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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Beijing says any Prince Charles boycott "unfair"

January 29, 2008

BEIJING, January 28, 2008 (AFP) — Any boycott of the 2008 Olympics in
China by Prince Charles would be "unfair" since the event belongs to the
whole world, its organisers said Monday.

"We did not hear of this boycott by Prince Charles to China. I think a
boycott of the Olympic Games would be an unfair practice," said Wang
Hui, a spokeswoman for the Beijing Olympic organising committee.

"The Beijing Olympic Games belongs to the whole world, not only to
China. Our slogan is 'One World, One Dream.'"

The prince's deputy private secretary Clive Alderton, responding to a
letter from the Free Tibet group, said the heir to the British throne
would not be going to the opening ceremony of August's Games.

Prince Charles "has long taken a close interest in Tibet and indeed has
been pleased to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama on several occasions,"
Alderton wrote.

"You asked if the Prince of Wales would be attending the opening
ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. His Royal Highness will not be
attending the ceremony."

Free Tibet, which campaigns against human rights abuses there, said it
wrote to Charles calling on him not to attend this summer's games in
Beijing.

A spokeswoman for the prince at Clarence House declined to comment,
saying only: "We would not be able discuss any private correspondence."

Wang Hui told a press conference that Beijing had been working hard on
the Games and had received "positive signals" from many countries.

"The Olympic Games is a harmonious competitive event that is meaningful
for the whole world," she said. "We have made great preparations and
tried our utmost to bring to the world a high level Olympic Games."

She did not say whether the prince had been invited to attend the
opening ceremony. His sister Princess Anne is a member of the
International Olympic Committee.

The prince is a well-known supporter of the Tibetan cause. He hosted a
reception at St. James's Palace in May 2004 for Tibetan spiritual leader
the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing regards as a separatist.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against
Chinese rule and has since lived in exile, travelling the world seeking
support for Tibetan rights.

China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 and officially "liberated" it the
following year.
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