The idea of a possible boycott is gaining steam, working in concert with pressure applied to Olympic corporate sponsors.
The European Union President:
The president of the European Parliament said European countries should not rule out threatening China with an Olympic boycott if violence continues in Tibet.
Poettering told Bild that ''we should not rule out a boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing.''
''Only Beijing can decide this question,'' he said.
Leaving the option on the table, is the best way to force the Chinese to move on Tibet. Essentially, as the EU President says, the onus is on Beijing, how they react determines what happens. Canada should develop this posture, beyond the nice soundbites we have heard coming from Foreign Affairs.
It is debatable, whether the Olympics is a spectacle for sport, or an economic vehicle. Maybe more important than government pressure, the corporate community becoming uneasy with the appearance of supporting repression, by indirectly investing in these games. The pressure is starting to be applied:
Chinese officials' harsh response to protests in Tibet has brought a fresh wave of accusations that corporate sponsors of the Beijing Olympics are partners with a government that ignores basic human rights.
Amid a widening crackdown in the remote Himalayan province, human rights organizations have renewed demands that Coca-Cola, Visa, General Electric and other international companies explain their dealings with the Communist government as it prepares to host the Summer Games.
"The role of the sponsors in subsidizing this event, while monks are being shot, is not going to look very good," said Sophie Richardson, the Asia advocacy director of Human Rights Watch. Major companies have the ability to "get the ear" of the Chinese leadership, she said.
Nothing makes corporations more squeamish than bad publicity. If that bad publicity works in tandem with a threatening stance by governments, it provides the best chance to move China. After the Olympics, where exactly do you find the leverage?