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Cablegate: Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics: Usg Situation Report

VZCZCXRO4505
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3200/01 2330821
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200821Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9375
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 BEIJING 003200

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
20, 08/20/2008

REF: A. BEIJING 3139
B. BEIJING 3146
C. BEIJING 3171

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 08/20/2008.

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. (SBU) White House officials publicly confirmed on
08/19/2008 that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will not
attend the Olympics Closing Ceremony. The Presidential
Delegation--which arrives in Beijing on 08/21/2008--will now
be led by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. The U.S. Embassy
had informed the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on
08/15/2008 that Secretary Rice would be unable to attend
(ref. a).


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

5. (SBU) Incidents: Potential Surveillance of U.S.
Women,s Indoor Volleyball Team: On 08/20/2008, the JOC was
notified by the USG Field Liaison Officer (FLO) assigned to
the U.S. Women,s Indoor Volleyball team that a young Asian
male had observed the team,s bus as it departed the Olympic
Sports Center, the site of the team,s quarterfinal match
against Italy. As the bus departed, the subject ran to a
waiting vehicle and spoke to a male passenger in the car.
The FLO noted the make, model, and license number of the
vehicle; the Olympic Security Coordinator (OSC) has passed
this information to the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB)
for follow-up on the ownership of the car and the identity of
the passengers.

6. (SBU) Possible Monitoring Device Found in Olympic
Vehicle: The UK Embassy on 08/19/2008 advised the JOC that
on 08/16/2008, two press officers traveling in a Beijing

BEIJING 00003200 002 OF 005


Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) vehicle
discovered what appeared to be an electronic monitoring
device in the car. The press officers photographed the
device--which was found flashing on the floor behind the
front passenger seat--but left it in the vehicle while they
attended an Olympic event. When they returned to the vehicle
two hours later, the device was gone. The car was described
as being part of the BOCOG motor pool and had previously been
used by UK Olympics Committee officials as well as by a
number of British athletes.

7. (SBU) Unconfirmed Report of Truck Explosion in Beijing:
According to unsubstantiated information available to the
Hong Kong Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy,
on 08/17/2008, an unidentified truck exploded while driving
through the Baimiao Public Security Checkpoint in Beijing,
allegedly injuring at least 20 people. The report indicates
that the truck burst into flames as police tried to conduct a
security check; the Center suggests that the incident was
possibly terrorism-related. The JOC is unable to corroborate
this report; the OSC has contacted Chinese security officials
for confirmation of the incident but has not yet received a
response. The Hong Kong Information Center for Human Rights
and Democracy has previously provided details of alleged bomb
scares in Shanghai, including a claim denied by Shanghai PSB
officials that an explosives-laden vehicle was discovered
outside of PSB headquarters on 08/09/2008 (ref. b).

8. (SBU) Olympic Protests: Americans Detained in Pro-Tibet
Protest: A "Students for a Free Tibet" (SFT) contact in the
United States who has previously notified the U.S. Embassy of
the detention of U.S. citizens for protest activity contacted
American Citizens Services (ACS) on 08/20/2008 to report that
five Americans were detained by Chinese police late in the
evening on 08/19/2008 after displaying a blue LED "Free
Tibet" banner on the Olympic Green in front of the National
Stadium (Bird's Nest). Separately, press reports indicate
that a sixth American--described as a famous New York City
graffiti artist--and two additional protesters of unknown
nationality were detained on 08/19/2008 for planning to use a
handheld green laser to project "Free Tibet" messages on the
sides of prominent Beijing landmarks. ACS has approached the
Beijing PSB regarding the detentions to determine the
whereabouts of the American; the PSB has not yet responded to
the ACS request for confirmation of the detentions.


SECURITY OPERATIONS
-------------------
9. (SBU) MPS Meeting with OSC and RSO: On 08/19/2008, the
OSC and Regional Security Officer (RSO)--accompanied by
members of the security advance team for the USG Delegation
to the Olympics Closing Ceremony--had a successful meeting

BEIJING 00003200 003 OF 005


with Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) counterparts
regarding security arrangements for the Delegation's upcoming
visit.


VIPS
----
10. (SBU) Please refer to the Key Issues section for
updated VIP information.


