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Australian opposition leader says no to Olympic boycott
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Australian opposition leader Brendan Nelson said on Thursday that any boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games would not change anything and would only harm athletes.

"As far as a boycott for the Beijing Olympics are concerned, I do not support those at all," Nelson told ABC Radio Thursday morning.

"The only people who will be damaged by that are the athletes who, in many cases, have spent their entire lives trying to get to the games.

"But boycotting, whether it is the games themselves or the opening ceremony, I don't support that at all," he said.

"If we went down that road we could reasonably be accused of hypocrisy, given that many other trade educational, cultural and other ...would continue to operate as normal with China."

"China is going to be the key player, particularly in our region if not globally, over the next half century and Australia's place in the world will be determined very much by the relationship," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2008)

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