Tuesday, March 25, 2008

China wants its troops to guard Olympic torch in Australia

News.com.au story
CHINA has told Australia its army should oversee the local leg of the Olympic torch relay amid mounting security concerns.

Chinese officials have asked Australian Federal Police to hand over security to its own forces to ensure protests do not mar the relay when it lands in Australia next month.

The move – which has been rebuffed by the AFP – comes as Beijing reels from an embarrassing relay launch in Greece when human rights activists hijacked the event.

China has responded by radically cutting back its relay legs in cities where it expects more trouble, police sources told The Advertiser.

The U.S. city of San Francisco, with a large expatriate Chinese community and Paris – headquarters of Reporters Sans Frontieres, the group behind the Athens protests – have had their legs of the torch relay cut.

Can you picture it? The People's Liberation Army beating up Australian protesters, in Australia?! Also, does China get to use the torch relay as a political tool? Taiwan is already out; by cutting San Francisco and Paris, the only "Western" city to see the torch is London (and Canberra, maybe).

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