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Beijing in Urgent Need of Digital Networks
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Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan said on Sunday that the development of digital networks to handle emergencies was an urgent requirement for Beijing to become a modern metropolis.

Zeng made the call when visiting workers at the Urban Management Bureau of Beijing.

"The new project is not only in the interests of the 15 million Beijing residents, it will also aid the nation's overall urbanization process," Zeng said.

According to a pilot scheme in use in Dongcheng District of Beijing, its 25.38-square-km territory was divided into 1,593 cellular units similar to the way in which mobile phone networks work. When an emergency concerning water, road or telecommunication equipment occurs, the "patrol police" made up of community volunteers can report to the system operator in real time, speeding up response times.

Zeng said the system's high-efficiency operation model is just what China needs as cities become bigger and more crowded and render the traditional way of management as inefficient.

(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2007)

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