Sat, Nov 17, 2007 - Page 5 News List

No protests during Olympics, Beijing warns foreigners


Chinese authorities warned foreign activists yesterday that they will not be permitted to stage protests over Tibet and other sensitive issues during next year's Beijing Olympics.

Liu Shaowu (劉紹武), the deputy head of security for the Olympics, said that under China's Constitution foreigners as well as Chinese were guaranteed the right to demonstrate. But matters concerning the sovereignty of China or other nations were taboo for protesters expected to gather in Beijing during the Games.

"Chinese law allows the public, including overseas citizens, to demonstrate in a legal way," Liu told a press conference.

"But those activities harming Chinese territorial integrity, encouraging terrorist attacks or separatist action, we cannot allow that and we will deal with that according to law," he said. "If something violates or harms another country's sovereignty, we cannot allow that either."

Liu said that 80,000 security personnel would be assembled to guarantee the safety of more than 10,500 athletes and officials expected to attend the Games, with terrorism remaining the biggest concern for security officials. Security personnel would enforce the Olympic Charter, he said.

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