House Urges End to Human Rights Abuses in China as Olympics Begin

The House has just passed a resolution calling on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to immediately end abuses of the human rights of its citizens, to cease repression of Tibetan and Uighur citizens, and to end its support for the Governments of Sudan and Burma to ensure that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games take place in an atmosphere that honors the Olympic traditions of freedom and openness. It passed by a vote of 419-1-1.

Speaker Pelosi spoke in favor:

Speaker Pelosi: “It is in this context that President Bush is traveling to China to attend the Olympic Games. To my knowledge, a sitting president of the United States has never attended an Olympics on foreign soil. That gives the President tremendous leverage with the Chinese government as he gives them tremendous face by attending the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I have no objection to the President attending the Olympic Games. I do hope, though, that with all, all of the face, for lack of a better word, that the government will receive by his participation in the opening ceremony that he will take the opportunity to use his leverage to speak very forcefully to the Chinese regime, not only about human rights in China and Tibet — of course, that is a top priority — but also about the… barriers to US products going into China, about the dangers that are foisted upon our children and the American people by the lack of safety in the production of foods.”