The IOC's Olympic Truce commitment is "to create a window of opportunities for dialogue, reconciliation and the resolution of conflicts...and to encourage political leaders to act in favour of peace."
With Beijing hosting the 2008 Olympics, that commitment is being put to the test. China's recent history of human rights abuses - such as the brutal persecution of the Falun Gong - should be enough to call its Olympic honor into question. But the recent visit of the Dalai Lama as well as the news from Darfur and Burma remind us that there's much more at stake.
The fate and freedom of the entire nation of Tibet are still in China's hands. We cannot let China use the Olympics to legitimize its rule in Tibet or hide what has happened to the people there. China is already trying to distort perceptions by choosing the Tibetan antelope as its Olympic mascot!
Meanwhile, the horrifying violence in Burma and Darfur continues unabated. China is the only country in the world with the economic leverage to end both of those tragedies, but it has done nothing.
Instead, China has over 700 companies, 14 hydropower plants, a 1,500 mile natural gas pipeline, and over $2 billion dollars of business in Burma. In the Sudan, Chinese firms have invested $5 billion - putting at least $250 million of that directly in Khartoum's pockets every year. In return for economic exploitation, China provides Burma and Sudan with dirt-cheap weapons and political protection.
Make no mistake - if the United States genuinely threatens to boycott the 2008 games, China will clean up its act. It is already gravely concerned about this movement. And now there's bipartisan support in Congress to use our Olympic leverage. Contact your representatives today!