Hu urges no politicization of Olympics

Aug. 1, 2008 at 6:41 AM
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BEIJING, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao told foreign media Friday efforts to politicize the Beijing Olympic Games run counter to the Games' spirit.

"It is inevitable that people hold divergent views on issues but politicizing the Olympics will not address those issues," the Chinese leader said in a rare interview with journalists from 25 news organizations as Beijing gets ready to host the Olympics, which open next Friday.

"Instead, those issues can be resolved on the basis of mutual respect, by narrowing the differences and expanding common ground," Xinhua reported.

China has been stung by adverse international reaction to its March crackdown on Tibetans opposed to Chinese rule of their land.

This week, Amnesty International said the Chinese government has failed to live up to its promises to improve human rights ahead of the Olympics. The group reported little progress on China's death penalty, arbitrary detentions, persecution of human rights activists and freedom of the press.

Also, this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution demanding an immediate end to China's human rights abuses.

Kyodo news service reported foreign reporters at the Olympic media center have complained about not getting Internet access to politically sensitive Web sites despite government promises of free access.

"Of course, when foreign reporters cover stories, I hope they adhere to Chinese laws and rules, and maintain objectivity," Kyodo reported Hu as saying.

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