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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

'Beijing Olympics to Face Greater Security Challenge'

June 3, 2008

By Melanie Lee
Reuters India
June 2, 2008

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Beijing Olympic Games will face bigger
security challenges compared with previous games because of the
threat of a terrorist attack, a top Chinese military official said on Sunday.

Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation
Army, told Reuters at the sidelines of a security conference in
Singapore that the development of "terrorism forces" has led to a
greater security challenge for the Beijing games in August.

"Given the situation of the expansion of international terrorism
forces who are bent on destroying all things good, I think this
year's Beijing Olympic Games will face bigger challenges compared to
previous years."

He did not elaborate further.

Beijing is also worried that foreign activists, who disrupted the
international leg of the Olympic torch relay, will stage protests
inside China over Tibet, Darfur, human rights and other issues during
the Games.

The U.S. government issued a travel alert for China in April, citing
a higher risk of attacks within the country in the near future,
including possibly at the Olympic Games.

"Any large-scale public event such as the upcoming Olympic Games may
present an attractive target for terrorists," the State Department
said in the alert.

While China has not been targeted by militant groups such as al
Qaeda, some worry that China's military has yet to fully appreciate
the scale of the security operation, which at Athens in 2004,
included the use of NATO early warning aircraft.

By using its own security forces, Beijing believes it can deliver a
secure Games for a fraction of the $1.8 billion that Athens paid in 2004.

Some 100,000 policemen and 600,000 volunteers will patrol venues,
hotels and streets, while neighbourhoods will be patrolled by
citizens wearing red armbands during the Games.

A network of about 300,000 surveillance cameras covers the entire capital.

Previous Olympic Games have been marred by violence. A bomb at the
1996 Atlanta Olympics killed one person and wounded more than 100,
while at the 1972 Munich Games, 11 Israelis died in an attack by
Palestinian gunmen and a botched rescue attempt.
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