Archive for the ‘opening ceremony’ Category

As Olympics protests mount, China blasts its foreign critics

April 15, 2008

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

BEIJING — Bristling at criticism in the run-up to the Summer Olympics, China is lashing back at its foreign critics— by name.
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Earlier this week, the state Xinhua news agency called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “disgusting.” And on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu lambasted a CNN commentator, Jack Cafferty , for his “vicious” commentary on China .
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“We solemnly request that CNN , and Cafferty himself, take back the malicious remarks and apologize to the Chinese people,” Jiang said at a news briefing.
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Protests plaguing the global Olympic torch relay, along with mounting criticism of China’s handling of domestic unrest by Tibetans, have embittered many Chinese. As foreign leaders discuss whether to boycott the Olympics’ opening ceremonies on Aug. 8 , Chinese Internet sites are replete with their own mounting calls for boycotts of foreign goods, souring the mood as the nation prepares to host its biggest international event ever.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080415/wl_mcclatchy/2910500_1

Calls mount for Olympic ceremony boycott

March 18, 2008
By JOHN LEICESTER, Associated Press Writer 

PARIS – Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony.
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere, seen here in ... 
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere Saturday called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games if China “does not act in the proper way” in handling protests in the Himalayan region.
(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jim McIsaac)

Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing ...
Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Tibetans called on IOC President Jacques Rogge to speak up about the Tibet crackdown and ask for the withdrawal of the torch relay in Tibet.
(AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)

Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China’s Communist leadership.

France‘s outspoken foreign minister, former humanitarian campaigner Bernard Kouchner, said the idea “is interesting.”

Kouchner said he wants to discuss it with other foreign ministers from the 27-nation European Union next week. His comments opened a crack in what until now had been solid opposition to a full boycott, a stance that Kouchner said remains the official government position.

The idea of skipping the Aug. 8 opening ceremony “is less negative than a general boycott,” Kouchner said. “We are considering it.”

Asked about Kouchner’s statement, China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said: “Certainly I think what he said is not shared by most of the people in the world.”

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said last month that he expects many heads of state — including President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy — to attend the opening ceremony.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080318/ap_on_re_
eu/beijing_boycott;_ylt=AvvNW18F6E5KqIU
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