Search

 

Cablegate: Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics: Usg Situation Report

VZCZCXRO8523
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #3300/01 2390741
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 260741Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9540
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 6388
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 0919
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE IMMEDIATE 9541
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 2206
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG IMMEDIATE 0604
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUGIAAA/NGA NAVY YARD WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEAFVS/OSD WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/NGA ST LOUIS MO IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/NGA HQ BETHESDA MD IMMEDIATE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/TSA HQ WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RULSDMK/NSA US WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCNSE/US SECRET SERVICE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 BEIJING 003300

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
26, 08/26/2008

REF: A. BEIJING 3106
B. BEIJING 3254
C. BEIJING 3139
D. BEIJING 3275

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 08/26/2008.


KEY ISSUES
----------
2. (SBU) Conclusion of JOC Operations: This is the final
situation report from the USG interagency Joint Operations
Center (JOC) in Beijing, China. JOC operations in support of
the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games will conclude as of
1500 hours local time on 08/26/2008. In total, ten federal
agencies provided personnel to the JOC. Overall, 868 USG
temporary duty personnel supplemented the U.S. Embassy's
staff of 1,100 employees and took part in supporting the
Olympics security effort in the seven Olympic cities in
China. Of these, 172 were part of the law enforcement
presence agreed to by the Chinese Government in the
Memorandum of Understanding, 665 traveled in support of the
U.S. President and the USG Delegation to the Opening Ceremony
and included representatives from the U.S. Secret Service
(USSS), the White House, and White House Communications
Agency (WHCA), 10 were assigned to support the U.S. Embassy's
American Citizens Services (ACS) office, 11 were attached to
the Public Affairs Section (PAS), 3 supported the Regional
Medical Officer, 4 were assigned to the Financial Management
Office (FMO), and 3 supported the General Services Office
(GSO). In addition, 5 eligible family members, 2 summer
interns, 1 summer hire, and 1 office management specialist
were hired to provide additional resources for various
Embassy offices, to include the Olympic Coordination Office
(OCO). Finally, logistics support staff was further
augmented by 1 "When Actually Employed" (WAE) employee, 23
Foreign Service National (FSN) drivers, and 1 administrative
assistant.

3. (SBU) China Looks Forward to Paralympic Games: With the
Summer Olympics concluded, China's focus now turns to hosting
the 13th Paralympic Games, which will take place from
09/06/2008 to 09/17/2008 in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Qingdao.
According to press reports, Chinese President Hu Jintao has
promised that China will deliver a "high-standard"
Paralympics in line with the motto of "Two Games, Equal
Splendor." More than 4,200 athletes from 148 countries will
take part in competition, supported by 30,000 Beijing
Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) volunteers
and 2,500 referees; 4,000 journalists are also expected to be

BEIJING 00003300 002 OF 006


in Beijing for the event. In efforts to accommodate the
needs of the athletes and spectators, BOCOG announced that
five of the sports venues--including the National "Bird's
Nest" Stadium--have been equipped with "no barrier"
facilities, 16 special bus lines have been opened, and all
subway stations have at least one entry and exit that can be
used by passengers in wheelchairs.


SECURITY ISSUES
---------------
4. (SBU) Threats: Despite a series of bomb hoaxes in Hong
Kong, three video postings by the East Turkestan Islamic
Party (ETIP) threatening terrorist operations during the
Olympic Games, and Chinese claims that extremists affiliated
with the Uighur militant movement intended to disrupt the
Olympics, the 29th Olympiad concluded without the occurrence
of a significant terrorist incident. In the Xinjiang Uighur
Autonomous Region, a series of three early-August attacks
ostensibly conducted by Uighur extremists against Chinese
police and security personnel raised Chinese concerns of
similar actions occurring in Beijing (ref. a); however, no
such activity took place.

5. (U) Incidents: The JOC reported no security incidents
took place overnight on 08/25/2008.

6. (SBU) Olympic Protests: Update to San Francisco
Protest: On 08/24/2008, approximately 250 pro-Tibet
activists demonstrated outside of the Chinese Consulate in
San Francisco (ref. b). According to updated information
obtained by Diplomatic Security's (DS) San Francisco field
office, Consulate workers attempted to discourage protesters
from accessing the facility by wrapping barbed wire around
several trees near the building's perimeter. The workers
subsequently complied with a request by a San Francisco
police officer to remove the wire, as it posed a public
safety hazard.


