Hamburg - China appears heading towards a PR disaster of Olympic proportions in connection with the protests marring the torch relay for the Beijing Games. While the pro-Tibet demonstrations and incidents in London, Paris and San Francisco made front-page news around the world on Tuesday, China blasted them as outrageous and a violation of Olympic values.Full article
Confronted with the ugly scenes around what was to be a symbol of harmony, the IOC is allegedly now even questioning the future of the torch relay.
French television described the trouble-marred Paris leg of the relay as "the torch's way of the cross," the nation's papers spoke of "a fiasco" and "a nightmare," while Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an editorial called the incidents "the fight for the flame."
US readers found a photo of human rights activists on the pylons of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on the New York Times front page, with the caption "A protest of Olympic proportions."
China and protesters both claim the right to use the Olympic flame as a strong symbol - with the IOC caught somewhere in-between.
But it is China that has more to lose.
No one disputes that Tibet as a territory is a part of China. But China's crackdown of the unrest there only confirms the critics that China is trying to crush the culture and religion of the autonomous province.
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