China / Society

Air raid drill held to raise national defense awareness

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-19 19:31

BEIJING -- Air raid sirens sounded in 10 suburban districts and counties of Beijing on Saturday, the 15th national defense education day, to improve people's abilities to handle attacks, according to the municipal authorities.

With sirens ringing in the air, residents and college students in some districts participated in the drill which included evacuation, taking shelters and protecting important facilities.

There was no panic among residents when the sirens rang, authorities added. Notice about the drill had been issued several days in advance.

Last year, the drill was held in the suburban Mentougou and Fangshan districts and Yanqing county.

Several other provincial regions also had plans to hold similar drills on Saturday.

According to Zhang Jinlin, chief engineer of Beijing's civil defense bureau, the drill checked air raid sirens and raised people's awareness of air defense.

Liu Bo, associate professor of National Defence University PLA China, said the sirens would help people stay cautious about the dangers even in the peacetime.

"The sirens remind people about the difficulties that our country has been through 70 years ago," said Liu. "The sirens are like an alarm, to make us remember the pains we suffered before, the endeavors we've made, and to cherish the peace we have today."

"The national defense education aims to make people realize the importance of getting united and the necessity of reinforcing our national defense. That's the most important way to prevent any invasion in the future," Liu said.

On Friday, China commemorated the 84th anniversary of the "Sept. 18 Incident", the start of Japan's invasion in China, with sirens and gatherings across the country.

Early Saturday morning, Japanese parliament's upper house enacted a controversial legislation pushed forward by the government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. China's Foreign Ministry considered it as "an unprecedented move that Japan has taken in the military and security fields after the Second World War."

Under the newly enacted legislation, Japan will create a permanent law to allow its Self-Defense Forces to carry out logistical support missions for foreign militaries in international peacekeeping operations.

Chinese political analysts said the security bills threaten peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

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