Today Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined the International Relations Committee Ranking Member Tom Lantos (D-CA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Christopher Cox (R-CA) at a press conference to introduce a resolution opposing China’s 2008 Olympic bid.
“It is difficult to understand how China can even be considered for the Olympics. The Chinese government is putting on a hard court press to win the prestige of the Olympic games but there are serious questions about the quality of their facilities and the condition of their environment. Even without these serious setbacks, the International Olympic Committee should not award the 2008 Olympics to Beijing unless all political prisoners are released and the regime observes internationally recognized human rights. The world is looking to us to declare our collective commitment to promoting democratic values.
“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. Eight years ago, the U.S. Congress opposed China’s bid to host the 2000 Olympics with the hope that human rights would improve in China. Unfortunately, the human rights situation has further deteriorated over the past eight years. According to the U.S. State Department’s Annual Country Report on Human Rights, the situation in China has ‘worsened’ and the regime ‘continued to commit widespread and well-documented human rights abuses in violation of internationally accepted norms.’
“This week, President Bush and the new Administration will have the opportunity to send a strong message to the Chinese government in support of basic human rights. During his meeting with Vice Premier Qian Qichen, the President should press for progress on human rights and the lifting of restrictions on association, assembly, and free expression,” Pelosi said.
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