalling and let Congress speak out for the political prisoners and human rights in China. The world is looking to us to declare our collective commitment to promoting democratic values. Even the European Parliament has recently passed a resolution opposing Beijing's bid for the Olympics and condemning its "disastrous record on human rights."
Selecting Beijing for the Olympic games is turning a blind eye towards their human rights abuses. Just this morning the Chinese government arrogantly confirmed that the trial of U.S. citizen and academic Li Shaomin will begin on Saturday, the day after the IOC makes a decision on the Olympic games. The Chinese government is playing politics with the human rights of U.S. citizens while the U.S. does nothing.
The Olympic spirit is built upon peace and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles. Sadly, we are here because the Chinese government continues to crush all political dissent and trample on the basic human rights of its people.
Congress and the International Olympic Committee should not permit the Chinese regime to revel in the glory of the Olympic games while they continue to systematically abuse the rights of the Chinese people.
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