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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China Lays Olympic Torch Path to Everest

September 21, 2007

BEIJING, September 20, 2007 (AP) — Chinese mountaineers will carry the
Olympic torch to the top of Mount Everest, making the final assault on
the world's tallest peak from a staging camp some 500 yards from the
summit, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

The head of China's mountaineering team, Wang Yongfeng, said plans for
the Everest leg of the torch relay for the 2008 Beijing Olympics were
being finalized, the Xinhua report said. From base camp at 17,000 feet,
the torch will be taken to a staging area at 27,400 feet and from there
to the 29,035-foot summit, Xinhua quoted Wang as saying.

Taking the torch up Everest is one of the most technically challenging
and politically charged events Beijing has planned for the Aug. 8-24
Olympics. Aside from the physical challenge of climbing the mountain,
which straddles the border of Nepal and Chinese-controlled Tibet, the
torch had to be designed to burn in bad weather, low pressure and high

While Beijing hopes the feat will impress the world, groups critical of
China's often harsh 57-year rule over Tibet have decried the torch route
as a stunt meant to lend legitimacy to Chinese control.

In April, five American activists were expelled from China after
unfurling a banner at Everest base camp that read, "One World, One
Dream, Free Tibet 2008," in a dig at the Beijing Games' official slogan
"One World, One Dream."


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