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Container Checks in Shanghai

Chinese and US customs authorities launched a container security initiative (CSI) in Shanghai on Wednesday in which officials from both sides will check ship cargo for terrorist contraband, said the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs. 

"Enforcing CSI in Shanghai, one of China's leading seaports, is a good beginning for customs cooperation between the two countries," said Mou Xinsheng, the administration's top official.


Robert Bonner, US commissioner of customs and border protection, said, "This is a milestone in protecting trade lanes from the Pacific Rim to the US," and that his country was "grateful for China's strong support in helping make a safer, more secure world trading system."


Under the new initiative, the US will first send its customs officers to Shanghai, and Chinese customs officials will check US-bound containers suspected by both sides for terrorist contraband. The Chinese side will have the opportunity to send customs officers to major US ports to reciprocate.


Bonner said the move was a genuine celebration of China and US solidarity in protecting trade routes and the global economy against the threat of terrorism.


A joint declaration of principle on CSI was signed by the two countries on July 29, 2003, and the scheme is due to be extended to Shenzhen over the coming months.


CSI is the world's only multinational program aimed at protecting global trade lanes and container shipping from exploitation and disruption by terrorists, Bonner said.


China joins Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Japan in helping ensure secure flow of goods across the Pacific.


(China Daily April 28, 2005)

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