In a Der Spiegel interview with Chinese human rights advocate, Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident raised issues concerning the impact of an Olympic boycott on the fight for freedom in his nation. When asked about the impact of a boycott, he said it “wouldn’t be a good way to punish China. If the Games fail, human rights will suffer. The government would stop paying any attentin to the rest of the world, I personally think. We want the games and we want human rights to be respected.”
Liu believes the road to democracy is moving, even though slowly and there are indications the Chnese government will gradually allow greater freedom of expression. There is no timeline for democracy but the general direction is in that direction.