Beijing to be No-Fly and No-Protest for Opening Ceremonies

Cathay Pacific Airlines recently reported that they have had to alter their flight schedule after they were told that Beijing‘s airport would be closed during the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. According to the Associated Press, the airport will be closed from about 7 p.m. until just before midnight on August 8th. This is one of the many precautions that China seems to be taking to increase security during the Olympics.

Certainly, the usual security fears associated with a major international event are part of the equation. Add to that the fact the Olympics would be a perfect stage for people from the provinces of Tibet and Xinjiang to voice their discontent to the world.

Plenty of things could go wrong for China during the month of August. The airport closure is just one example of the actions authorities are taking to make sure nothing that would cause a loss of face for China actually comes to pass.

Another face-saving measure: vetting all opening ceremonies performers for Tibetan sympathizers. You can be certain that Bjork or Richard Gere will not be gracing the stage on August 8th. Those who will perform have been issued a warning by Beijing: “The content of the performance should not violate the country’s law, including situations that harm the sovereignty of the country… incite racial hatred and ruin ethnic unity.”

Attendees have already been given their set of rules. Makes one wonder if it wouldn’t be more of a blast to wait until after the Olympics are over to pay China a visit.

Photo from Flickr user Melinda