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Mia urges world to persuade China

india Updated: Jul 25, 2008 19:15 IST

AP
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American actress Mia Farrow said on Friday the world should use the upcoming Beijing Olympics as a platform for demanding that China end its support for Myanmar's military junta.

Farrow also said US President George W Bush missed an opportunity to take a strong stand against China's ties with Myanmar, also known as Burma, by agreeing to attend the opening ceremonies of the August 8-24 games.

"If there is enough international pressure and if voices are raised loud enough, we can push China to change its position on Burma," Farrow told The Associated Press in Bangkok. "Using the Olympics Games as tool to effect change is important."

Bush, who plans to stay in Beijing for the first few days of the Olympics, said earlier this week he was "fired up" to watch some of the competition.

"I wish that (Bush) had not agreed to attend the Olympics, because that represents a missed opportunity for the United States to stand strong by its own principles," Farrow said. "A statement could have been made by skipping the opening ceremonies."

China is Myanmar's most important ally, providing economic, military and other assistance while Western nations shun the military-ruled country because of its poor human rights record and failure to restore democracy. China objects to Western criticisms of Myanmar's junta, saying conditions in the Southeast Asian country have improved since its violent crackdown on peaceful protests last September.

"China must use its unique position with Burma - its business alliance, its seat on the (UN) Security Council - not to protect Burma and its own interests, but to effect change and to improve human rights in Burma," Farrow said.