China says it will increase Games security
China said Tuesday it would step up security measures for the Olympic
Games, but refused to reveal any further details on mysterious bus
blasts in the country claimed by a Muslim separatist group.
“The Chinese government will enhance its security safeguarding for
the Olympic Games,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told
But Liu refused to disclose further details about the deadly bus
blasts in Shanghai and the southern city of Kunming, after a group
claiming to represent Muslims in China’s far northwest said it was
“The police authorities of China have already made clarifications on
the issue, and they have no more to add,” he said. The spokesman did
reiterate that there was no evidence of any link between the Olympics —
due to start on August 8 — and the explosions in Kunming last week.
“I don’t think it has any direct contact with the Beijing Olympic
Games,” he said. Police on Saturday denied claims that a group calling
itself the Turkestan Islamic Party was behind both the Kunming blasts
and those in Shanghai in May, according to the official Xinhua news
However the Xinhua dispatch was the only official reaction to the
Turkestan Islamic Party’s claims, and the government has given very
little information as to the circumstances surrounding the blasts.
According to global intelligence analysts Stratfor, the Turkestan
Islamic Party is another name for the Islamic Party of East Turkestan (ETIM),
a group seeking independence for northwestern Xinjiang.
China has previously said ethnic Uighurs living in that region were
planning to stage attacks on the Beijing Olympics, which begin on August
But rights groups have accused China of exaggerating the threat as an
excuse to silence dissent in the region, where many complain about
decades of repressive Chinese rule.
Olympic host city Beijing has already seen a huge security clampdown
ahead of the Games next week, including checks at subway stations,
restrictions on visas for foreigners and anti-aircraft missiles placed
near sporting venues.
About 150,000 police and other security personnel will be on hand to
safeguard the Games, Chinese officials have said previously.