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Cablegate: Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics: Usg Situation Report

VZCZCXRO2708
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3158/01 2310722
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180722Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9246
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 6323
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 0875
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE IMMEDIATE 9495
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 2160
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG IMMEDIATE 0547
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 BEIJING 003158

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT, FOR, DS/IP/EAP, DS/DSS/DO, DS/TIA/OSAC, DS/P/MECU,
DS/TIA/ITA, DS/DO/P, DS/ICI/CI, DS/T/ATA, DS/TIA,
DS/TIA/PII, DS/CC, EAP/CM, S/CT, CA/OCS/ACS/EAP, PASS TO
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (TSA) OPERATIONS
CENTER, HONG KONG FOR RSO AND LEGAT AND USSS, SHANGHAI FOR
RSO, SHENYANG FOR RSO,CHENGDU FOR RSO, GUANGZHOU FOR RSO,
USSS HQS FOR INV, OPO, HNL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC CASC CH CMGT ECON KOLY OVIP PREL PTER
SUBJECT: BEIJING 2008 SUMMER OLYMPICS: USG SITUATION REPORT
18, 08/18/2008

REF: A. BEIJING 3117
B. BEIJING 3147

1. (SBU) The following cable provides information on
security, public diplomacy, political, and consular
activities related to the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games
as of 08/18/2008.

2. (U) The interagency USG Joint Operations Center (JOC) can
be contacted on a 24-hour basis at the following numbers:

- JOC Direct Line: 011-86-010-6532-6966.
- U.S. Embassy Beijing: 011-86-010-6532-3431, JOC extension
6200.
- JOC fax: 011-86-010-6532-4763.
- STE and fax: 011-86-010-6532-5163.


KEY ISSUES
----------
3. (U) Beijing air has been clear and the weather temperate
since 08/15/2008. According to Chinese officials, Beijing
experienced an eighth day of excellent air quality on
08/17/2008, providing favorable weather conditions for the
ongoing Olympic events. Figures released by the China
Environmental Monitoring Center indicated that Beijing's air
pollution index (API) on 08/17/2008 showed a reading of 42,
which is within the Grade I (50 or below)--or
excellent--range. According to a Beijing-based weather
expert interviewed by China's state news agency, Beijing's
air quality is expected to be good through the afternoon of
08/18/2008, after which time the wind is predicted to change
direction and to bring pollutants from adjacent cities to
parts of Beijing. Extended forecasts show the development of
a tropical depression near Guam that could gain strength and
reach typhoon status by the middle of the week; currently
moving on a west-northwest heading, it is too early to tell
if this storm system will affect the closing of the Olympic
Games.


SECURITY ISSUES
---------------
4. (SBU) Threats: There is no significant threat
information to report.

5. (U) Incidents: There were no reports of security
incidents overnight on 08/17/2008.

6. (U) Olympic Protests: There were no reports of protests
overnight on 08/17/2008.

BEIJING 00003158 002 OF 004


SECURITY OPERATIONS
-------------------
7. (SBU) FLOs Continue Security Efforts: The USG Field
Liaison Officers (FLO) assigned to a number of high-profile
U.S. Olympic teams continue their security liaison efforts
with Chinese counterparts. FLOs for the U.S. Women's Soccer
team have traveled with the team to Beijing as the team has
advanced to the medal rounds; all soccer events have been
completed in the cities of Shenyang, Qinhuangdao, and
Shanghai. FLOs assigned to the U.S. Men's Basketball team
will coordinate efforts with Chinese security officials on
08/18/2008 to ensure appropriate venue crowd control for this
evening's U.S. versus Germany basketball game, which will be
attended by members of the U.S. Men's Swimming team. The
U.S. Women's Softball team also continues to advance in play
and to garner high levels of attention from fans; FLOs
assigned to the team continue to work with their Chinese
counterparts to provide appropriate levels of security as the
team moves into medal competition.

8. (SBU) FLO Departure: The FLOs assigned to the U.S.
Fencing and Shooting teams are scheduled to depart Beijing on
08/17/2008, following the completion of their teams'
competitions.


