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Torch relay inspires show of patriotism in Hong Kong

HONG KONG — Hong Kong's nearly flawless Olympic torch relay Friday might help ease Beijing's suspicions that the former British colony doesn't love the Chinese motherland enough.

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Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents dressed in red — the Communist Party's favorite color — lined the streets and cheered during the flame's tour through the bastion of capitalism.

There were no massive protests demanding more democracy in the city that Britain handed back to China 11 years ago.

Human rights groups and pro-Tibet activists didn't try to block the relay, as such groups have during the flame's overseas odyssey in 20 nations.

Instead, for many in Hong Kong, it was a day to celebrate and to be proud to be Chinese. Many carried Chinese flags or wore big red stickers on their shirts saying, "Go China!"

After the relay, Hong Kong's No. 2 leader, Henry Tang, praised the turnout of more than 100,000, saying people created an "ocean of red that has washed over Hong Kong."

At times Friday, the strong feelings for China boiled over and caused conflicts with pro-Tibet and democracy protesters.

One large group of torch supporters confronted pro-democracy activists, yelling "Running dog!" and "Traitor!" and "Get out!" One heckler asked, "Do you think this is Paris?" — a reference to the disruption of the relay in the French capital.

About 80 police surrounded the protesters and eventually put them into a police van for protection.

Dalai Lama envoys arrive in China

The envoys of the Dalai Lama headed for China on Friday to hold the first talks with Chinese officials since violent protests erupted in Tibet. China has faced mounting calls to negotiate with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, and many believe it agreed to the talks in a bid to ease the pressure ahead of the Beijing Olympics. The two envoys were going to China for "informal talks with representatives of the Chinese leadership," the Dalai Lama's office in Dharmsala, India, said in a statement. It gave no further details on where or when the talks would take place, though Tibetan government spokesman Thubten Samphal said the envoys arrived Friday in Hong Kong.

Associated Press

Dalai Lama's envoys go to China for talks

Envoys of the Dalai Lama headed for China on Friday to hold the first talks with Chinese officials since violent protests erupted in Tibet. China has faced mounting calls to negotiate with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, and many believe it agreed to the talks in a bid to ease the pressure ahead of the Beijing Olympics. The two envoys were going to China for "informal talks with representatives of the Chinese leadership," the Dalai Lama's office in Dharmsala, India, said in a statement. It gave no further details on where or when the talks would take place, though Tibetan government spokesman Thubten Samphal said the envoys arrived Friday in Hong Kong.

Associated Press

Dalai Lama envoys arrive in China

The envoys of the Dalai Lama headed for China on Friday to hold the first talks with Chinese officials since violent protests erupted in Tibet. China has faced mounting calls to negotiate with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, and many believe it agreed to the talks in a bid to ease the pressure ahead of the Beijing Olympics. The two envoys were going to China for "informal talks with representatives of the Chinese leadership," the Dalai Lama's office in Dharmsala, India, said in a statement. It gave no further details on where or when the talks would take place, though Tibetan government spokesman Thubten Samphal said the envoys arrived Friday in Hong Kong.

Associated Press

Torch relay inspires show of patriotism in Hong Kong 05/02/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:28pm]

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