- Title: CHINA: OLYMPIC GAMES - China vows safe Olympic games
- Date: 17th November 2007
- Summary: JUDO ARENA VISITORS SITTING IN JUDO ARENA SEATS VISITOR LISTENING
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2007 12:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVACJMKVP416GIS2ZUTET8C1G0A4
- Story Text: China's security authorities unveiled their plan for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing on Friday (November 16). They vowed to provide the safest environment for the games, but said terrorist attacks were one of the biggest threats.
It is the latest drill to test the level of readiness ahead of the games.
Officials from the Beijing Olympic Security Coordination Office demonstrated security checks on individuals, cars, and showed the workings of the security control room for one of the stadiums.
During the games, over 520,000 security guards with 310,000 pieces of equipment will work to ensure the safety of athletes and the spectators.
"Talking about terrorists attacks during the Olympic Games, of course, it is one of the major threats," Liu Shaowu, vice president of the security office said.
It is not the first time China has openly talked about the terrorism threats it faces at the Games, but Liu did not say which groups it might target.
China is home to several restive minorities such as the Muslim Uighurs in the far western region of Xinjiang who have been blamed by Beijing for bomb attacks in recent years.
Human rights groups have urged the International Olympic Committee to press China in terms of human rights and media freedom.
"Any activities that violate Chinese laws, defy Chinese sovereignty, promote separation or incite terrorist attacks, we will not allow it in here," Liu said.
People can protest or demonstrate during the Games only if they apply to the government and get approval, Liu added.
Earlier this year, an anti-terrorism drill was carried out at a key port outside Shanghai.
The exercise at Yangshan port simulated an attempt by five people to hide in containers at the facility and set off a bomb on a ship.
China has invested a great deal of prestige in the Games. Analysts see the sporting spectacle as a coming out party, an exhibition of the country's "soft power" to complement its huge economic growth.
Many analysts predict that China will seal its rise to superpower status in sport by topping the medals table at the Games next August.
China hopes the Olympic legacy will go beyond their 23,000 elite athletes and encourage the growth of sport among the remainder of the 1.3 billion population.
The Games has almost universal support from the Chinese people. Its preparations have drawn praise from International Olympic Committee officials during their frequent visits to the Chinese capital.
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