Beijing will set up specially designated zones for protesters during next month’s Olympics, a security official said Wednesday, in a sign China’s authoritarian government may allow some demonstrations during the games.
Areas are being set aside in three public parks near some of the sporting venues, said Liu Shaowu, director for security for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee.
“We will invite demonstrators to hold their demonstrations in designated places,” Liu told a news conference.
“Painstaking efforts have been made to strengthen community patrols, crack down on various criminal activities, tighten management of dangerous goods and deploy security personnel in crucial Olympic sites,” Liu Shaowu, director of the Olympics organizing body’s security department told a press conference on Wednesday. “It’s all an unprecedented effort to eliminate potential safety hazards in a timely manner,” he said.
Fences now encircle all Olympic venues, the Olympic Village and the Olympic headquarters hotels. Monitoring and alarm facilities have been installed with personnel and vehicle security checkpoints set up.
The city launched on June 29 security checks on passengers taking the subway, Beijing’s most widely used transportation. As of July 13, police had detained 39 people who brought prohibited knives into subways.
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