sharing the Olympic spirit

Foreigners get Games' guide to dos and don'ts
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-06-03 07:08


Foreigners suspected of having the potential to carry out terrorist or violent attacks, or indulge in subversive activities will be denied entry into China during the Olympic Games.

A legal guide posted on the Beijing Olympic Games organizers' (BOCOG) website Monday says: "Foreigners must respect Chinese laws while in China and must not harm China's national security or damage the social order."

The legal guide covers a wide range of subjects for foreigners, from their entry, exit and tourism to accommodation and transportation in the country.

It warns overseas visitors against shouting insulting slogans or displaying them on banners, and forbids the display of religious, political or racial banners at sports venues.

Detailing some other activities forbidden at cultural and sport events, the guide warns against attacking referees or players and lighting of fireworks.

Foreign spectators cannot take Olympic tickets as a license to getting visas. Instead, they have "to apply for visas in accordance with the rules of the Chinese embassies" in their countries.

Weapons (real and imitation) ammunition, explosives, counterfeit currency notes, narcotics and poisons are some of the items not allowed into China, the guide says.

The guide explains some of the relevant Chinese laws in 57 question-and-answer forms, offering "legal reference for foreign athletes, officials, reporters and tourists to know and obey related Chinese laws during their stay in China for the Olympic Games".

It makes it clear that an organizer has to apply to police and obtain permission before holding a public gathering, parade or protest. Those doing so otherwise face administrative punishments and/or criminal prosecution.

It lists the numbers of some emergency services such as hospitals and fire brigade, too.

The guide was prepared by the legal affairs office of Beijing municipality and other government departments, and its English version will be issued soon, BOCOG sources said.

Apology for manual

The BOCOG has apologized for the language used in a manual for volunteers to describe physically challenged athletes.

The English-language manual has stereotypes, which Zhang Qiuping, director of Beijing's Paralympic Games, has said was the result of "poor translation".

"We would like to express our deepest apologies to the organizations, athletes with disabilities and friends who were offended by our publication," the BOCOG said in a statement Monday.

The organizing committee has recalled the manual and is correcting the discrepancies.

The book offered guidance to volunteers on a wide range of subjects, from how to serve the physically challenged to the basic rules of the Paralympics. About 30,000 volunteers have signed up to work for the Sept 6-17 Paralympic Games.

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