Spielberg Pressures China to End Trade with Sudan

SpielbergSpielberg Does What Bush Couldn’t in China and Sudan Hollywood pressure counts as celebs push China into Darfur action
By Lagan Sebert for
Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (rushprnews)April 16, 2007— Director Steven Spielberg apparently accomplished what a decade of world political pressure and U.S. diplomacy could not: encouraged China to help end genocide by their trading partner Sudan. And he did it by using his clout in the same way as he might enjoin a studio to release a controversial film.

In began impotently enough. Activist actress Mia Farrow, goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund, publicly called the 2008 China Olympic Games the “Genocide Olympics,” due to China’s protection of the Sudanese government in relation to the current genocide in Darfur, Sudan. These statements have since caused an amazing wake of reactions that seems to be leading to shifts in China’s international policy.

In her statements, Farrow also compared the Beijing games artistic adviser Spielberg to Leni Riefenstahl. Though the comparison the Hollywood elite director of such films as “Schindler’s List,” “Indiana Jones” and “Munich” to Riefenstahl, the Nazi filmmaker who directed propaganda films for Hitler, is certainly ludicrous, she made her point.

Spielberg reportedly wrote a letter to President Hu Jintao of China, condemning the killings in Darfur and asking the Chinese government to use its influence in the region “to bring an end to the human suffering there,” according to Spielberg spokesman, Marvin Levy.

China has blocked UN sanctions of the Sudanese government due to the violence in Darfur as the United States and Britain have pushed for them in the United Nations Security Council. While Beijing likes to assert its independence from any external pressures, just days after this letter was received, a very senior Chinese official, Zhai Jun, was sent to Sudan to push the Sudanese government to accept a United Nations peacekeeping force.

Is Hollywood influencing Chinese foreign policy? Can it be true that even though Washington has had very little diplomatic success in this policy matter with one of the most powerful nations in the world, a little savvy pressure made the difference? The bottom line is that the Beijing Olympics is incredibly important to China and their mission to be a respected international superpower.

The motto of the Beijing Olympics is “One World, One Dream.” It seems as though with this recent move, that China is increasingly dedicated to living up to this motto. Maybe the Beastie Boys should try writing a letter to President Hu Jintao about Tibet.

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