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Merkel says she will not attend opening of Beijing Olympics

Original post made by julie, Midtown, on Mar 30, 2008

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing.

As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.

The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games' opening ceremonies in August could encourage President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance

Comments (6)

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Posted by sue
a resident of Ohlone School
on Mar 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm

British filmmakers have emerged from three months undercover in Tibet to release a terrifying portrayal of Chinese repression,

including shootings, torture and the brutal sterilization of women left maimed by crude operations.

Their film, to be shown tomorrow night as part of Channel 4's Dispatches series, was made before the recent outbreak of anti-Chinese rioting in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. But with hundreds of jailed Tibetan protesters now in fear for their lives..Web Link

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 30, 2008 at 7:24 pm

I am really torn about boycotting the Olympics..but have come down on the side of NOT boycotting. We boycotted Russia,which I supported, then regreted because all it did was screw our athletes who had prepared for years for the chance to compete. It was an empty and meaningless gesture.

I will not support a boycott. It would only hurt our country's athletes. I feel sorry for Germany's athletes.

The reality is that, if we don't want to hold Olympics in any country but a democracy, then it should be made an open policy with guidelines for determining what is "enough" democracy. 75% of the world is NOT democratic, and practices human rights abuses to one extent or another as a result. Where should the line be?

I would support a line, not arbitrary politics for which dictatorship is ok and which one isn't.

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 30, 2008 at 7:25 pm

By the way, I agree, China has and continues to be way over the line, despite the attempt at showing a face to the contrary

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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 30, 2008 at 8:24 pm

China is socialism in action. Nothing new. The lens of the Olympics have just recently casued people to see some of it on TV. However, the Olympics should not become a sacrificial lamb, becasue it only hurts the athletes and it will not hurt will probably just harden the Chinese version of it.

The way to beat the Chinese socialists is to make them capitalist. That is happening (Nixon was correct about this). It will take decades, or longer. China took Tibet, which it considers part of greater China, several decades ago. All the hand wringing will do nothing. Sorry is brutal and unjust, etc., but it is a done deal.

Let the Olympics begin...and end. Then do it again in four years, somewhere else.

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Posted by Well
a resident of Meadow Park
on Mar 30, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Note that Angela Merkel will only be boycotting the opening ceremonies, nothing else. The athletes will still participate in all the competitions.

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Posted by perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 31, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't take the time to read the piece. I guess a symobolic and and almost meaningless gesture that doesn't hurt the athletes is not a bad way to go. Sort of like turning a cold shoulder to someone you disapprove of for a moment.

I imagine if every democracy did this, it MIGHT send a message,..maybe...because it would be embarrassing to China's leadership.

have to think about it.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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