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Envoy allays fears of attacks


GABORONE - The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will be safe from any possible terrorist attacks, says Chinese ambassador to Botswana Mr Ding Xiaowen.

Speaking in an interview, Mr Xiaowen said the Chinese government has made preparations to deal with anything unexpected.

"Beijing is a much safer city than most in the world and should anything happen, we will expect a quick and efficient response." Mr Xiaowen said.

He said that the security is much better and because of the games, it would have to be beefed up to ensure the smooth running of the games.

Mr Xiaowen said because of the many internationals expected in China, the organising committee as well as the Chinese Government would work closely to guard against any danger.

He added that his government has spent almost P120 billion in ensuring that the problem of pollution is addressed.

Beijing has a problem of air pollution due to its many industries and cars in the streets.

Mr Xiaowen said they are trying to reduce the air pollution by closing down factories during the time of the Olympics, and also emphasised that although the air is not good, it is not poisonous as some reports say.

He said they have pursued hosting the Olympic Games for a long time and believes hosting the games would promote peace and solidarity between the Chinese people and the rest of the world.

Mr Xiaowen also admitted that they still have a lot to do to improve their human rights record, which has often been criticized.

On the Botswana team to the Olympics, Mr Xiaowen said he believes they would bring home a medal.

"We fully support the team and that is why we have provided incentives for them to encourage them to win some medals," said Mr Xiaowen. BOPA

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