The state visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Latvia attracted public attention by unprecedented security measures. According to local political observers, the measures exceed those taken during the visits by the US and French President and the Pope.
Jiang Zemin arrived in Riga, accompanied by 170 people, 100 of them being special services' officers. He refused to meet with the Latvian public and journalists. He read his brief address to the press after the meeting with Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga in a separate room, and journalists saw it on TV.
On Tuesday morning Jiang Zemin made a short tour over old Riga and attended the Dome Cathedral. In this connection the Dome Square, several banks, Radio House, the stock exchange, many restaurants and cafes were closed an hour before the trip. Numerous snipers were on the roofs of neighbouring buildings.
Traditional events, which are usually held during foreign leaders' visits, were not included in the agenda for security purposes. For instance, Jiang Zemin didn't lay flowers to the monument of Freedom in Riga's centre.
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