Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing:
'The Olympic Charter states that the Olympics should seek to foster 'respect for universal and fundamental ethical principles.' Sadly, the Chinese government has not lived up to its commitments to improve the human rights situation in China and Tibet. I believe the International Olympic Committee made a mistake in awarding the 2008 Summer games to China, and I sponsored a Congressional resolution expressing that view at the time.
'However, I believe a boycott of the Beijing Olympics would unfairly harm our athletes who have worked so hard to prepare for the competition.
'The Olympics should provide for more opportunity for free expression, not less. When the Olympic torch passes through San Francisco next month, I support the rights of individuals and groups to make their views known about the actions of the Chinese government.
'As I said in India last week where I met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, if freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China's oppression in Tibet, we have lost our moral authority to speak out on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world.'