China vowed on Tuesday to beef up security for the October summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Shanghai, promising a cordon to "net the sky and ground" after the hijacker attacks on the United States two weeks ago.
Leaders of 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation economies are scheduled to gather in Shanghai on October 20 and 21 for a summit slated to bring together US President George W. Bush and Chinese President Jiang Zemin for the first time.
The head of the Shanghai APEC Preparatory Office, Yang Guoqiang, told a news conference the city would set up a security web so tight it nets the sky and ground.
"After the September 11 incident, everyone is paying a lot of attention to security, especially for international conferences, and we are undertaking more comprehensive measures," Yang said.
"We are confident that nothing will slip through our comprehensive arrangements for APEC," said Yang.
Yang said as far as he knew, the leaders of all 21 APEC economies were planning to attend the summit.
US officials have said Bush still planned to visit China, although the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon on September 11 could prompt him to reconsider.
Yang said the organisers would make strict security checks at all conference venues and delegates' hotels. They have also studied measures undertaken by airports overseas, he said.
"Shanghai has always been a very safe place and we don't want to see any terrorists entering Shanghai. We must strengthen our precautions," Yang said.
"If terrorists target Shanghai, they will find it is the most difficult place for their activities to succeed. I can say our web nets the sky and ground," he said.
Security at the June APEC trade ministers' conference, considered a dry-run for the October summit, was extremely rigid, with road closures, sections of the city cordoned off and bomb-sniffing dogs checking cars entering the conference area.
Shanghai residents have been given a holiday from October 17-21 to help ease traffic, Yang said. He did not have a figure for the number of security personnel to be employed.
APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.
(china Daily 09/26/2001)