Spielberg Mulls Quitting Olympics to Pressure Chinese on Darfur

"My intention was never to hurt Steven Spielberg," Farrow told NPR, about her comparing the director of "Schindler's List" with Nazi filmmaker Riefenstahl. "My intention was to move things. Something had to move. He couldn't do that without knowing."

Experts agree that China has put incredible stock in the success of the Olympics and wants nothing to tarnish the games' success.

"It is something of a coming-out party for China as a world power," Nayan Chanda, director of publications at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, told ABCNEWS.com.

"The Olympics is very important to China. They are spending $30 [billion] to $40 billion on the games. It is a major event, necessary for China to claim its role as a world power. Economic reform has been going on since 1985, but the country has been stained by the Tiananmen massacre since '89," Chanda said. "Since then it was banned from certain contact and activities and it hasn't recovered fully its position in the world. China wants to finally put Tiananmen behind it."

Any Chinese policy, Chanda said, will be dictated by three factors: dependence on cheap energy, desire for a trouble-free games and the need to maintain face in the developing world without looking like it is bowing to Western pressure.

"It is a tough choice for the Chinese. On one hand they want it [the Olympics] to be trouble free and they see trouble on the horizon. On the other hand they see the importance of energy security. Thirdly, they're worried about the impact of abandoning Sudan, affecting China's position in developing world."

Several celebrities-turned-activists have pointed their fingers directly at China. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Jerry Weintraub are in the process of creating the foundation Not on Our Watch and have donated $5.5 million raised at premieres of their film "Ocean's 13" to several development agencies working in Darfur.

Though little came from the meeting, Clooney, Cheadle and two U.S. Olympians met with Chinese authorities in December to discuss a shift in Chinese policy on Darfur.

Experts say the actions of individual activists, regardless of their celebrity power, will do little to sway the Chinese.

"Celebrities get attention and those who get attention will be listened to, but individual celebrities can do very little," said William Kirby, a China expert and professor of history at Harvard University.

Pointing to the 1980 Moscow Games and the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Kirby said the Olympics often become a flash point for controversy, but host nations rarely change their foreign policies as a result.

Even if China releases a statement as Spielberg predicts, and even if it does not announce a significant shift in policy, Kirby remains optimistic that the country's policy toward Sudan could change.

"Often the Chinese say one thing and do another. They are more likely to be judgeable by their acts rather than their pronouncements. If you look at their handling of North Korea, despite the rhetoric, their actions spoke louder than their words."

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