(dpa) - Hillary Clinton Monday called for President George W Bush to boycott the opening Olympics ceremonies in August in Beijing.
The call from the contender for the Democratic presidential nomination came as three protestors climbed San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge to draw attention to China's crackdown on protests in Tibet.
The Olympic torch is to pass through the city on Wednesday after an already tumultuous and protest-pocked journey around the world.
Referring to the recent violent clashes in Tibet and what she called "the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur," Clinton said Bush had been "wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China."
"At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government," she said in a statement released by her campaign.
The call came as San Francisco police were readying for major protests along the only US stop for the Olympic torch relay on Wednesday.
The route along the waterfront is designed to minimize potential disruptions by numerous protest groups, some of whom have been spurred on by a declarations from the city's board of supervisors, calling on the city to greet the Olympic torch with "alarm and protest."
The protests kicked off Monday when three people scaled the suspension cables of the Golden Gate Bridge and unfurled a Tibetan flag.