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China deploys armed police for National Day run-up
Latest Updated at 2009-September-3 10:05:01
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China is tightening security with tens of thousands of armed policemen guarding major facilities and streets during the country's 60th founding anniversary, which falls on Oct. 1.

Armed policemen in Beijing take part in a mobilization ceremony for their roles in ensuring security during the upcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 1, one month ahead of the National Day on October 1.(Xinhua Photo)

Several thousands of Chinese People's Armed Police Force (PAPF) troops will make security checks, and guard against and handle any terrorist attacks in Beijing, center stage of the celebrations scheduled around the National Day.

The PAPF headquarters have selected elite members from its rapid responding units and troops under direct control to guard the capital.

A statement issued by headquarters of the PAPF, China's internal security force, on Wednesday revealed that armed police troops garrisoned in Tibet and Xinjiang have been involved in maintaining stability in the regions where security levels are particularly intensified.

Shanghai, where the World Expo will be held next year, is also targeted by the PAPF to protect against possible security threats or attacks, according to a statement.

Besides the four prioritized regions, armed police troops in Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning and Shandong, which surround Beijing, have also been ordered to tighten security measures and to act as the capital's moat.

Gen. Wu Shuangzhan, commander of the 660,000-strong PAPF, asked the troops to prepare for the worst situations with detailed plans and high-pressure special training.

Under the dual command of the Central Military Commission (CMC)and the State Council, the armed police played a major role in quelling riots and maintaining stability in Lhasa on March 14 last year and in Urumqi on July 5.

China's national legislators last week approved the country's first law on the PAPF to officially authorize the force the power to handle terrorist attacks and other social emergencies.

It is not clear whether the PAPF will deploy its anti-terror special unit, Snow Leopard Commando Unit (SLCU), for the security missions on the National Day. About 400 SLCU members were called to protect the first Olympic Games held in China last summer.

A photo taken on September 1 shows armed police forces in Beijing line up for a mobilization ceremony. (Xinhua Photo)

Under the Law on the People's Armed Police Force, the PAPF troops could "take necessary measures" to dispel large assemblies of people that compromise social order and the security of facilities the PAPF protects.

PAPF personnel can interrogate suspicious persons and check their identification documents, belongings and vehicles when they assist the police in traffic control.

To ensure safety of the Beijing's Capital International Airport, armed policemen have been sent to the airport's three terminals since the end of last month to help the police patrol against violence and terrorist attacks.

The armed police troops will intensify interrogation of suspicious passengers and garrison the airport, one of the most important security targets for the National Day celebrations, until Oct. 8.

Editor: Miranda

By:  Yan Hao Source: China View website

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