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Tanks Greet Members of the Media

Two small tanks showed up Monday morning at both entrances of the offices here for print journalists, creating a frenzy of photographing and questions for Games organizers.

Prior to the appearance of the armored vehicles, security had been conducted with surprising inconspicousness. Some reporters noticed a sign posted at media living quarters that stated that, as of Sunday, additional security measures were being taken. The changes came on the heels of the shooting of the in-laws of the U.S. men's indoor volleyball coach last Friday, but Beijing officials would not confirm a link.

"I'm not the person who [deploys] all this," said Wang Wei, spokesperson for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee. "It's meant to be protective and safeguard security and safety. ... I've been to different Games, and I don't think this is a surprise in Beijing. I've seen these kinds of things in other Games."

By Amy Shipley  |  August 12, 2008; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  Security  
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Comments

The coaches in-laws were stabbed, not shot.

Posted by: dave | August 12, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

A tank is a tracked armoured combat vehicle designed to engage enemies head-on, using direct and indirect fire from a large-calibre gun. You may remember them from their starring roles in Tiananmen in 1989, and in the Republic of Georgia in the present day.

The vehicle parked outside your door is an armored personal carrier (APC) of the Wujing, or armed police - specifically, the WZ901 variant. That's an important distinction. As in China, law enforcement authorities throughout the United States maintain armored vehicles for security functions. It may be a little off-putting to the press, and it's entirely unclear to this observer what practical (as opposed to demonstrative) role these vehicles might be intended to play in securing facilities, but it's not all that alarming.

A tank is a military vehicle designed for combat; when China deploys tanks to secure the olympics, we're all in a lot of trouble.

Posted by: Cynic | August 12, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

A tank is a tracked armoured combat vehicle designed to engage enemies head-on, using direct and indirect fire from a large-calibre gun. You may remember them from their starring roles in Tiananmen in 1989, and in the Republic of Georgia in the present day.

The vehicle parked outside your door is an armored personal carrier (APC) of the Wujing, or armed police - specifically, the WZ901 variant. That's an important distinction. As in China, law enforcement authorities throughout the United States maintain armored vehicles for security functions. It may be a little off-putting to the press, and it's entirely unclear to this observer what practical (as opposed to demonstrative) role these vehicles might be intended to play in securing facilities, but it's not all that alarming.

A tank is a military vehicle designed for combat; when China deploys tanks to secure the olympics, we're all in a lot of trouble.

Posted by: Cynic | August 12, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Y'all journalists would make good prisoners of war...
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9799

Posted by: beerman | August 12, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Amy, you are an idiot

Shot? they were stabbed

APC is not a tank

Posted by: Amy should go | August 12, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I see armored police vehicles every day in NYC, home to the NYPD, the sixth-largest standing army in the world.

Posted by: rah | August 12, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed this rant from sailinganarchy.com

I think it says it all.

http://www.sailinganarchy.com/index_page1.php

Enter The Draggin'
Ass-draggin', that is. To no one's surprise, the first days Olympic racing for the Finn, Yngling, and 49er featured sweltering heat and smog over nearly non-existent breeze and current of up to two knots in nasty Qingdao, China. The racing was a typical light air crapshoot and something of a joke, though none of the racers will say so for fear of being kicked out of their gracious host nation.
“Regimentation defies common sense and is rife,” said our underwhelmed friend and Anarchist insider, Fonder Cox. “No one is allowed to stray from the party line at all, and believe me, they want to! Some of the best sailors in the world are competing for the highest honor they can win, and it's all a joke. At least most of the weed is gone...”
On a positive note, nearly all the races are available – in their entirety – from various Olympic-sanctioned websites – the first time that's ever happened. In the US, you can find them here, though navigating the NBC site in search of specific races is nearly impossible unless they are happening live. Today we were lucky enough to catch NBC-TV's broadcast of the pulse-pounding “synchronized diving” competition, and for a moment, we wondered “how the hell can this crap get TV viewers while sailing is relegated to web-only broadcasts?” Then we watched the Finn races on NBC's site, and we were happy the world didn't have to suffer through this kind of sailing on TV - watching grandmothers sew would attract far more viewers. Even the high-powered, colorful 49ers were nearly impossible to watch for an entire race. Their crew balled up in front of the mast, barely able to get downwind at all, their frustration palpable, but their choices minimal. Somehow, the idiots supplying climate information to the live feed included wind data that included the “Qingdao Correction,” mentioned over the past year by the sailors. The feed called it “8 knots,” which corrects to 3-4 knots anywhere else in the world.
We've already seen that China's agreements on press access and censorship are worth precisely zero, and that the IOC is an impotent, spread-eagled in front of China's policies. We suppose that's politics as usual, as sad as that may be. The choice of venue for the Sailing events should not have been politics though – it should have been a choice made to guarantee fair competition, at a minimum. Instead, we're left with a polluted site with no wind and issues with smog, algae, and competitor health. Why? Ms. Cox puts it best: “150 miles up the coast is a much better site with a 150% sized replica of the Weymouth Academy set up, but the burgesses of Qingdao paid for the Olympic regatta and they are jealously guarding the event they purchased.”
Here's a look at the 49ers from Ingrid Abery, and one of those rare times that still photos look far more enticing than being there.

Posted by: flynnie | August 12, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Amy--Get a new job. They were stabbed not shot. As a journalist aren't you supposed to check the facts? What kind of "journalists" are working here at the post?

Posted by: Lindsey | August 12, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

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