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China urges France not to encourage disturbance against Olympic torch relay
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20:49, April 03, 2008

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China on Thursday urged related French officials not to encourage disturbing actions against the upcoming Olympic torch relay in Paris.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu made the remarks at a regular press conference here when asked to comment on Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe's reported statement about erecting a human rights banner when the Olympic torch passes through Paris.

The Olympic flame is scheduled to arrive in Paris on April 7.Jiang said this was an honor and pride of the French people, and was a good opportunity to exhibit France's love for the Olympics.

She reminded the related French officials of respecting the Olympic spirit and its principles, saying they should not take actions against public opinion and not encourage any disturbance or disruption actions against the torch relay.

The Olympic flame belonged to the world's people, Jiang said, believing that the French people would cherish the Olympic torch relay.

On Wednesday, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev carried the Olympic flame as the first torchbearer. The 20-kilometer relay through Almaty was the first stopover of the 2008 Games torch outside China's mainland.

Jiang said Nazarbayev and the Kazak people welcomed the Olympic torch with great enthusiasm and ceremony in a magnificent manner. The Kazaks showed the world their passion for peace and the Olympics, and exhibited Almaty's brand-new situation.

The sacred flame is now in Istanbul, Turkey. It will next travel to St. Petersburg, followed by London, Paris, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Dar es Salaam, Muscat, Islamabad, New Delhi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Canberra, Nagano, Seoul, Pyongyang, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Macao, before returning to China's mainland.

The longest-ever Olympic torch relay, dubbed the "Journey of harmony", will last 130 days and cover 137,000 kilometers.

Source: Xinhua

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