The IOC and China are having a gentle tiff. At a ceremony celebrating the torch’s passage through Lhasa, “noted hardliner” Zhang Qingli said:
“Tibet’s sky will never change and the red flag with five stars will forever flutter high above it. . . We will certainly be able to totally smash the splittist schemes of the Dalai Lama clique.”
The IOC responded, “The IOC regrets that political statements were made during the closing ceremony of the torch relay in Tibet.” And now that the torch has safely passed through Lhasa, Tibet will open to tourists again. Oh yeah, and they’re protecting the Olympic Games themselves with surface-to-air missiles. Safety first!