As you may or may not know, President George W. Bush is currently in Sydney, Australia for the annual APEC conference. Well, the other day, Bush accepted an invitation from Chinese President Hu Jintao to attend the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, as report in The New York Times’ article: “Bush, After Talks With China’s Leader, Accepts Invitation to Beijing Olympics“:
“The decision was announced while most Americans were still asleep. But by the time Mr. Bush delivered his speech, human rights advocates were accusing him of giving his imprimatur to a country that is jailing dissidents, denying religious freedom and, in their view, not exerting its influence as a major buyer of Sudanese oil to stop what Mr. Bush himself has termed genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. Back in Washington, a Republican congressman, Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, said in a telephone interview that he and eight other Republicans would press a resolution calling for the United States to boycott the Games.”
Personally, despite China’s human rights issues (not even elaborating on their stance on Taiwan….), I think it is better that the United States actively engage China on all fronts. Having attended the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, I truly do believe that the “Olympic” spirit should transcend the differences nations hold against each other. The U.S.-China relationship *will be* one of the defining relationships in this century. I’m very interested in attending the 2008 Beijing as well, but worried about how expensive it might be to attend….