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Anti-terrorism-a 'people's war'

Updated: 2007-01-05 17:55

An Armed Police official calls his anti-terrorism plan for the 2008 Olympics a 'people's war'.

Wang Guanghai, senior colonel with China's para-military troops, borrowed the wartime concept used by Mao Zedong in 1938 to illustrate his point.

According to Wang, average Chinese citizens, who are more inclined to follow governmental requests than westerners, should play an important role in Beijing's anti-terrorism measures.

"'People's war' is a vivid description, " Wang explained. "Terrorists normally hide themselves among people. Therefore, if citizens are mobilized, terrorists would find nowhere to escape."

"There were many burglaries in a city in North China. Then the local government organized the city's taxi drivers, and equipping their taxis with communications devices, so it would be easier for them to call the police if they saw anything suspicious. Before long, the city became a model for others to follow."
Besides the people's involvement, Wang also stressed the role of prevention in the anti-terrorism process.

"No matter how seamless your measures have been, once the gunshot or blast is heard, you lose to a great extent," Wang said." Preventing terrorism does not depend on handling incidents, but on pro-active prevention."