Beijing Blasts Torch Protests
Marches "tarnish the lofty Olympic spirit," China says
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2008 8:28 PM CDT
China has denounced protests in London and Paris, claiming "the despicable activities tarnish the lofty Olympic spirit," and denying reports that the torch was extinguished during its relay in France.   (AP Photo/Patrick Kovarik, pool)
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(Newser) – Today China denounced the protests that have disrupted Olympic torch relays in London and Paris over the past 2 days, Reuters reports. "The despicable activities tarnish the lofty Olympic spirit," a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. She also denied media reports that "the Olympic torch was forced to be extinguished during its relay in Paris."

"We express our strong condemnation of the deliberate disruption of the Olympic torch relay by 'Tibetan independence' separatist forces, who gave no thought to the Olympic spirit or the laws of Britain and France," she said. The torch will arrive Wednesday in San Francisco, where protests have already begun. Paris police reportedly extinguished the flame 5 times today during massive pro-Tibet rallies.