American presidential hopeful John McCain has said that the issue of Tibet would be one of the first things he would take up if he became the president. Addressing the media after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on March 21, 2008, McCain is quoted by Reuters as saying, “It’s not correct that the people there are being subjected to mistreatment. That is not acceptable conduct from a world power, which China is.”

According to Reuters, “McCain said he did not discuss the Tibet issue in his meeting with Sarkozy but said China, which is preparing to host the Olympic Games, risked damaging its international image.”

“There must be respect for human rights, whether it be in Tibet or whether it be anyplace else in the world,” McCain is quoted in the report.

“I would hope that the Chinese would announce that they are actively seeking a peaceful resolution to this situation that exists which harms not only the human rights of people but also the image of China in the world,” he said.

Earlier, after meeting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London on March 20, 2008, McCain had this message for the Chinese leaders on developments in Tibet, according to CNN, “”I strongly urge them to respect the rights of the people who are demonstrating there,” McCain said. “There’s a long history of Chinese treatment of the people in Tibet which is certainly not one that I think the Chinese should be proud of, and I hope that they would quickly respect the human rights of the people there.”