Beijing police created a new department on Monday to liaise with foreign security forces in helping prevent terrorist attacks during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The setting up of the International Liaison Department (ILD), under the 29th Olympic Security Command Center (OSCC), was announced officially at a reception attended by foreign police liaison officers and officials of embassies in Beijing.
The OSCC also launched the Beijing Olympic Security Website yesterday.
Qiang Wei, chief of the 29th Olympic Security Coordination Group (OSCG), said the ILD would cooperate with international counterparts in checking transnational crime and terrorist activities.
It will coordinate with police and Olympic security liaison officers from Beijing-based embassies as well as Interpol.
Qiang praised Beijing's preparations in ensuring the overall safety of the Olympic Games. He said the security arrangements during August's 11th Women's World Softball Championship, the first Olympic trial event in Beijing, were very successful and reflected the country's preparedness to hold a smooth Olympics.
Beijing's security measures will be rigorously tested this year, with 26 Olympic trial events scheduled mostly for the second half of the year, Qiang said.
Despite the accomplishments, he warned that Beijing should remain on high alert to ensure "a safe and harmonious" Games.
"Since the Olympics are one of the biggest international sports events, they have been targeted by various international terrorist organizations in the past," he said. Hence, it was important for Beijing to take foolproof "preventive measures".
A safe Olympics is the common goal of the international community, he said, adding that "this cannot be achieved without sufficient international cooperation, especially exchanges and contacts with the participating nations."
The Beijing Olympic Security Website, www.bjayab.cn, will serve as an official Internet portal where people can inform themselves about the security service and contact Olympic security officials for inquiries and suggestions.
The website offers services in simplified and traditional Chinese as well as English and French and has been designed to bring OSCC's security preparation effort to the whole world's attention.
At a press conference after the reception, OSCG Vice-Director Yu Hongyuan introduced a list of seven Olympic security plans for Beijing in 2007.
Yu said police were raising the number of staff in special Olympic security offices and refining detailed plans for each and every venue, hotel and hospital. They will target crime and traffic problems as part of their efforts to ensure a peaceful and smooth Games.
The overall security in Beijing is of equal importance to police, Yu said.
(China Daily January 16, 2007)