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Olympics: a bridge to narrow the gap
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16:43, January 29, 2008

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Some time ago, the German Bundestag, the national parliament, held a hearing on the Beijing Olympic Games. Although some jumped at this opportunity to exert political pressure upon China, no one present rallied in support of their "boycott" of the Beijing Olympic Games.

Last week, the Belgium National Olympic Committee (NOC) proclaimed that the participants in the competition, athletes as well as participating countries and organizations, should not air political views at any Olympic competitive venue or place. It is clear that any hype around political issues in the name of the Olympics will not gain much ground.

Today's Olympic Games have developed far beyond a mere sporting event; rather, they have become a showcase of cultures and civilizations, following the shared principle of "Peace, Friendship and Progress." This principle is the globally cherished spirit of sport, and equally dear to the Chinese.

The Olympic Games is a sport gala for the entire world; and the Chinese government is carefully preparing.

The preparation work is now drawing to its completion. Chinese people of all ages are doing their utmost to be decent hosts and hospitable to visitors. It is all too common to see people in China rushing to learn English, practice protocols and work as volunteers. The Olympics is a great drive to push forward the Chinese civilization; and in return, China's progress will add glory to the Olympic Games.

On this basis, China will remain open to any constructive advice and criticism; and tolerate misconceptions which might arise due to misunderstandings.

On the contrary, China will not tolerate baseless accusations; and firmly opposes the practice of using the Olympic Games to hype up political issues such as Darfur: distorting the fact by saying China would put more pressure on Sudan and continue to support the regime, which could in some way tarnish the Olympic Games.

The international community knows quite well that China has exerted a positive and constructive influence on the Darfur issue. The deployment of China's troops on the Hybrid Peace-Keeping Missions in Darfur has laid bare a plot trying to demonize China, and disrupting preparation for the Beijing Olympic Games.

Some so-called "civil rights activists" play along with this evil scheme. They "hide behind" the Olympics, where they preach their heresies on human rights, and violate sporting principles. The practice will lead to their undoing, and be condemned by those who cherish the Olympic Spirit.

No country has a perfect human rights record. The Chinese government has consistently advocated dialogues on equal footing to narrow disparities, and to boost human rights development around the world.

In addition, "Taiwan Independence" is merely a daydream. No country in the world would yield to the pressure imposed on its core interests for the sake of hosting the Olympic Games. The attempt to attach "Taiwan Independence" to the Olympic Games will backfire. As an old saying goes: he who is unjust enjoys little support.

Dr. Thomas Bach, Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said that the Olympic Games serve as a bridge to narrow the gap rather than a barrier to block progress.

For all intents and purposes, the practice of politicizing the Olympic Games will distort the Olympic Spirit and will be denounced by peace-loving and sport-loving individuals all around the world.

By People's Daily Online

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