Bush's Olympic Plans: Go To China, Applaud, Politely Ignore Human Rights Abuses
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Aides organizing President George W. Bush's trip to China for the Olympics considered having him worship at a house church, one of the underground religious institutions that routinely face harassment, but the Chinese refused.
Pastors, lawyers and other political activists that Bush considered meeting in Beijing as a powerful signal of support have instead been ordered by the authorities to leave the city during the president's visit. Scores of others have been arrested.
The idea of giving a Reaganesque "tear down this wall" speech on human rights in China -- as members of Congress and others have called on Bush to do - has been abandoned as potentially insulting to the president's hosts, said one senior administration official. It would be unlikely that most Chinese would see or hear it anyway, because of state control of the media.
It's perfectly understandable. They might not have given 43 the comfy seat cushion to watch the opening ceremonies if he pulled a stunt like that. That, or they wouldn't have lent us the $2 billion that day.