For China’s Olympic Guests, a Not-So-Warm Welcome

The Christian Science Monitor looks at how is impacting Beijing residents as well as those planning to travel there for the Games:

Fearful of terrorist attacks and of embarrassing protests, the authorities are draping a security blanket over Beijing so thick that many residents fear it will stifle the Games.

“They are not taking any chances, whatever the impact on ordinary people, either local or foreign,” says Gilbert van Kerckhove, a longtime Beijing resident who is advising the city on Olympic issues. “They are totally paranoid; there is no other word for it.”

In preparation for the Olympics, long billed as China’s coming-out party, the government has tightened visa rules to restrict the number of incoming foreigners, snarled international broadcasters’ plans to televise the Games, cleared almost all Beijing’s itinerant vendors off the streets, and closed down one of the city’s most popular English-language magazines, among other steps apparently designed to ensure control of the event.

Read more about the Olympics visa policies, from the New York Times.

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