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‘Anti-China’ groups threaten Olympics

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Mure Dickie
Financial Times
Sunday, july 6, 2008

A top Chinese security official has warned that “anti-China” forces and other hostile groups are intensifying efforts to sabotage next month’s Beijing Olympics.

The warning from Yang Huanning, executive vice-minister for public security, reflects concern among Chinese leaders about the possible disruption of an event in which they have invested enormous political capital.

A top Chinese security official has warned that “anti-China” forces and other hostile groups are intensifying efforts to sabotage next month’s Beijing Olympics.

The warning from Yang Huanning, executive vice-minister for public security, reflects concern among Chinese leaders about the possible disruption of an event in which they have invested enormous political capital.

It is also likely to further spur sweeping security measures in Beijing and other Olympic cities that some observers say could cast a chill over Games events.

Tougher implementation of visa rules in recent months has already sent the number of tourists arriving in the Chinese capital plummeting.
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Some western critics have already dubbed the Olympics the “no-fun” Games, although local public enthusiasm for the event still appears to be strong.

In comments posted on the public security ministry’s website on Friday, Mr Yang said: “As the Beijing Olympics draw daily closer, all kinds of anti-China and hostile forces are further intensifying their activities to create disturbances and carry out sabotage by any means.”

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Meng Hongwei, another public security vice-minister, separately this week identified what he called the three main threats to the Games: international terrorists, separatists pushing for independence of China’s Xinjiang region, and “serious crimes”.

While Beijing has long seen the Games as a national “coming-out party”, the tone of much official discussion has stressed the need to maintain order.

China on Friday barred outspoken Hong Kong pro-democracy legislator Leung Kwok-hung from a group making a goodwill visit to earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province because of suspicions he might use the opportunity for political protest.

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This article was posted: Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 6:42 am





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