Torch Embarks on Calmer China Tour

Citizens vow not to protest as stars carry flame
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 3:30 PM CDT
Torch Embarks on Calmer China Tour
Supporters parade with China national flags in cheer along the route of the Olympic torch in Macau, China, Saturday, May 3, 2008.    (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

The Olympic torch flickered in mainland China today in what will likely be a respite from its troubled worldwide tour. Security measures are in place for the relay, but Chinese citizens aren't in a protesting mood, the AP reports. “Even if no police were here, we would protect the torch with our bodies!” said one 18-year-old selling Chinese flags.

Jackie Chan and Yi Jianlian are expected to be among the 208 torch bearers, who will be covered by only three approved Chinese news outlets. Many in China have been outraged by the protests, saying Tibet is part of their homeland. "Those things won’t happen here because we have class,” one man said. But others along the torch's tour shrugged off the dispute and the flame itself as so much hoopla. (More China stories.)

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