Melbourne, Apr.21 : The Beijing Olympic torch relay will pass within 200 metres of the Chinese embassy this Thursday, even as there are concerns that the event could be marred by "football hooliganism".
Unveiled late last night, the relay route will come within 200 metres of the front gate of the imposing Chinese embassy, which is a well secured multi-building site, reports news.com.au.
It will start on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin at the symbolic Reconciliation Place, between the High Court and the National Library. From there it will head past the defence and intelligence precinct at Russell before moving up Anzac Parade to the war memorial. It will also pass by Parliament House before returning again to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.
Security officials have already begun erecting barricades around the national capital, four days out from the relay, in anticipation of trouble similar to that in London, Paris and San Francisco. Falun Gong activists often use the area outside the Chinese embassy compound to protest their concerns about the Beijing Government.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has urged people planning to join protests to show restraint and express their views peacefully.
He told Channel 10 that the protesting public must demonstrate in such a way as would be deemed appropriate by the Australian public.
Smith also confirmed that the security for the relay would be in Australian and not Chinese hands.
Chair of the ACT Torch Relay Planning Committee Ted Quinlan declared security for the event "paramount".