Adam Boulton
The Curse Of The Beijing Olympics - Part 2

350blogchina By Peter Sharp, China correspondent

The German tourists who had arrived at Kashgar on the old Silk Road route were excited.

The torch relay was passing through the ancient city and they had travelled nearly 2,000 miles across China to witness the event.

The day before the relay, a note was slipped underneath their hotel door.

"Hello distinguished Guests," it read.

"As the Olympic torch will pass through Kashgar tomorrow from 8.30-12.30 in front of the hotel, due to martial law the hotel doors will be locked.

"We hereby inform all guests that they may not stand outside, they must close their windows and curtains in their rooms, and may not stand near the windows watching - to ensure your personal safety. Thank you for your understanding."

China just doesn't get it.

The lead up to the Games - which start on August 8 - was supposed to be a time of high excitement and celebration.

Instead Beijing's luxury hotels are posting occupancy rates of 40% and struggling to find guests. Why?

China has imposed new visa restrictions in an attempt to tighten up security.

This attempt to weed out "terrorists" and troublemakers has resulted in a major cut in tourist visas.

Businessmen are also facing new curbs in their applications to visit China.

Many find they now need a round-trip airline booking, proof of a hotel confirmation and in some cases a letter of introduction.

Hotels have been told to give detailed information about foreign guests.

Thousands of students studying in China suddenly found their visas would no longer be renewed over the period of the Olympics.

All this in the name of security. China is less interested in playing host to a global Olympic party, just more determined that nobody spoils it.

Six months ago the government announced it had foiled a plot by members of an Islamic movement in western China to attack the Games and kidnap athletes.

The government failed to produce a shred of evidence for the claims but it signalled the start of a massive security operation.

Only this week they announced that 100,000 paramilitary police would be on standby from the middle of July.

Beijing was expecting half a million visitors to the Olympics, bringing in revenue of more than $4b for the city.

But the latest evidence suggests those predictions may be a little wide of the mark.

Written by Sky News, 24/06/2008


I will not be watching any of the Games in protest at China's dismal human rights record, and will be also boycotting the companies sponsoring Beijing 2008.
It's a shame Gordon Brown doesn't have the backbone to declare a boycott by UK athletes. But then again, money talks...

Sadly Globalisation has led to European and American manufacturers transfering their manufacruring to China.These industrialists ecanomic dependance on China now leaves them no option but to lobby Western Governments to maintain good relations with a Communist Government whos involvment in Myramar The Sudan and its constant vetos on UN resolucions bear no relation to Western values.
I sincerely hope citizens will show their disgust and do what the politicians are reluctant to do by boycotting the olympics

I am not watching any of the games.
Shame that the athletes from Europe did not have the will to boycott the event.
Human abuses are going on every minute in China. Is a medal that important ?

Just goes to show what a major mistake was made awarding the games to China in the first place.The paranoia of the Chinese leaders will make this a games void of atmosphere and soul,this is a shame as they come round only every four years.

Why doesn't someone Kidnap the chinese guys managing this. Then the Olympics can be truly enjoyed.
If China is so certain it is not committig any Human Rights or others infringements why is the country so worried?
Memories of the USSR!!!

As China has accumulated vast experience insofar as curtailing such attrocities, it beggars belief why it has now stood idle and not pass on that expertise to Zimbabwe and show the world it has changed for the better.
If the games are what they are suppose to be, create harmony, then they have until Friday to convince many a tyrant to play the game fair and square and any shortfall in city funds will be further replenished. So, come on China, do the decent thing and lets [Boogie 2 Night] and tell [Booty Luv] enough is enough.

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