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Beijing is to ban smoking in most public places from May 1 as part of its efforts to improve the city ahead of the Olympics, state media reported on Monday.
Lighting up in the Chinese capital will be prohibited in all restaurants, offices and schools, becoming the first city in China to have such a comprehensive ban, the China Daily reported.
Hotels must also have rooms for non-smokers, but the proportion is still being discussed, a tobacco control expert involved in drafting the new rule told the paper.
Bars, meanwhile, will be required to clearly separate smoking from non-smoking areas, according to the newspaper.
The Olympic torch was re-lit Monday at an elaborate ceremony that signaled the start of a round-the-world relay that is expected to be a lightning rod for protests against China's policies and human rights practices.
President Hu Jintao opened the relay at an elaborate ceremony in Tiananmen Square in the heart of the capital, underlining the importance China places on the Olympics and its hopes to display a confident, strong nation to the world when the Games open Aug. 8.
The ceremony 130 days before the start of the Olympics was broadcast on state television, and comes a week after the lighting ceremony for the Olympic torch in Greece was marred by protests.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not want the U.S. to boycott the Beijing Olympics, but she says that President George W. Bush should consider skipping the opening ceremony.
"I think boycotting the opening ceremony, which really gives respect to the Chinese government, is something that should be kept on the table," Pelosi, D-Calif., told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts in an interview airing Tuesday. "I think the president might want to rethink this later, depending on what other heads of state do."
Originally posted by SevenThunders
I doubt the CIA is instigating this.
"Democratic Imperialism": Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy
China failed to understand that politicians in democracies cannot predict what positions they will take. Spielberg’s d�marche has changed everything for them. In a few weeks they have moved from avoiding anything that might offend Beijing to scrambling to be seen as pro-Tibetan. It scarcely matters whether the riots in Lhasa were, at least in part, brutal and racist, nor that such violence is in defiance of the Dalai Lama’s strictures and undermines his authority. The Tibet bandwagon is rolling and every democratic politician clamours for a place on board.
As western politicians are exposed as being powerless to avert economic downturn and as Iraq and Afghanistan smoulder on, heaping opprobrium on China offers an agreeable opportunity to divert attention from the politicians’ other woes.
The ceremonies on which he was advising will provide the next focus. They can be shunned without disrupting the sporting events which supposedly are the point of the Olympics. Indeed, once the politicians have aligned themselves with Tibet and Darfur, what justification could they offer for allowing the regime to bask in global adulation?
When China bid for the Olympics it judged correctly that democratic politicians are pusillanimous. Given their hunger for Chinese contracts they would not let massacre in Darfur or torture in Tibet disrupt a good party. But Beijing failed to see that western statesmen are even more craven towards their celebrities and media.
Beijing’s other mistake was being too anxious for the Games to be a success. A man who wants something too much makes himself vulnerable. Surely Confucius said something of the sort.
The Chinese president, Hu Jintao, has ordered his nation's security forces to place a top priority on the Olympics in August, saying that the country's international reputation was at stake.
The comments came against a backdrop of increasing Chinese accusations that Tibetans were planning violent attacks in their quest for increased autonomy, which the Tibetans deny.
"Security must take priority," Hu was quoted as saying in the People's Armed Police News, published by China's paramilitary police force. "Without security guarantees there cannot be a successful Olympic Games, and without security guarantees the national image will be lost."
Wu Heping, spokesman for China's Ministry of Public Security, claimed searches of monasteries in the Tibetan capital had turned up a large cache of weapons. They included 176 guns, 13,013 bullets, 7,725 pounds of explosives, 19,000 sticks of dynamite and 350 knives, he said.
"To our knowledge, the next plan of the Tibetan independence forces is to organize suicide squads to launch violent attacks," Wu told a news conference. "They claimed that they fear neither bloodshed nor sacrifice."
Wu provided no details or evidence. He used the term "gan si dui," a rarely used phrase directly translated as "dare-to-die corps." The official English version of his remarks translated the term as "suicide squads."
Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA
by Richard M Bennett
Global Research, March 25, 2008
Given the historical context of the unrest in Tibet, there is reason to believe Beijing was caught on the hop with the recent demonstrations for the simple reason that their planning took place outside of Tibet and that the direction of the protesters is similarly in the hands of anti-Chinese organizers safely out of reach in Nepal and northern India.
Similarly, the funding and overall control of the unrest has also been linked to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and by inference to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) because of his close cooperation with US intelligence for over 50 years.
"Democratic Imperialism": Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy
by Michael Barker
Global Research, August 13, 2007
People familiar with Asian history will be aware that during Tibet’s popular uprising against their Chinese occupiers in 1959, his Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (then aged 23), escaped from his homeland of Tibet to live in exile in India. Subsequently, the Dalai Lama formed a Tibetan government-in-exile, and to this day the Dalai Lama and his government remain in exile. The Dalai Lama’s tireless efforts to draw international attention to the Tibetan cause received a welcome boost in 1989 when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and since then the Dalai Lama has been able to demand sustained media attention (globally) to his ongoing non-violent struggle for a free Tibet. This part of Tibetan history is fairly uncontroversial, but a part of Tibet’s story that less people will be familiar with is Tibet’s historical links to the US’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Indeed, as Carole McGranahan (2006) notes “[t]he case of Tibet presents a mostly unexplored example of covert Cold War military intervention.”
While in recent years far more information has been made available concerning the CIA’s violent linkages with Tibetan forces, to date only one article has examined the connection between Tibet’s current independence campaigners and an organization that maintains close ties with the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
The Tibet Card
by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
Global Research, March 27, 2008
It seems that the US government excels at propaganda for it continues to win over the very people it has betrayed and caused to be killed; buying their trust, it offers a friendship that is only self-serving. Oblivious to the past havoc wreaked by the CIA in Tibet, the innocent gather around the storm, stare into the eye, ready to be sucked into it, says Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich.
Originally posted by IchiNiSan
Some analysis to shed more lights on the actual causes and real trouble makers. (Note: I am still only posting non-Chinese sources)
Article 1: Tibet the 'great game' and the CIA
Article 2: "Democratic Imperialism": Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy
Article 3: The Tibet Card
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — Over furious objections from China and in the presence of President Bush, Congress on Wednesday bestowed its highest civilian honor on the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists whom Beijing considers a troublesome voice of separatism.
Dressed in flowing robes of dark burgundy and bright orange, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, beamed and bowed as the president and members of Congress greeted him with a standing ovation and then praised him as a hero of the Tibetan struggle. President Bush called him “a man of faith and sincerity and peace.”
But the Dalai Lama said he felt “a sense of regret” over the sharp tensions with China unleashed by his private meeting on Tuesday with Mr. Bush and by the Congressional Gold Medal conferred on him in the ornate Capitol Rotunda.
In gentle language and conciliatory tones, he congratulated China on its dynamic economic growth and recognized its rising role on the world stage, but also gently urged it to embrace “transparency, the rule of law and freedom of information.”
The 72-year-old spiritual leader made clear that “I’m not seeking independence” from China, something that is anathema to Beijing. Nor, he said, would he use any future agreement with China “as a steppingstone for Tibet’s independence.”
What he wanted, he said, was “meaningful autonomy for Tibet.”
Q: In Tibet, from the late 1950's until the early 1970's, one of your
brothers was involved in leading a guerrilla movement against the Chinese.
In fact, the guerrillas were supported by the C.I.A. How did you feel about
A: I'm always against violence. But the Tibetan guerrillas were very
dedicated people. They were willing to sacrifice their own lives for the
Tibetan nation. And they found a way to receive help from the C.I.A. Now,
the C.I.A.'s motivation for helping was entirely political. They did not
help out of genuine sympathy, not out of support for a just cause. That was
not very healthy.
Today, the help and support we receive from the United States is truly
out of sympathy and human compassion. In spite of their desire for good
relations with China, the Congress of the United States at least supports
Tibetan human rights. So this is something really precious, genuine.
That would hurt them more then it would us. We would not pay them because they got all that money Illegally and we can prove it in a world court. China has violated every WTO agreement it promised to uphold. The second everyone in America stops buying Chinas crap it is them that will crumble not us, We can buy from anyone we want and we can also make anything we want.