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Waters wants to boycott Beijing Olympics

Politico | August 8, 2007

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution as Congress prepared to break for the August recess Saturday, urging President Bush to boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Waters and others involved in the effort to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, where an estimated 200,000 people have died and millions more are homeless, want to pressure China to curtail its support of the Sudanese government.

Sudan earned about $4 billion from oil sales last year, with 80 percent of that coming from China, according to Fortune magazine. Chinese firms also have helped build up the country's infrastructure, leading to an economic boom in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and China has stepped up arms sales to the strife-ravaged nation.

Western human-rights groups are pressuring China to cut or reduce its ties to the government of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. And China has responded to some of the pressure. But a U.S. boycott of the Olympics would be a major blow to a showcase event designed to highlight China's ascendancy as a world power.

Waters' resolution is nonbinding, just asking the president to "take immediate action to boycott the Summer Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing, China." It was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Waters could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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