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Olympic Games: China

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2007, Official Report, column 758W, on Olympic Games: China, what specific exceptions the Beijing Olympic Games Organising Committee referred to during discussions on their commitment to the free movement of accredited and non-accredited journalists. (206959)

Media regulations implemented in China on 1 January 2007 apply to all foreign correspondents. The regulations temporarily lift restrictions on travel and the requirement to seek official permission for interviews up to and during the Olympics. We regularly urge the Chinese government to ensure the regulations are fully implemented in all regions (including Tibet), that they remain in place after the Olympics and be extended to China's domestic journalists.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 12 May 2008, Official Report, column 1059, on the Beijing Olympic Games, what assessment she has made of China's compliance with its commitment to the International Olympic Committee to ensure the free movement of accredited and non-accredited journalists in the run-up to the Olympics. (206970)

We welcomed the media regulations implemented in China on 1 January 2007 for foreign correspondents that temporarily lift restrictions on travel and the requirement to seek official permission for interviews up to and during the Olympics. We regularly urge the Chinese government to ensure the regulations are fully implemented in all regions (including Tibet), that they will remain in place after the Olympics and be extended to China's domestic journalists. The Foreign Secretary did so most recently during his visit to China in February. I raised this during my last visit to Beijing in November 2007, when I also mentioned the practical effect of the arrangements with British journalists resident in Beijing. I continue to raise this, most recently during the Chinese Minister for Information's visit to the UK in March.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many Government officials will accompany her to the Beijing Olympic Games; what the purpose of each individual's attendance is; and what estimate she has made of the costs associated with such attendance. (206976)

All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Library.

I will be accompanied by one Private Secretary to both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. I will also be working closely with the officials from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, including press officers and staff from the Government Olympic Executive.

I would also refer the hon. Member to the answer being given to him today by my hon. Friend the Minister of Sport about attendance at the Beijing Games.