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Associated Press – March 26, 2008
WASHINGTON – President Bush called China’s President Hu Jintao on Wednesday and raised concerns about the crackdown in Tibet, joining a growing chorus of international protests about Beijing’s tough tactics.
The White House said that Bush encouraged Hu to engage in “substantive dialogue” with representatives of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet. The president also called on China to allow access for journalists and diplomats in Tibet.
China’s crackdown in Tibet is in response to the most sustained uprising against Chinese rule in almost two decades – a challenge that has put China’s human rights record in the international spotlight, embarrassing and frustrating a Communist leadership that had hoped for a smooth run-up to the Olympic Games.
The White House has said that Bush would not boycott the Beijing Olympics because of the crackdown, arguing that the games are an event that are supposed to be about the athletes, not politics.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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