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Australia to boycott Olympic as well
Sarkozy and Merkel have already issued a strict diktat to China: negotiate with the DL or China will be punished. Australia may tell China it is too busy for the Olympics.|
Under no circumstances must China bow to a diktat from Europe, it smacks of predatory colonialism all over again. The best way is to reject any requests to negotiate and adopt an unusually hard line towards the DL until after the Olympics.
There is a time when China must forget about "face" and take a more assertive approach. This is the time. Cancel the official receptions and hotel bookings for Sarkozy, Merkel and Rudd. Notify them publicly by newspapers.
Postpone all high level business meetings. Play a very hard game with the Europeans, otherwise every time some extremist groups demand autonomy and want their 5 minutes of world fame, we lose another piece of territory. China is not up for grabs.
Rudd faces Olympic hurdle
April 7, 2008
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has been drawn into an international row over the Beijing Olympics as he prepares to visit China this week.
Mr Rudd is keeping his options open on whether to accept China's invitation to attend the Games, but says his schedule, rather than issues of principle, will determine his response.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said they will not go to the opening ceremony unless China meets conditions that include beginning negotiations with Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Mr Rudd said yesterday he had told the Chinese that he was not in a position to confirm whether he would go. "It would depend entirely on time constraints," he said.
He said that his long-standing view was that boycotts did not add up to much. "The key thing is to ensure that we have an effective diplomacy which produces a better outcome for the Tibetan people," he said.
Mr Rudd's comments were made as the Olympic torch was about to pass through London. Two thousand police were deployed to deal with demonstrators along the 50-kilometre route from Wembley to south-east London.
Mr Rudd told the BBC the Tibetan situation had to be put into historical context.
"I think it's just important to be pretty practical about this," he said. "The China that I first visited when I went there to live and work 25 years ago is vastly different from the China today. People do have some more liberty in their lives than they did then."
He said there were still significant human rights abuses including what had happened recently in Tibet.
When the world community decided to give Beijing the Games, there were human rights abuses in China and Tibet at that time. "Now these recent events, of course, have involved violence and we urge restraint on the part of all parties. We urge that the Chinese authorities deal with the Dalai Lama's representatives to work out a better outcome for the Tibetan people.
"What does work is that sustained engagement with the Chinese and registering firmly and clearly our views on these human rights practices."
Mr Rudd said the Games were still some way off and he would make the decision about whether to go "in due season". At the time the invitation was extended, "of course we accepted it in principle but subject to timing and availability and conflicting requirements and that still remains our position".
Asked how Australia balanced the need for economic growth and dialogue with China with putting real pressure on it over Tibet and other human rights problems, Mr Rudd said it was a matter of being consistent.
"You need to recognise where China has come from, where it's going to … this is still a one-party state, let's call a spade a spade here," he said.
"It's a complex relationship. No one pretends it's not. It's not a black and white, either-or thing. But I think in Australia, we try and prosecute this double-barrel agenda and we try to do it to the best of our ability."
Greens leader Bob Brown said last night: "I think he should be prepared not to go if the crackdown on Tibet continues. I'm not in favour of an athletic boycott, but I am in favour of a political boycott if Beijing continues to behave badly."
Mr Rudd's talks in Beijing will cover climate change, international economic and strategic issues, the slow progress on the Australia-China free trade agreement, human rights and Tibet.
Mr Rudd has received a report of the recent Australian diplomatic visit to Tibet. A spokesman said the visit had been tightly controlled by Chinese authorities. "However, it was a welcome first step." He said the Chinese needed to be more open and allow foreign diplomats more access to Tibet.
http://www.theage.com.au/news/na ... /1207420202542.html