James Forsyth

Time to start thinking about boycotting Beijing

Time to start thinking about boycotting Beijing
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It is hard to know quite what is going on in Tibet because of the obstructionism of the Chinese government. What is clear is that the people of Tibet—who have long been denied their right to self-determination by the Communist regime—are suffering and protestors are being killed

Amidst all the excitement about China’s rapid economic growth, we all too often forget that it remains a brutal Communist dictatorship. It is time now to use the leverage that the Olympics gives the rest of the world over China and start talking about a boycott. 

I would urge you to read both Rod Liddle’s column in this week’s magazine on the Tibet situation and the letter drafted by Vaclav Havel over at Comment is Free. Here is the key final section of the letter:

Merely urging the Chinese government to exercise the "utmost restraint" in dealing with the Tibetan people, as governments around the world are doing, is far too weak a response. The international community, beginning with the United Nations and followed by the European Union, Asean, and other international organisations, as well as individual countries, should use every means possible to step up pressure on the Chinese government to allow foreign media, as well as international fact-finding missions, into Tibet and adjoining provinces in order to enable objective investigations of what has been happening; release all those who only peacefully exercised their internationally guaranteed human rights, and guarantee that no one is subjected to torture and unfair trials; enter into a meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people. 

Unless these conditions are fulfilled, the International Olympic Committee should seriously reconsider whether holding this summer's Olympic games in a country that includes a peaceful graveyard remains a good idea.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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