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Airport beefs up security measures

Police officers undergo training at the Beijing Capital International Airport in this September 18, 2007 photo. The police will do their best to guarantee security at the airport during the Olympic Games in August. [Photo: Xinhua] 

Police at Beijing Capital International Airport are about to take delivery of new hi-tech devices intended to fight terrorism during the Beijing Olympic Games this summer.

 

Portable bomb detectors that can warn of explosives in just a few seconds will be deployed during the Games, Zhang Zhi, deputy director-general of the police department at the airport said Thursday.

 

"Airport police have already been equipped with advanced bomb detecting, moving and disposal devices, along with X-ray machines and anti-riot robots.

 

"But we need more and faster bomb detectors for the Games," he said.

 

The new bomb-detection equipment is expected to be employed in all important areas to prevent people from taking explosives into the airport.

 

It is just one of many security measures being introduced ahead of this summer's Olympics.

 

Zhang, who has more than 20 years' experience in public security, said an airport security zone will also be defined to prevent anyone being able to take shots at aircraft when they are taking off and landing.

 

Police will also set up checkpoints on highways leading to the airport to check suspicious people and vehicles.

 

In addition, police teams will conduct thorough background checks on all people employed at the airport, Zhang said.

 

Airport security is a big issue as government leaders, Olympic officials and athletes must all go through the airport to attend the Games in August, he said.

 

There have been reports of terrorists plotting attacks on the Games.

 

Foreign ministry official Niu Qingbao recently was reported by Reuters to tell an international security conference that Eastern Turkistan terrorists have been plotting attacks.

 

Police officials are cooperating with other countries and organizations to exchange information on terrorism.

 

"Judging from the information shared with us, I must say the mission is a tough one," Niu said.

 

"But, we promise we will do our very best to make sure that all visiting athletes and officials arrive and leave Beijing safely."

 

The city's police authorities strengthened their specialist task force last year, which will take responsibility for bomb detection and handling emergency incidents and possible terrorist attacks during the Games, Zhang said.

 

The development of emergency response plans began in 2004 and will continue after the Games, he said.

 

(China Daily January 24, 2009)