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Neighborly Security Effort for the Games
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The capital city Beijing will coordinate with neighboring Hebei Province and Tianjin Municipality to maintain security and ease traffic flows during the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games, according to an agreement signed under the auspices of a regional security framework on Tuesday in Beijing.


Under the so-called Moat Project, police in Hebei and Tianjin will make sure that traffic flows into and out of the capital remain orderly during large-scale activities, emergencies and bad weather.


Hebei and Tianjin have also promised to step up inspections in areas abutting Beijing by targeting suspicious vehicles and people, reporting information about crimes to their counterparts and preventing the "three evil forces" terrorism, separatism and extremism from taking root in border areas or finding their way into the capital city.


The three sides also agreed to "give no hiding places to criminals" and to work together to "prevent large-scale hazardous environmental or public health accidents".


"Unlike in the past, when we worked independently from each other, now police from the three sides will work together on every procedure, from filing a case to solving it," said Ma Zhenchuan, director of the Beijing Social Security Bureau, during the signing ceremony.


The Moat Project has taken the unprecedented step of creating guidelines for an annual conference and systematic cooperation between the three sides, said Ma.


The framework warns of severe administrative penalties for officials who, as a result of dereliction of duty, allow the existence of loopholes that affect the whole region.


Zhou Benshun, deputy secretary general of the Central Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs, who presided over Tuesday's conference, said the Moat Project would be a key part of the security effort for the 2008 Games.


The agreement will also create a natural safety screen to reduce the potential of any harm to the capital city, he said.


Established in 1997, the Moat Project has been a powerful force in maintaining security and economic progress in the region, said Zhou.


For example, police from the three areas worked together to crack about 400 criminal cases, crack down on 10 gangs and round up more than 300 criminal suspects.


(China Daily January 12, 2007)




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