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Chinese Military Squad Prepares Olympic Security
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The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has established an Olympic security taskforce, comprising units from the army, navy and air force, a senior PLA officer said on Thursday.

A command center has been organized and the staff have been selected and put through their paces, according to Tian Yixiang, director of the military bureau of the Beijing Olympic Games security work command center.

The security unit's remit would principally tackle non-traditional threats during the games, particularly biochemical and nuclear terror attacks, Tian said while briefing 65 defense attaches from 54 foreign embassies to China.

Under the comprehensive security plan of the Beijing Olympics, the PLA unit will oversee air protection for all areas, and maritime safety of coastal venues such as Qingdao or Hong Kong. It will act as a back-up to police response teams to prevent or deal with terror attacks and coordinate necessary rescue operations.

The PLA will also watch border control mechanisms to halt any potential activists from East Turkistan terrorist organizations, Falun Gong adherents or Tibetan separatists from getting to the games.

It will also be responsible for breaking up any protests destined to pursue a political agenda during the Games. "It is international practice for military forces to participate in security for Olympic Games," Tian said. "The PLA has completed emergency plans for non-traditional threats.

The military bureau with the Beijing Olympic Games security command center had sought to broaden its experience base and skill-set by taking part in exchanges with Australian and Greek units which had experienced Olympic duty whilst also observing Commonwealth Games security drills.

"The equipment and defense abilities of the PLA security unit for the Beijing Olympics will exceed those in the Athens Games," Tian said.

The military bureau is in charge of the PLA's security work and will operate under the direction of the Beijing Olympic Games security command center and the PLA's Headquarters of the General Staff.

(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2007)

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