China is to set up designated areas in three parks in Beijing in which people can make protests during the Olympic Games, the Wall Street Journal reported. A park in the city’s main diplomatic area and another in the university district will each play host to one of these designated protest areas. Given that Chinese law requires that would-be protesters first obtain government permits, it is unclear how far participants will be permitted to go in their activities. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) admitted to having encouraged the Chinese to find "ways to manage any protests." However, human rights advocates were not impressed, complaining that the protest areas are too far from Olympic venues. Nicholas Bequelin, China research director for the New York-based activist group Human Rights Watch described it as a means of allowing China and the IOC "to pretend they respect rights to demonstrate when in fact they don’t."