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Miliband: Boycotts of Olympics are not the right path
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British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Wednesday that boycotting the Beijing Olympic Games is not the right path to take.

"We are ever excited about prospects for the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing," Miliband said in an interview with Chinese reporters in London before his visit to China.

The 29th Summer Olympics will be held in Beijing in August this year.

"Everything we have seen and read suggests that preparations are proceeding in an excellent way. We very much look forward to a very successful Olympics, successful for China and successful for the world. We certainly believe that boycotts are not a right way," he said.

"China has big responsibilities around the world. We are looking forward to working with the Chinese government to ensure the values of stability, security and social justice. And only today I spoke with (Chinese Foreign Minister) Yang Jiechi about our joint work that could help the situation in Darfur. And the Chinese envoy to Darfur is in London today, that sort of engagement is the right way to go and boycotts are not the right way," Miliband said.

"The Prime minister (Gordon Brown) is determined to represent the whole of the country with his attendance to the Games," he added.

Answering a question on the Taiwan issue, the foreign secretary said that the British policy on Taiwan has not changed. "We oppose the referendum to join the UN in the name of Taiwan," he said.

Miliband expressed his high regard to the bilateral relations between Britain and China. "I can't think about a time that our relations are stronger, that is symbolized by the visit of the Prime Minister to China last month but also by cultural events like China Now going on in Britain."

British people are fascinated by the changes and improvements going on in China, and are trying to build bridges between the two nations, the foreign secretary said.

China is now a society offering massive new opportunities for its own people, and also has an important role to play in the world, he said.

"Both our countries are challenged by the facts of globalization. Economic and social changes are producing challenges for both the societies, challenges about security and stability, challenges about justice, challenges about environment, and the theme of my visit is how our two countries can work together and learn from each other in adapting to these challenges," the secretary told Chinese reporters.

The British foreign secretary travels to China on Saturday for about a week, visiting four cities - Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)

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