China / Society

Beijing tightens gas purchasing rules

By Hou Liqiang and Cao Yin (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-12 07:41

Beijing tightens gas purchasing rules

Beijing flexes police power in anti-terror fight 

Beijing tightens gas purchasing rules

Xi calls for anti-terror tools 
To reduce the risk of terrorist attacks, Beijing authorities are requiring bulk purchasers of gasoline to provide identification, acquire permits from a local police station and use only approved containers.

"The measure was taken to prevent lawless people from using gasoline to make trouble and to ensure the safety of life and property of the capital's residents," Beijing authorities said in a notification published on Friday.

The notification said all buyers of gasoline in bulk must present identification and may buy the gasoline they need only at stations designated by police stations that issued the permits.

Buyers from businesses must have a letter of introduction from their business and a copy of its business license. Private buyers must bring an application approved by a local neighborhood or village committee. The letters of introduction and applications should state the quantity of the gasoline needed and its purpose.

The notification is related to the anti-terrorist situation in the capital, said Hu Guiyun, a lawyer with Beijing Xincheng Law Office who concentrates on criminal cases.

"Now that many violent crimes have happened, the government wants to prevent those crimes through this measure," she said.

In addition to checking all documents and keeping a record of the names, ID numbers, purposes and quantities, gasoline stations must place gasoline in bulk only into standard iron drums approved by the government.

The notification said that government departments will intensify monitoring and supervision of bulk gasoline sales. People who interfere with the operation of gas stations will be punished, and gas stations or their employees who violate the regulation will get administrative penalties.

The notification was issued by five government bodies, including the Beijing Public Security Bureau and Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce, on March 31.

"Buyers of gasoline in bulk have needed to give us a copy of an ID card for further reference," said the employee of a Sinopec gasoline station near Beijing's North Fourth Ring Road, who declined to be named.

Before issuing the notification, the Beijing police, including SWAT and traffic force, participated in an anti-terrorism drill on Thursday night aiming to improve the ability of the capital's police to deal with terror attacks.

The drill used anti-terrorism equipment, such as satellite vans, armored cars and generator cars, the statement said, adding that all the drill pictures were taken from police helicopters.

Dai Peng, a professor at the People's Public Security University of China, said on Sunday that the drill and the increased security checks at nationwide railway stations shows the importance that police across the country place on anti-terrorism efforts.

"We should strengthen the police's combat skills and enhance their fighting confidence via these measures, and also deter potential terrorists by demonstrating our equipment," Dai said.

"Anti-terrorism has become a major task in police work and needs every police officer to enhance awareness," he said. "It doesn't happen only in border regions, and it demands cooperation or assistance from other authorities, such as traffic bureaus and network security departments."

Only when all police make anti-terrorism efforts a priority and improve their combat equipment will the prevention of terror attacks be effective, he added.

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