(CNN) – Hillary Clinton is calling on President Bush to boycott the opening of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
In a statement released by her campaign Monday, the New York senator pointed to the recent protests in Tibet and the Chinese government’s failure to pressure the government of Sudan to end the violence in Darfur.
“These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China,” said Clinton. “At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.”
Last month, Clinton – who has long advocated a tougher approach toward the Chinese government – declined to call for a U.S. boycott of the Olympic Games, but called for greater pressure leading up to the summer event in Beijing.
"I think that what's happening in Tibet is deeply troubling, and this is a pattern of the Chinese government with respect to their treatment of Tibet,” she said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania. “I don't think we should wait until the Olympics to make sure that our views are known."
Barack Obama has said he is torn in his views on the issue.
"I'm of two minds about this,” said the Illinois senator in a CBS interview last week. “On the one hand, I think that what's happened in Tibet, China's support of the Sudanese government in Darfur, is a real problem.”
But, he added: “I'm hesitant to make the Olympics a site of political protest because I think it's partly about bringing the world together."
Last summer, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson – then a Democratic presidential candidate - said the United States should boycott the Olympics entirely if China did not take a more active role in ending the conflict in Darfur.
“We need China,” Richardson said at the June 3 CNN presidential primary debate, “which has enormous leverage over Darfur. If the Chinese don’t want to do this, we say to them, maybe we won’t go to the Olympics.”
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd disagreed with that approach. “I don’t think (boycotting) gets you there. It will delay the kind of influence and support China should support,” Dodd responded.
(Full campaign statement below):
Statement by Hillary Clinton on Olympics
The violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.
I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.
Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights. Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.
Hillary, do you really know anything or purposely playing fool?
Go to Home Depot or Walmart and count how many merchandise says "Made In China".
Not to mention loaning astronomical amount of money from them. Not that he would boycott, he would actually enforce them !
By the way Hillary, stop being a hypocrite, you should look after your "chief-strategist" deals with Columbia and be quiet.
Absolutely not Ms Clinton. The Olympics should not be used for a politcal ploy. Its about forgetting politics and friendly yet fierce competition. Don't you dare ruining this event for athletes that have been training since basically birth!
We want all the people in Iraq to be free, but we don't want Tibet to be free? We boycotted the Moscow Olympics when Russia was communist, but we won't boycott communist China Olympics? And really, why are we borrowing all this money from China?
I agree, The whole Olympics should be boycotted. Shame on China for these atrocities
Hmm.... She lies again, today 7th April 2008 saying that She was the first one to vote against the Iraq war, before Obama. Completely wrong! Of course, but why is She showing such low respect to her followers by saying such things?
Hillary wants attention...for something else than her lies...I mean "misstatements"
Would she if she were President? I think not. She talks a big game doesn't she? Little substance though. All words and no action from this opportunist. Give me a break.
These is a further example of the lack of knowledge Hillary and her
incompetent adviser has of internationalissues
The Chinese-americans in the US are fiercely proud of their ancestral country and certainly will not appreciate total or inaugaration boycotts of the Olympic Games
If the GOP exploit this cunningly, she will gain a few votes from Fallun
Gong and Tibetan-americans, and loose hundreds of thousands of
This is a Hillary attempt to get the media off the topic of the scandal surrounding Mark Penn and his secret meetings with the Colombian government. I hope the media and voters are smart enough to see through the empty suit that is Hillary Clinton
The Olypmic Games were established to harbor good will between nations, not to be used as a political tool. It was wrong in 1980 when the U.S. denied its athletes the opportunity to compete in Moscow and similarly wrong when the then Soviet Union boycotted the games in 1984.
These athletes have trained long and hard and their dreams should not be used as a political tool.
"CLINTON to boycott the presidential CAMPAIGN"
that sounds better...................
sorry hillary supporters. You will get over it, just like a bad cold!
She'll do anything now to take attention off her campaign now won't she?
I don't think the Olympics are going to save her from this whole Penn debacle.
I do think it's clear now what type of "leader" she would be. If these bone-heads are her advisors, is this what we should come to expect out of a Clinton presidency?
Uh, got some proof of that?
Although I dislike and disagree with everything Hillary, I can make this one exception. What China is doing to Tibetans is disgraceful and the world needs to tell China that her tatics towards Tibet shall no longer be tolerated.
And in other news, dandelions are blooming in Virginia! The unusually normal weather in Virginia has caused the normal germination and sprouting of perrennial dandelions.
You decide which story is more exciting.
Even though i consider myself a democrat I dont believe it would be in the best interest of the US to boycott the olympics opening since we are in debt to China. I know its all about the politics now but lets wait to the games end and see how China reacts to the pressure. If it does nothing positive with Tibet then there is a problem.
These games are about the athletes and I always loved watching America show its dominance in most events
Good for her!
The opening ceremonies are about honoring the competitors, not the host country. Ask any athlete who has participated in the Olympics what thier most lasting memory is. If they didn't win gold and had the opportunity to stand on the podium during the National Anthem it was easily the opening ceremony.
This is a horrible idea and one the president should give absolutely no consideration to whatsoever.
Of course boycotting Chinese made goods is out of the question.
Oh that Hillary! Trying to draw attention away from her issues of being flithy rich with questionable compensation, having to oust Mark Penn, and her polling numbers continue to decline, again.
A boycott is a useless, knee-jerk reaction.
Do you want to change things? Show up. Hold a sign that says Human Rights now, In Chinese.
Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies. Hillary is right to speak out on this issue, but I still will not vote for her.
She has lied about too many other things.
What good would boycotting JUST the opening ceremony do? Either go all the way and Boycott or show up for the whole games.