Keeping Politics out of Sports

Wang Hui

On Wednesday, a non-binding resolution by 41 members of the US House of Representatives unjustifiably asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reject Beijing's bid to host the Games in 2008.

A companion resolution reportedly will be introduced in the US Senate by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms, a longtime anti-China hawk.

It is no surprise that the alleged China human rights violations, including the crackdown on the cult group Falun Gong, should be cited by those biased lawmakers attacking China.

It is now an irrefutable fact that some people in the United States, politicians included, have joined league with the Falun Gong cult for political motives.

It seems these self-opinionated US lawmakers, feeling superior because of their country's position as the world's only super power, actually think they can influence the IOC's decision-making.

If this were to prove true, it would be a great tragedy for the IOC and an insult to the Olympic spirit.

There are at least some in the United States who clearly understand that Uncle Sam cannot possibly have his own way always. The US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher still has the wisdom to say that it is up to the IOC to weigh Beijing's bid.

In fact, we have seen enough US abuse of power in international organizations in recent years. As a result, the authority and prestige of those bodies have been seriously damaged.

We believe that sports should not be mixed with politics and that the IOC members will make their decision independently and fairly when they vote in July to select the host from Beijing, Toronto, Paris, Osaka and Istanbul.

Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympic Games has strong support from the Chinese government and its people. Beijing has been making unremitting efforts to improve the city in every way possible. More importantly, it is also the aspiration of China's 1.3 billion people, one fourth of the world's population, that Beijing host the Games.

Despite the deliberate attempts at obstruction, we are confident that with Beijing's unique offering, the Chinese people's dream of bringing the Olympic Games home will come true eventually.

(China Daily 03/26/2001)

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