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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Commentary: World will not allow Olympics to be politicized

July 17, 2008

     BEIJING, July 14, 2008 (Xinhua) -- As the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games draw near, over 80 heads of state or government have confirmed
they will attend the opening ceremony of the grand event, including U.S.
President George W. Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

     Many foreign news media including Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper
and India's Hindu newspaper have published articles under headlines such
as "China triumphs over attempt at Olympic boycott" to indicate the
unpopularity of boycotting the Beijing Olympics.

     Sarkozy used to be considered the most unlikely head of state to
attend the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, due to his linking the
Beijing Olympic Games with the so-called Tibet issue and the China human
rights issue. However, he eventually announced that he will attend the
opening ceremony as dual president of France and the European Council.
French newspaper Le Figaro commented that Sarkozy's decision is a
correct one, as to politicize the Olympics is just another form of
racism under the "human rights banner."

     French Senate President Christian Poncelet used to state clearly
that France shouldn't say things about China's human rights issues,
neither should it comment on China's so-called Tibet issue without
knowing the exact situation of the region.

     Speaker of the French National Assembly Bernard Accoyer said that
the people disrupting the Olympic torch relay in Paris didn't represent
France or the French people.

     Though previous Olympic Games have been more or less affected by
political factors, the Olympic spirit separates sports from politics.
The Olympic Charter clearly states that any form of discrimination with
regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics,
gender or otherwise is incompatible with the Olympic Movement.

     If there is any political significance of the Beijing Olympics,
said Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, it would be "China's
coming out party to celebrate its progress and opening up to the world."

     There is an old Chinese saying, "How happy we are, to meet friends
from afar!" Since ancient times China has always been a hospitable and
friendly nation. The Chinese people regard the coming Beijing Olympics a
perfect occasion to host friends from all over the world, as well as an
opportunity to show to the world the real China.

     The Beijing Olympic Games is not just a grand gathering of the 1.3
billion Chinese people, but also a gathering of all the peace-loving
people around the world, it will propagate valuable virtues such as
peace, friendship and cooperation. To politicize such a grand and happy
ceremony will only hurt the feelings of all the peace-lovers, including
the Chinese people, and tarnish the spirit of the Olympics. That is why
rejecting the politicizing of the Olympics has always been the
mainstream ideal in the international community.
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