Security clampdown takes effect for National Day

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, September 30, 2009
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Chen Xiang walks to a police van and asks his colleague to take a photo of him with the vehicle and two armed special policemen in the background on a busy Beijing steet.

"They are so cool. See the uniform? It's all black with a helmet and gloves, like in the movies," says Chen, who works in a Beijing-based bank but is a native of east China's Nanjing. "I'll definitely show this to my family when I get back tomorrow."

As the National Day approaches, an unprecedented number of police are patroling the streets of Beijing.

On Oct. 1, police officers will patrol parade routes in cars, on bikes and on foot and reinforced police vans will be deployed at key spots to ensure absolute security, says Ma Zhenchuan, chief of Beijing Public Security Bureau.

"All police, including firefighters and traffic police officers, in Beijing are on duty and fully prepared," Ma says.

In all corners of Beijing, 800,000 people, half of them over the age of 50, are wearing red armbands that read "safety volunteers."

"I'm not on alert. I'm just living my life and doing my job. But if anyone needs help, I'll offer him a hand," says Ma, one of the volunteers who owns a shoe-polishing stand in downtown Beijing.

"All the volunteers are properly trained in security precautions, first-aid and protection against fire and electricity," says Xu Shihui with Beijing Comprehensive Management Office.

"And all the volunteers will eventually join the patrols as the city's patrol level rises to the highest level on the National Day," Xu says.

"The police will conduct security checks in shopping malls, scenic spots, hotels and other places with large crowds," says Ma. "Each bag found in public will be inspected to rule out all safety hazards."

Kong Ling, a 24-year-old office worker welcomes the measures. "You can walk around with loads of money in hand and have absolutely no worry about getting robbed, and it's a great feeling."

In Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, around 40,000 vehicles are being inspected by more than 1,200 police officers for weapons, explosives, poisons, radioactive substances and other hazards at 55 road checkpoints, says Cai Qing with the region's traffic police.

"Although strict traffic inspection has been implemented, we have received no order for a traffic control." Cai said.

Any explosive larger than the tip of a matchstick will be exposed by state-of-the-art detectors, says traffic policeman Wang Yi, at Wulabo inspection station where more than 10,000 vehicles are checked everyday.

"I understand it's a special time because the National Day is coming. The officers are very polite and quite professional," says motorist Wang Xiaogang. "It takes less than a minute, no big deal for me."

The provincial government of north China's Hebei has put the heat on officials, by threatening immediate suspension for the person in charge when a serious emergency occurs, according to a government statement.

The public security bureau of Xi'an, capital of north China's Shaanxi Province, has reminded the public that setting off fireworks without a license is illegal and called on the people to report such activities.

Without a special license issued by the police, the sale and lighting of fireworks are only legally allowed during the 25 days around Spring Festival, said a spokesman with the bureau who declined to give his name.

At Mawei port, in Fuzhou, capital city of south China's Fujian Province, a team of more 100 officers rescued 70 tourists from two masked terrorists and repaired a ship spilling fuel into the sea in a drill held by the provincial frontier defense and maritime affairs departments to ensure the safety of China's waters for the National Day.

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