China condemns Tibet protesters, says won't shake bid resolve

Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:00am EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Thursday condemned pro-Tibet demonstrators who burst into a news event with the Olympic committee bidding to host the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, saying they would not shake China's resolve to host the Games.

The protest on Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland, could be the first of many such demonstrations and be a public-relations headache for China if Beijing wins the bid to host the event.

Three Tibetans disrupted Beijing's presentation, according to the International Tibet Network, a Tibetan advocacy group. Online video footage showed one protester being dragged away by security officers as he shouted: "Stop Beijing 2022. No more bloody Games again. IOC, don't make the same mistake again."

Tibetan parts of China experienced a wave of violent anti-Chinese protests in 2008, the year Beijing hosted the Summer Olympics. Rights groups said the Games were marked by forced evictions - claims angrily dismissed at the time by the government - and other abuses.

China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since troops "peacefully liberated" the region in 1950.

Protesters in Lausanne held a banner with the Olympic rings displayed as bullet holes, while a woman wore a t-shirt covered in fake blood.

"These people were deliberately provocative," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.

"Their behavior will not shake the resolve of the Chinese government and people to apply to hold the Winter Olympics in Beijing."

Beijing's bid committee did not respond to a request for comment.   Continued...