The Summer Olympics open in Beijing, China, on Friday with the promise of the Chinese government to keep the games “non political.” A Drake University professor of politics and international relations, David Skidmore, says keeping that pledge won’t be easy.
Skidmore just recently returned from China and says there will be two forces at work during the games to keep pressure on the country, including Tibet. Skidmore says there was rioting in Tibet this last spring in an effort to bring the world’s attention to the grievances residents have with China. Skidmore says China’s involvement in Darfur will also draw attention.
Skidmore says China has massive investments in the Sudan that are propping up the regime there that’s engaged in genocide. He says the international community would like to see China use its influence to bring about some changes in Sudanese policies toward Darfur.
President Bush will in Beijing for the opening ceremonies Friday — a move some have criticized because of China’s human rights policies. Skidmore says Bush cannot back out of his promise to attend the games.
Skidmore says Bush pulling out would be seen as a “major affront” to China and there would have been “a great deal of anger raised up against the United States for very little purpose.” For those reasons Skidmore says Bush made the right decision. Skidmore made his comments on the Iowa Public Radio program “the exchange.”