sharing the Olympic spirit
OLYMPICS/ Spotlight

PLA ready to help ensure Games safety
By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-06 16:04


The People's Liberation Army has pledged to help handle any emergency to ensure a successful Olympics.

"We're confident and capable of fulfilling our tasks to ensure a safe Games, and our preparation work is progressing well," Tian Yixiang, director of the PLA Command Team for Beijing Olympic Security Work, was quoted as saying by the PLA Daily over the weekend.

Land, navy and air forces will participate in safeguarding the Games, and the personnel involved are mainly from Shenyang, Beijing, Nanjing and Ji'nan military commands, Tian said.

"Helicopters, combat aircraft, ships, surface-to-air missiles and anti-chemical weapons will be used," he said.

The PLA has established Olympic security units at different levels and drafted various emergency plans, he said.

The government has set the PLA seven security tasks:

Ensure air space safety of Beijing and co-host cities.

Maintain sea safety of venues in coastal areas.

Prevent potential nuclear, biological or chemical attacks and support the police force in disposing of any explosives and handling terrorist incidents.

Offer intelligence support.

Organize emergency rescue and disaster relief.

Strengthen border control.

Fulfill tasks given by the Olympic Security Work Coordination Group.

"Among them, anti-terrorism is our priority and preventing potential nuclear, biological or chemical attacks are the most difficult," Tian said.

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and Interpol both recently warned that the Beijing Games face a "real threat" from terrorism.

The MPS last month reported several failed plots to disrupt the Games, which have been linked to terrorist or separatist groups. They included an attempt to bring down an airliner; poison gas and bomb attacks on hotels and government offices in Beijing and other cities; and kidnapping foreign athletes and spectators.

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