The U.S. State Department’s neutral stance on Beijing’s bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games sends a clear signal that President George W. Bush’s administration recognizes mainland China’s importance, a top mainland China analyst said in Singapore Tuesday. Ken Davies, chief economist with the Economist Intelligence Unit, said the U.S. stance “represents a recognition by the United States that China is an important country that has to be dealt with.” “Trying to beat it (China) over the head with refusal to support its Olympic bid because the U.S. disagrees with China over human rights will not be effective,” Davies said on the sidelines of an investment seminar in Singapore. The U.S. State Department announcement on Monday that Washington had no position on which city the International Olympic Committee should choose for the games. However, the Bush administration did not go so far as to support China’s bid, noting some U.S. lawmakers’ concerns about China’s poor human rights record. A resolution before Congress — but not scheduled for a vote in either house — urges the International Olympics Committee not to award China the 2008 Olympics when it chooses the games’ host city on July 13. Davies said the United States could not go as far as supporting China’s bid because that would upset the other contenders, including Toronto, Paris, Istanbul and Osaka. On July 13, the International Olympic Committee will select the winner of the bid to host the 2008 games.