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EU opposes Olympic boycott - 3/17/2008
European Union sports ministers and Olympic committees opposed a boycott of the Beijing Games over the handling of the Tibet protests.
The ministers, holding talks Monday, said sports should not be linked to such a political issue and that previous Olympic boycotts have already shown what limited impact they have.
EU sports officials from the 27 member states and Olympic committees. His sentiments were echoed by other ministers and Olympic committees, who already discussed the issue informally at a gala dinner late Sunday.
On Monday, Tibet's governor promised leniency to anti-Chinese protesters who turned themselves in before the end of the day, as troops fanned out to quell sympathy protests that have spread to three neighboring provinces.
The fiercest protests against Chinese rule in almost two decades have embarrassed China's communist government and hurt its efforts to have a smooth run-up to the Aug. 8-24 Beijing Olympics.
Economic relations between the 27-nation EU and China are moving closer all the time. Bilateral trade doubled between 2000-05 and reached $370 billion in 2006. Europe is China's largest export market and China is Europe's prime source of imports.


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