There’s been a mixed reaction to China’s partial lifting of its ban on unrestricted internet access for foreign media.
With just a week to go before the Games begin, China’s President Hu Jintao, gave a rare news conference to ask people not to politicise the Olympics and called for dialogue to resolve contentious issues.
A number of previously unavailable media or human rights organisation websites are now accessible, a move the president suggested would continue.
“China’s door to the outside is always open, both during the Olympic Games and after. We will always welcome foreign journalists and reporters in China to cover what is happening here,” he said.
His comments are being seen by some as a climbdown.
But China is refusing to budge over access to sites it deems insensitive such as those dedicated to pro-Tibetan groups or the Tiananmen Square democracy movement.
Security is another area where Beijing is not prepared to budge.
Police are making their presence felt in the capital, which is providing much relief to some tourists
“For security reasons I have absolutely no questions that the Olympics will be an absolutely safe Games this year,” one tourist said.
However, human rights groups say China is using Olympic security as an excuse to crack down on internal dissent.