Bush Arrives In Beijing For Summer Olympics

BEIJING — President Bush has arrived in Beijing for the Summer Olympics amid tensions with the Chinese over his demand that the rising world power grant more freedom to its people.

Bush, an avid sports fan and former part-owner of the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball, flew to the city on the eve of the opening of the long-anticipated games.

He has said he wants to enjoy the competition but also will talk to Chinese President Hu Jintao about human rights and other issues.

Bush said earlier in the week that he speaks candidly with Hu on freedom and other issues. But he skirted a question about a pre-Olympics security drive by Chinese authorities.

On Thursday China responded to President Bush’s speech criticizing Beijing for repression, saying no one should interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China and the United States have divergent views on human rights and religions issues, but said Beijing firmly opposed “any words or acts” that used those issues to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.

Qin’s statement, posted on the ministry’s Web site Thursday, responded to remarks in a speech Bush made in Thailand earlier Thursday that Washington firmly opposed China’s detention of political and rights and religious activists.