PUBLIC AFFAIRS/PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
-------------------------------
11. (SBU) Radio Broadcasts Jammed: According to a
08/19/2008 Reporters Without Borders report, the Chinese
Government continues to block Chinese-language broadcasts by
the BBC, Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Asia (RFA) and
Sound of Hope (a station linked to Falun Gong)--as well as
Tibetan and Uighur-language broadcasts by RFA and Voice of
Tibet--during the Olympic Games. The jamming of
Tibetan-language programs has increased in recent months, the
report says. Although such actions were routine prior to the
Olympics, Chinese authorities had pledged unfettered access
to news for all journalists covering the Olympics. With the
exception of one reporter with RFA,s Tibetan service,
journalists with the BBC, VOA and RFA have been able to get
visas to go to China during the Olympics, but their potential
listeners have not been able to receive their broadcasts. In
addition, the BOCOG office for satellite uplink services did
not approve a VOA request to import uplink equipment to
transmit live broadcasts during the Olympics.


CONSULAR AFFAIRS
----------------
12. (SBU) False Media Report of Tour Guide's Death:
According to a single Hong Kong media report dated
08/19/2008, the Chinese tour guide wounded during the
08/09/2008 Drum Tower stabbing attack against U.S. citizens
Todd and Barbara Bachman died from her injuries on
08/12/2008. This report, however, is contradicted by the
08/14/2008 visit by the U.S. Ambassador and Embassy officers
to the tour guide in her room at the Sino-Japanese Hospital.
During the visit, which was attended by senior hospital
officials and photographers, the tour guide appeared alert
and animated when speaking with the Ambassador. In addition,
ACS staff spoke to the manager of the tour company by phone
on 08/20/2008, who stated the tour guide was discharged from
the hospital on 08/19/2008 and would soon return to work.

13. (SBU) American Detained: On 08/20/2008, ACS was
notified by the father of a U.S. citizen that his son and
another U.S. citizen had been detained by police in Beijing

BEIJING 00003200 004 OF 005


while having dinner with friends. According to the father, a
friend who observed the incident told him his son and the
other American had been taken into custody approximately 19
hours earlier; the friend did not provide any further
information nor did she provide her full name or contact
information. In a follow-up call, the father of the named
U.S. citizen said his son told him on 08/16/2008 that he
thought he was being followed; he also told ACS that his son
was a union organizer in Philadelphia. Further, a call made
by ACS the morning of 08/20/2008 to the American's hotel
revealed that he checked out at 0100 hours local time on
08/20/2008. The PSB has not yet responded to ACS requests
for confirmation of the detention.


POLITICAL AFFAIRS
-----------------
14. (SBU) Uighur Pilots Continue to Fly During Olympics: The
Civil Aviation Administration of China (CACC) dismissed
reports that ethnic Uighur pilots have been grounded until
after the Olympics as previously reported (ref. c). The
Xinhua article noted that all three Uighur pilots continue to
fly routes to and from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region
and quoted two of the pilots, who described their specific
flight hours and domestic and international flight routes
during the period in question.

15. (SBU) Two Protest Zone Applicants Sentenced to
Reeducation-Through-Labor: Human Rights in China reports
that two Beijing protest petitioners, Wu Dianyuan and Wang
Xiuying, were sentenced to one year of
reeducation-through-labor (RTL) on 08/17/2008 by the Beijing
Municipal Government for "disturbing the public order." Wu
and Wang, who claim to have been forcibly evicted from their
homes in Beijing in 2001, made five attempts to apply for
permission to demonstrate in the city's designated "protest
zones" between 08/05/2008 and 08/18/2008; their applications
were neither granted nor denied. Similar to a suspended
sentence in a criminal proceeding, Wu and Wang will serve
their sentence outside of a RTL camp. The decision also
places restrictions on movement and stipulates that if
provisions of the decision or other regulations are violated,
they will be sent to a RTL camp. The two petitioners were
told by PSB officials on 08/18/2008 that they no longer had
the right to apply to protest.

16. (U) Hong Kong Protesters Frustrated by Application
Process: According to a Hong Kong daily online news source,
Chinese officials have thwarted attempts by members of the
Hong Kong Rights and Privilege Concern Group to conduct a
protest in one of the designated Olympics "protest zones" in
Beijing. The group initially submitted its application to
demonstrate on 08/05/2008 but was rejected, allegedly because

BEIJING 00003200 005 OF 005


the group was not a legal organization on the mainland; they
were advised by officials to file individually instead. The
five members arrived in Beijing on 08/18/2008 to reapply but
were told by the PSB that the earliest date they could
demonstrate is 08/26/2008--two days after the conclusion of
the Games. On 08/19/2008, the International Olympics
Committee (IOC) spokesman expressed concern that public
statements by Chinese authorities on the function of the
"protest zones" do not match the reality of their use (ref.
c).
RANDT

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