China favours torch relay in London for Paralympics

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London, Apr.14 : China wants to parade the Olympic flame through London again in advance of the Paralympic Games.

The Paralympic torch is scheduled to arrive in London on August 31, before moving on to Sochi in Russia and Hong Kong. It will also pass through Vancouver and will reappear in Beijing in time for the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on September 6, reports The Times.

Although many of the torchbearers are likely to be disabled athletes, protesters have vowed to take to the streets of London if China has not improved its record in Tibet and on human rights.

The event raises the possibility of demonstrators charging into the path of wheelchair-bound sports stars in an attempt to extinguish the Olympic flame.

Beijing officials have been liaising with the British Paralympic Association (BPA) to organise the UK leg of the new relay and the Metropolitan Police have been put on standby.

Scrapping the event would be regarded by China as a snub, but a compromise could involve the torch being carried along a very short route or in an enclosed environment such as an open-top bus.

The Greater London Authority, which organised last weekend's event, said it had received "no formal proposal" for a second torch relay.

ANI

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