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The Boston Globe

Politics

Romney’s tone on China hardened over a decade

Country’s bid for Olympics was supported by GOP nominee

WASHINGTON — The first television ads of Mitt Romney’s general election campaign boasted of how he would confront China’s leaders, whom he has branded “cheaters” on economic policy. He would be a president, he said, who “stands up to China on trade and demands they play by the rules.”

Yet before he held public office — and at a crucial moment for the communist government — Romney was one of the chief Western voices arguing that critics should overlook China’s human rights record and welcome its application for a top ticket to international legitimacy: hosting the Olympic Games in Beijing.

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