The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic GamesAugust 8-24 2008
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
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Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing

Updated:2008-07-23


Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from AP

AP

There have been many complaints by foreigners and Chinese that security measures are excessive. Hotels are half empty because foreigners can't get visas. Chinese citizens who lived in Beijing but are not from Beijing are worried if they leave the city, they wouldn't be able to get back in. Migrant workers who work in small restaurants have left because the restaurants have been closed down. There are people who are calling the Olympics as the No-fun Games. How do you feel about that? Do you feel your measures have been excessive? And that it won't be possible to have an enjoyable and safe Games?

Liu Shaowu

I would like to response to your question from 2 aspects. First, for the Olympics, for the organizations, for the security people, the top priority is to ensure safe Games for the delegations, athletes, officials and coaches, and all the spectators. We need to have measures to do that. And most of our measures are in line with past Games practices. It is the result of the joint efforts of many parties. For example, you mentioned visa, it is within responsibilities of our foreign affairs agencies but it is true that the previous Games also have tightened policies for visa.

Secondly, we do want to have a festive atmosphere at the venues, and we don't want to interrupt the daily life in the society. As a Chinese, as a Beijing citizen and one who has been involved in security work, my understanding is that China and particularly Beijing is safe. We have developed security measures and these measures are adopted to our security environment,. The Olympic Games is such a big Games with so many athletes coming and so many journalists coming. We have 21,600 accredited journalists and another several thousand of non-accredited ones, which is unprecedented. The common enemy of international community is terrorists who will follow such a large group of coming people. So we have to upgrade the security level. For China, for Beijing and for co-host cities, we have witnessed difference because of the Olympic Games. These measures have to be in place for the Games, so we will feel a difference. I, as a citizen of Beijing, also feel this personally. It takes some time to get used to that. You have a good suggestion. We have heard a lot of suggestions from media and people. We've heard a lot of such opinions, sometimes even complaints, and we will consider them. We want to have both safety, and security and festivity. Thank you.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from CBS

CBS

You talked about public order being one of your priorities. I would like to know that there have been some suggestions like in any country, there are people who don't necessarily like some Chinese policies. Just like during the US Olympics, some people don't like the US policies. Some athletes have suggested that they might try during the opening ceremony to show their disagreement in a non-violent way, maybe by holding a flag or something like that. As far as your security measures, will you allow athletes to express certain political view if they are in a non-violent way? Or would you plan down on something like that instead? What did the IOC say you are allowed to do to limit athletes speaking out, maybe against Chinese policies?

Liu Shaowu

As for the activities in the Olympic venues, for example, the activities or other participants, we have to follow the IOC rules and regulations. This has been stipulated by the Olympic Charter, that is, within the Olympic area, commercial and non-commercial propaganda activities are not allowed, including activities of ethnical, political or religion propaganda. These activities are against the Olympic charter. In any country, whether it is China or other countries, the Olympic city must obey the Olympic Charter. For people who participate in the Games, they also need to obey the IOC regulations. Rule 51 of the Charter is about it. Thank you.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from Beijing Youth Daily

Beijing Youth Daily

I'm with Beijing Youth Daily. About the Kunming bus explosion, we also have some explosion in another city a couple years ago. The bus system does not have a security system as implemented on the subway. Do we have any security measures for the bus system?

Liu Shaowu

First, as for the bus explosion in Kunming, the Chinese police responded swiftly and we will reveal the information. It was sabotaged. As for the nature of this incident, the criminals are still being investigated. The Ministry of Public Security has also sent us some insights. I think we will get further information from the Ministry of Public Security.

Secondly, with such criminal activities, they happen in all cities and countries across the world. Of course, it is a focus of the Games security. We need to step up security measures in all the areas for the safety of the bus system. We have measures in place, we will increase security, in the hope that all people can support us.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from Xinhuanet.com

Xinhuanet.com

Could you please talk about the difference between the Beijing Olympic security and the previous Olympic Games security measure based on the principle of 'putting people first'?

Liu Shaowu

First, we have visited some previous organizers and host of major international events and we have gathered valuable lessons. Many of our security measures are based on past success stories. As for the special features of the Beijing Games, I think this is related to the tradition of the Chinese police. The traditional working mode of the Chinese police is also the feature of the Games security operation as well as the participation of the general public. Within the venues, we have volunteers. Surrounding the venues, we have educational program such as the neighborhood watch and other programs of this kind. For the co-host cities, we engaged the general public. We hope they can provide us with the information and watch their own neighborhood and community against the people with potential risk to our Games security. They have efficient channels to provide information about such group of people to us. For those who intend to sabotage the Games, the most important way to control them lies in our people.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from South China Morning Post

South China Morning Post

You said you are willing to listen to complaints, opinions, and suggestions of the people. There have been several reports proposed that perhaps Beijing should have the protest vents as it is in Athens. Can you confirm? Will you have designated protest vents where those people who do wish to express their views will be allowed to in a peaceful manner? Will you have the same protest vents that were available at Athens?

Liu Shaowu

We have designated places for demonstrations at several parks. Thank you.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from CNN

CNN

There was a report that black people will not be served because they are considered socially undesirable, could you confirm that for me? I would like to correct the AP when they said that Beijing games is a 'no-fun Games', I believe it is actually being called the 'kill-joy Games', can you comment on that please?

Liu Shaowu

I am unaware of the report about this. It's totally unfounded. It is impossible that such a thing happened in China. Isn't it the ethics of the reporter? Also I want to say that, for such a big Games, before, during and after the Games, there will be such ungrounded report. I think the organizers do not have to explain about such false reports.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from Brazilian Newspapers

Brazilian Newspapers

How many people are going to be involved in the security? I have the list of the number, 500,000 policemen; there is also another number 110,000. I would like to know how many policemen will be involved in the security operation. How many volunteers will you have? And I would like to know what exactly the roles of these volunteers are. You mention that they are going to give information to the police. I would like to know what kind of power they have. As a journalist, do I have the risk of volunteer interfering my work if they think it is someway a threat to the security? Thank you.

Liu Shaowu

As for the security force, they are 110,000 soldiers altogether. And for the roles and power of the volunteers, they are to provide service to the spectators and the journalists. They can provide good security service to you. If you have some disagreements or dissatisfaction on the volunteers, you can raise them to us.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from CCTV.com

CCTV.com

As for the intelligence security, for example, the TV signals and communication signals, what kind of measures has been taken?

Liu Shaowu

As for the network security, as well as the social network, and for the professional Games-time ticketing network security, we have given a lot of attention. We have a network security organization. We have also prevented a lot of attacks on the networks. We can do a lot of things to safeguard the security of the social level network because the Olympic family members and others users will use the internet to look for some information on the internet. So we have taken a lot of effective measure and set up a lot of professional forces.

Press conference: Olympic security work in full swing
Reporter from the Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor

I wonder if you could be more precise about the exact nature of the threats in the Games and from where you can pin the threats down specifically.

Liu Shaowu

We are facing a lot of challenges and difficult tasks. In terms of the organization of the spectators and the venue security, the security checks of all the people entering the venues, and the security work on the society level, we have a lot of wide variety of all those challenges. I could not exactly say the nature of it. But we have made comprehensive preparations and made a comprehensive deployment. We are more confident that we can make the Beijing Games a safe Olympic Games and also a good and joyous atmosphere for you.


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