China boycotts the Olympic Games | Belfast and Beyond | 10 Apr 2008 | Amnesty International UK

China boycotts the Olympic Games

I'm cheekily nicking both the headline and the link for this story from an email from my colleague John in Amnesty's Scotland office.

Despite China's pleas to keep politics out of the Olympics, it looks like they have form.

China boycotted the Olympic Games in 1956 because of the inclusion of a team from Taiwan under the name Formosa. Well done to Ruth Wishart in The Herald for picking up on this. Her message is: "In short, sport is never just sport."

Again, China was boycotting in 1980, when the Games came to Moscow following the Soviet invasion of Aghanistan.

Meanwhile, hats off to Northern Ireland Assembly member Anna Lo for her principled stand on human rights in China and Tibet (typo now corrected).

Hong Kong-born Lo is the first Chinese person to be elected as a lawmaker anywhere in the UK and has taken some criticism from the local Chinese community for her courageous human rights criticism of China.

I have known Anna for years and I know her to have a deep and long-standing commitment to human rights, whether at home or abroad. Looks like it is a trait that runs in the family.

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