They say the relay, covering some 137,000 km, will be the longest ever in Olympic history.
 
However, the decision to include Tibet in the torch relay has angered opponents of Chinese rule in the Himalayan territory.
 
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They say the torch route is a way of underscoring and legitimising what they argue is China's occupation of Tibet.
 
In April, China deported five American tourists after they demonstrated for a free Tibet and protested against the games at the base of Mount Everest.
 
Under the plans for the relay, the torch will begin its journey in Beijing on March 31 next year, with the attempt to reach the summit of Everest slated for May.