SECURITY OPERATIONS
-------------------
7. (SBU) OCO Turns to Paralympics: With the successful
closing of the 2008 Summer Olympics, the OCO in Beijing has
turned its attention to providing security assistance for the
upcoming Paralympic Games. There will be no interagency JOC
operations during the Paralympics; U.S. security efforts will
be overseen by the Olympic Security Coordinator (OSC) and a
senior DS watch officer; the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's (FBI) On-Scene Facilitator and his deputy
will also remain in Beijing to provide support to the OCO.
USG security operations for the Paralympics will be relocated
from the U.S. Embassy to the OCO at Silver Tower. A total of

BEIJING 00003300 003 OF 006


17 DS Field Liaison Officers (FLO) will be assigned to
provide security assistance to U.S. Paralympic athletes at
the competition venues; as they did during the Olympic Games,
the FLOs will coordinate security measures for U.S. athletes
and coaches with Chinese counterparts. On 08/15/2008, the
Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) advised the Olympic
Security Coordinator (OSC) that Paralympic FLOs would be
issued "infinity" accreditation that will allow them
unrestricted access to all Paralympic venues (ref. c). The
OSC will also work to obtain Vehicle Access and Parking
Passes (VAPPs) for the FLOs.

8. (SBU) FLO Activities Prior to Para Games: In the two
week timeframe between the conclusion of the Summer Olympics
and the commencement of the Paralympics, FLOs will assist the
Regional Security Officer (RSO) with preparations for the
move to the New Embassy Compound (NEC).

9. (SBU) Arrival of Paralympics Athletes and Status of
Olympic Village: According to the U.S. Olympic Committee
(USOC), U.S. Paralympic athletes will arrive in Beijing
between 08/30/2008 and 09/04/2008; a total of 300 U.S.
athletes are expected to participate in the games. Chinese
personnel at the Olympic Village have indicated that the
Village will remain open during the break between the Olympic
and the Paralympic Games, with the first Paralympic
participants arriving on 08/24/2008. U.S. athletes will
occupy the same buildings that were used by U.S. teams during
the Olympics. In addition, BOCOG has designated 16 hotels as
residences for Paralympic support personnel and has named 22
Beijing hospitals as treatment centers during the games.

10. (U) Beijing Lifts Traffic Restrictions: Beijing's
Traffic Management Bureau has announced the lifting in some
areas of the odd/even license plate restrictions imposed on
07/20/2008 to reduce pollution and to keep vehicles off the
streets of Beijing during the Olympic Games. As of
08/28/2008, the restrictions will no longer apply on roads
outside the 5th Ring, with the exception of the airport
highway and sections of the Badaling and Beijing-Chengde
expressway; however, the regulations will remain in place
until 09/20/2008 for all locations within the 5th Ring Road.
In addition, all Olympic travel lanes will reopen to traffic
on 08/28/2008 and 24 of the 34 Olympic bus routes will be
closed as of 08/31/2008. The bureau noted that eight Olympic
bus routes will remain in operation through the Paralympics.

11. (U) Status of United Flight and Departure of Olympic
Personnel: The 08/25/2008 United Airlines flight to
Washington, DC, that was delayed until 0830 hours local time
on 08/26/2008 (ref. c) has departed Beijing. Two hundred and
forty U.S. Olympics athletes and a number of USG personnel
were ticketed on the flight. The change in schedule is not

BEIJING 00003300 004 OF 006


expected to affect United's other daily flights to
Washington; according to Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) representatives, the airline is
operating at full or nearly full capacity from 08/25/2008
through 08/27/2008--the peak travel days for Olympics
departures. With the exception of the DS watch officer, the
two FBI on-scene personnel, and the 17 Paralympic FLOs, all
USG Olympic support personnel will have departed Beijing as
of 08/28/2008. The majority of U.S. Olympic athletes,
coaches, and family members were scheduled to leave China
prior to 08/27/2008.


VIPS
----
12. (SBU) Departure of Head of USG Delegation: Secretary
of Labor Elaine Chao--who led the USG Delegation to the
Olympics Closing Ceremony--departed Beijing on 08/26/2008 for
Shanghai. Secretary Chao will remain in Shanghai until her
departure from China on 08/28/2008.

13. (SBU) USG Delegation to the Paralympic Games: The USG
Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games is
scheduled to arrive in Beijing on 09/05/2008. The
composition of the Delegation has not yet been announced.


PUBLIC AFFAIRS/PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
-------------------------------
14. (SBU) White House Comments on Human Rights: White
House spokesperson Tony Fratto's 08/25/2008 comments on
China's human rights record during the Olympics received wide
coverage in the Western media. Reuters quoted Fratto as
saying, "It was maybe a missed opportunity for the Chinese to
demonstrate their willingness to be more open and to allow
more freedom...I would say perhaps we're disappointed that
they didn't take the full opportunity that was offered to
them while the world was watching during these Olympics."
Fratto's comments came after the 08/24/2008 U.S. Embassy
statement pressing for the immediate release of eight
detained American pro-Tibet protesters (ref. d) and expressed
disappointment with China's failure to demonstrate greater
tolerance during the Olympic Games.

15. (U) Embassy Statement Receives Coverage: The
Embassy,s 08/24/2008 statement on the eight detained U.S.
citizens--whom the Chinese deported to the U.S. the same
evening--also received wide media coverage. A front page
article in the 08/25/2008 Financial Times observed, "On the
day of the Closing Ceremony of the Games, the U.S. Embassy in
Beijing issued an unusually strong statement criticizing
Chinese authorities for their handling of protests and
dissent during the fortnight.... The tough language employed

BEIJING 00003300 005 OF 006


by the U.S. underlines the way the Beijing Games have at
times been overshadowed by accusations of human rights
abuses." An 08/25/2008 article in the Washington Post read,
"Before Sunday, the United States had made few public
statements while China rounded up and deported foreigners who
participated in unauthorized demonstrations." The New York
Times on 08/25/2008 quoted a "Students for a Free Tibet"
activist as saying that "pressure from Western governments
and attention from the foreign news media might have prompted
the early release of some of the detainees."


CONSULAR AFFAIRS
----------------
16. (SBU) Summary of Detentions: During the period
08/06/2008 to 08/24/2008, 44 U.S. citizens were detained by
Chinese authorities for various violations of Chinese law.
Thirty-four Americans--28 of which were affiliated with the
"Students for a Free Tibet" (SFT) and six of which belonged
to "Free Tibet Reporters"--were detained while staging or
planning pro-Tibet protests; five were detained for
ticket-scalping; four were Christian activists protesting
Chinese policies on abortion and religious freedom; and one
was detained following an altercation with a taxi driver.
Separately, another pro-Tibet activist was denied entry into
China upon arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport
on 08/07/2008 and was returned to the U.S. on a returning
flight on 08/08/2008. Of the 44 detained Americans, all but
one was deported to the United States; the remaining
individual is currently on bail awaiting possible trial for
assaulting a taxi driver.

17. (SBU) Rights Activist Deported: According to family
members and later confirmed by Beijing's Public Security
Bureau, U.S. citizen Edward Romero was deported from China on
08/26/2008. Romero is a rights activist whose protest
involved defacing of hotel rooms; he was detained by Chinese
police on 08/24/2008 while staging a protest at Tiananmen
Square (ref. d).

18. (U) Tibet Earthquake: According to Chinese state-run
media, an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale
struck Zhongba County in the southern region of Tibet at 2122
hours local time on 08/25/2008. A U.S. Consulate General
Chengdu consular officer who is currently in Lhasa felt no
tremors in the Tibetan capital. There are no reports of
injured or missing American citizens.


POLITICAL AFFAIRS
-----------------
19. (SBU) MFA Urges Respect for Chinese Law: According to
media reports, in the wake of the numerous pro-Tibet

BEIJING 00003300 006 OF 006


independence protests and deportations of activists that took
place during the Olympics, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) issued a statement on 08/25/2008 noting that
engaging in "Tibet independence" activities violates Chinese
law. "We hope the relevant countries will educate their
nationals in respecting Chinese law when they come to China,"
the MFA statement added.

20. (SBU) Reported Detention of Underground Catholic Bishop
Jia: The U.S. Embassy is seeking further information and
registering concern with the Chinese Government over
08/26/2008 media reports that Bishop Julius Jia
Zhiguo--already under house arrest as a leading figure in the
underground Catholic Church in China--was detained on
08/24/2008. The Chinese Government has detained Jia on
numerous occasions for his underground church activities.

21. (SBU) Chinese Media Lavish Praise on Olympics
Achievement: Chinese national media outlets have effusively
praised China's hosting of the Olympic Games and the Games'
positive impact on China's image in the world. "An image of
an entirely new great country appeared before the world,"
read the Beijing Youth Daily. The English-language China
Daily declared: "The Games were a historic climax of three
decades of China opening to the world." The People's Daily,
the Communist Party's mouthpiece, claimed that "never before
has the Olympic spirit been shared as today, building a
bridge of unity and friendship." Chinese media also reported
extensively on positive comments from foreign governments and
media. Absent from Chinese media coverage is any mention of
controversies surrounding the Olympics, such as suppression
of internal dissent, limitations on press freedoms and other
human rights, and unrest in Tibet and the Xinjiang Uighur
Autonomous Region.
RANDT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC