Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Chinese relying on Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors for Olympic security
The Chinese have spent almost $47 billion in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The spending is a record for the athletic event and has been used to construct and improve athletic facilities, mass transit systems including subways, new highways, hotels and a general citywide clean up.
However, almost none of the $47 billion has been earmarked for security. The city and country feel existing safeguards are sufficient for the games.
"We have this giant wall and an entire army of clay warriors. We really didn't think spending money on more security was justifiable," said Yang Juang, an Olympic security adviser.
Juang is referring to the Great Wall of China which is less than 50 miles north of Beijing. The wall stretches for more than 4,000 miles and would be very difficult for any terrorist to negotiate if coming from the north on foot.
The statue warriors mentioned by Juang are stationed in Xi'an which is nearly 600 miles to the southwest of the capital. Officials hope the Terracotta Warriors, as they are called, will deter terrorist activity simply with their intimidating posture and stare.
"If terrorists or harm-doers were able to make it past the Wall, highly unlikely, then the warriors would be waiting for them in Xi'an and could make it to the Capital in less than a week. They are made of the toughest terracotta on the planet and terracotta can scare the meanest person," said Juang.