VIPS
----
9. (SBU) Preparations Underway for Delegation's Arrival:
The USG Delegation to the Olympics Closing Ceremony--with
Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Secretary of Health and
Human Services Michael Leavitt--is scheduled to arrive in
Beijing on 08/22/2008. Security preparations for the visit
are already being made by the Olympic Security Coordinator
(OSC) and the U.S. Embassy's Regional Security Officer (RSO);
these include determining Olympic venue access for Delegation
members, assigning previously obtained Vehicle Access and
Parking Passes (VAPPs), and coordinating liaison between the
Delegation's security advance team and Chinese counterparts.


PUBLIC AFFAIRS/PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
-------------------------------
10. (U) Embassy Articles on Olympics: Over the weekend,
the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section mailed 15,000 copies
of Post's quarterly Chinese-language journal "Xin Jiao Liu"
to high level Chinese contacts, including academics,
journalists, and government officials. This quarter's
edition included a number of original articles about the
Beijing Olympics.

11. (U) Embassy Beijing Olympic Website: The Public
Affairs Section's Olympic website,

BEIJING 00003158 003 OF 004


http://2008beijing.embassyusa.cn, provides accurate,
up-to-date information during the Olympic Games. For the
Chinese audience, it highlights the breadth of the American
participation in and support for the Beijing Olympics. The
site includes information on cultural and official
activities, video, Olympic-focused English lessons,
perspectives from American Olympians, and photo galleries.


CONSULAR AFFAIRS
----------------
12. (SBU) Baby Born in Hotel Room: The U.S. Embassy's
American Citizens Services (ACS) unit was advised on the
night of 08/17/2008 that an 18-year old U.S. citizen gave
birth to a baby girl in her Beijing hotel room. The
woman--who is in Beijing to attend the Olympic Games with her
father--was alone at the time of the birth as her father was
attending an Olympic event. Both the woman and her father
have stated that they were unaware of her pregnancy. Mother
and daughter were transported to Beijing United Hospital
where they are doing well, according to the U.S. Embassy
Medical Officer.

13. (U) Bibles Confiscated: Airport customs officials in
the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming seized 300 bibles
from four U.S. citizens on 08/17/2008. AFP and AP reported
that Pat Klein--a 46-year-old U.S. missionary who runs a
group called Vision Beyond Borders--and three other Americans
had Chinese-language bibles confiscated upon their arrival
from Thailand; they were told they could reclaim the bibles
when departing China. Klein was quoted as saying he had
brought more than 10,000 bibles into the country over the
past 20 years. On 08/18/2008, the airport Foreign Affairs
Office (FAO) contacted the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu
and informed the consular officer that Chinese Customs
officials have offered the Americans the option of entering
China without the excess bibles or departing the country with
their shipment. The FAO claims the Americans have refused to
leave Kunming airport under either condition. The Consulate
is actively attempting to contact the Americans directly to
provide assistance.

14. (SBU) Continued Detention of American: The U.S.
citizen detained by Chinese police for an altercation with a
taxi driver on 08/13/2008 remains in custody (ref. a). ACS
will continue to monitor his status.


POLITICAL AFFAIRS
-----------------
15. (U) Police Continue to Target Scalpers: According to a
Xinhua article dated 08/17/2008, Beijing police are
continuing their campaign against illegal ticket brokers,

BEIJING 00003158 004 OF 004


with a reported 221 people and 569 Olympics tickets seized
since 08/15/2008. Police indicate that 71 people have been
detained, while others were released with verbal warnings; 31
foreigners were caught in the sweep and the visas of 14
people were revoked. The four U.S. citizens detained on
08/15/2008 for the resale of tickets have all been released
(ref. b).

16. (U) Dalai Lama Accuses China of Torture: According to
international news reports on 08/17/2008, the Dalai Lama has
accused China of torturing Tibetans, sometimes to death,
during the Olympic Games. AP reports that in an interview
with French television news station TF1 on 08/16/2008, the
Dalai Lama said that "the Olympic spirit is not all respected
by Chinese officials inside Tibet," and that "often civilians
are arrested and tortured very violently, to the point where
they die." The Dalai Lama is in France for the duration of
the Olympics.
RANDT

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