A special team of Nepalese police and army personnel has been given orders to use force if necessary to stop anti-China protests on Everest. Liam Cochrane reports from Kathmandu.
Expeditions heading towards Mount Everest will face tight security checks this climbing season, as Nepal tries to prevent anti-China demonstrations on its side of the mountain.
The army has sent 15 soldiers trained in mountaineering to set up a checkpoint at Camp One, the first stopping point above Everest Base Camp.
There will also be a team of armed police on the mountain.
Their role will be to check the bags of climbers for restricted items - such as cameras and satellite phones - in an effort to avoid any embarrassing protests, as the torch makes its way to the summit, located on the border between Nepal and China.
The army has also sent 11 "liaison officers" who will accompany expeditions.
Nepal's Home Minister Modraj Dotel says he hoped force will not be needed, but troops will open fire if necessary.
"If there is violent activities, then it is a possibility," said Dotel.
Nepal has officially banned mountaineering above Camp Three between the first and 10th of May, the time the Olympic torch is expected to reach the summit.
The Home Minister said the increased security forces were not deployed at the specific request of China, but were part of Nepal's support for the 'One-China Policy' of its northern neighbor.
"No, its not a question of a Chinese request, it is a policy of the government of Nepal that it has adopted One-China Policy and it will not allow any anti-China activities here in this land," he added.
In the past weeks, Nepal has cracked down hard on peaceful protests by Tibetan exiles in Kathmandu.
Hundreds have been detained and later released in the sometimes violent clashes with riot police, but the demonstrations continue almost daily in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics.