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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

McCain Urges Olympic Ceremony Boycott

April 11, 2008

By Dan Balz
Washington Post, United States
Apr 10, 2008

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."
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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