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18th party congress Preview
Beijing authorities have geared up support for security and logistics as the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China approaches.
The municipal government on Tuesday initiated an emergency response program, asking relevant departments to ensure water, electricity, gas, heat, transportation and fire control services in the event of an emergency.
The program requires emergency response teams to restore normal operations within 15 minutes in case of an emergency, such as a technical malfunction.
Vehicles carrying toxic or dangerous chemicals will not be allowed to enter the municipality from Thursday to Nov 18. The valid term for permits to enter Beijing will also be shortened from seven days to three days, according to the city's traffic management bureau.
The municipal fire department started a campaign in mid-October to check fire risks at venues that will serve the congress and the central government compound, as well as hotels, hospitals, schools, markets, stores, cinemas, clubs and Internet cafes.
Sanitation workers have been asked to boost food safety and hygiene inspections in hotels and restaurants.
"Services for every post and every section should be assured so as to ensure a successful congress," said Guo Jinlong, secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee.
Workers on the street or local retirees have been mobilized to help maintain order and security before and during the meeting.
Wearing a red armband with characters "security patrol", a photographer surnamed Chen is looking for business near a giant flower basket installed at the center of Tian'anmen Square, a must-see spot for many tourists.
"I have been taking shots for tourists for five years, and I am willing to be a security volunteer," Chen said. "With this armband, I am authorized to stop bad behavior."
Volunteers can be found in many major crossroads.
Yang Liping, 56, has been volunteering for a year, following retirement.
Other than a red armband, Yang also wears a red vest and a red hat. On the back of the vest are characters, indicating that she is from the Beijing Association of Security Volunteers.
"It's an honor to be a volunteer, as I can do something that is helpful for society, such as patrolling around the subway exits and offering aid to those in need," she added.
Policemen have also been stationed at important locations like Tian'anmen Square and nearby underground passages.
A tourist surnamed Lu was asked by security personnel at the square for his identity card and to search his backpack.
"I don't mind (their checking) at all, and I fully understand their work," the 32-year-old man from East China's Wenzhou city said. "After all, they are here for the safety of all."
The CPC's 18th National Congress will be convened on Nov 8, with more than 2,000 delegates gathering for the meeting, which occurs every five years.
A new CPC leadership will be elected during the meeting, setting a new direction for the country's development in the near future.
(China Daily 10/31/2012 page4)