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US scholar calls for support for Beijing Olympics
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A U.S. scholar on international affairs said Monday that using the Olympics to criticize China ignores what China has accomplished and did nothing to help integrate the country into the international community.

In an article published in Jordan Times, Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations Committee and former director of Policy Planning in the U.S. State Department, said snubbing China is misguided.

Beijing Olympic Games should be a chance for the Chinese to show the world what they have achieved. On the contrary, China is finding itself under intense international criticism, which ignores what the country have accomplished.

Modern China is only six decades old. Its economic growth has been astonishing. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, Haass said, noting that Chinese economic growth must be acknowledged as one of history's great achievements in poverty reduction.

China is not simply wealthier. It is also a far more open place politically. Civil society is growing; there are now more than 300,000 NGOs. Even the recent earthquake in Southwest china showed how Chinese politics are changing. Journalists were allowed in and senior officials were seen and heard, he said.

China is changing, in many ways for the better, and further changes in the right direction are not likely to result from a policy of isolating or sanctioning China, he said.

China's integration to the international community is of all participant's interests. In a globalized world, global challenges largely require global responses, which are impossible if a country of China's size and population and wealth does not participate, he pointed out.

In the last part of the article, he said rather than boycotting Beijing Olympics, the world's leaders should embrace the Olympics and what the Games represent.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2008)

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