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PM Congratulates Olympic Host

14 July 2001


Prime Minister Helen Clark today congratulated Beijing on being chosen to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

"I know from my discussions with China's leaders in April just how much they are looking forward to hosting the world's greatest sporting event," said Helen Clark.

"They were a close second to Sydney in the race to host last year's Games, and a clear favourite this time.

"China is determined to put its considerable resources into the 2008 Games. I am sure it will be a spectacular occasion.

"A lot of the media attention in the run up to the vote has focused on China's human rights record. When I met President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, I clearly set out New Zealand's desire to see an improvement in human rights. We have urged China to take early steps to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Mr Goff's recent visit to Tibet was a welcome outcome of the dialogue New Zealand has with China on this issue.

"All eyes will be on Beijing in 2008. The Games offers a chance to showcase not only China's sporting and economic achievements, but also their progress in the human rights arena," Helen Clark said.


Ends

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