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China Holds State-level Anti-terrorist Exercise
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China launched Saturday morning its third state-level anti-terrorist exercise, involving both military and civil departments in the response to a terrorist biochemical attack.

The exercise, dubbed Great Wall No. 3, began at 10 AM in Qingdao City in east China's Shandong Province but was coordinated from Beijing.

The exercise, based on terrorist attack scenarios, focused on the city's emergency response and its capacity to mobilize anti-terrorism forces.

Contrary to two previous exercises, the target city was not revealed beforehand and no rehearsals for the attack were carried out.

As soon as the simulated biochemical attack began, a local headquarters was set up to muster and dispatch emergency forces, a pattern which is expected to serve as a model for Chinese cities in future anti-terrorist work.

Zhou Yongkang, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security, commanded the drill. He said that the exercise was a means of testing emergency security systems in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

"The country must be ready for terrorist threats and prevent major terrorist crimes from occurring in China, to ensure the successful holding of the 17th national congress of the Communist Party of China next year and the 2008 Olympics," Zhou said.

Zhou said that intensifying efforts to combat terrorism and safeguard social stability is crucial to the building of a harmonious society in China.

"We must implement anti-terror measures and keep a careful watch on terrorist threats," Zhou said.

China held a state-level anti-terror drill dubbed "Great Wall 2003" in Sep. 2003 and "Great Wall No. 2" in Jan. 2006.

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2006)

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