Pressure on China Intensifies

Steven Spielberg publicly chastised China for its record on human rights yesterday, particularly is support for the regime in Sudan, and backed out as artistic advisor for the Olympics' opening ceremony.

The move is a public embarrassment for the authoritarian communist regime, the wires and NYT report.

Separately, 100 members of Congress urged China to help end the violence in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.

"Without a much stronger effort from the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) to convince the government of Sudan to end its obstruction, the real-though-limited progress made during the past year will be undone, and the possibility of an expanded regional crisis beyond Darfur's borders will continue to grow," the lawmakers wrote. The group was predominantly Democratic, but included 20 Republicans.

The open letter comes six months before China will host the summer Olympics in Beijing.