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China reassures air passengers
By Qin Chuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-26 08:35

The Chinese Embassy in Moscow confirmed no Chinese nationals were among the dead following the Russian air disaster Wednesday.

In a move to reassure air travellers, an official with the Civil Aviation Administration of China said China's aviation authorities have always put security at the top of their agenda.

"Every trivial routine procedure in the aviation sector is done in strict compliance of safety regulations to ensure passenger safety," said the official, Liu Yanbin.

"It's not the case that we take measures once an accident occurs," he stated, adding that aviation staff should always be in a constant state of alert.

China has adopted a series of practices to respond to possible aviation security flaws. Among the most eye-catching is its Air Police force.

After the September 11 attacks in the United States, the Chinese Government began to consider air policing.

Some media reported the first batch of air police in China will start work on October 1. The force will comprise 1,500 to 2,000 personnel.

But according to an official with the air police command, surnamed Song, China's air police began working last year.

He refused to say how many of officers are currently on active duty.

"The media reports refer to local air police," he explained.

"Passengers might panic if they see police in uniform, so officers operate undercover," he added.

According to the reports, many of the air police are combat trained and, if passengers and planes come under threat, they have weapons at their disposal.

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