China / Society

Beijing stages largest anti-terror drill to date

By Hou Liqiang ( Updated: 2014-05-29 21:17

Law enforcement authorities in Beijing conducted their largest anti-terrorist and anti-riot drill of the year on Thursday morning, with more than 2,800 police officers and 90 vehicles taking part.

Jointly launched by the municipal anti-terrorism office, public security bureau and Armed Police Corps, the drill started at 10 am and lasted about 40 minutes.

The drill included exercises in coping with hijackings, knife-wielding attackers and terrorism-related riots. It made use of a helicopter, a quad-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle, an armed assault vehicle and a water cannon vehicle.

Beijing police have conducted at least four anti-terrorist drills after a terror attack killed five people at Tian'anmen Square on Oct 28.

Guo Jinlong, Beijing's Party chief, and Wang Anshun, the mayor of Beijing, watched the exercise.

The capital has tightened its anti-terrorism strategy after a series of terrorist attacks across the country.

It has rolled out a three-tier patrol plan that covers the skies, subways and streets. Armed patrols have been strengthened in 14 major areas, including two popular shopping districts - Wangfujing and Xidan - and at Beijing Railway Station, all of which are often very crowded places.

Beijing has also tightened its security checks in subway stations recently. Three more stations — Bajiao Amusement Park, Tiantongyuan North and Longze — have been told to conduct security checks on passengers and their belongings on Saturday, bringing the number of stations carrying out the strict security checks to nine.

Liu Yiran, 26, a senior student at Renmin University of China, said the professional anti-terrorist equipment used in the drill and the quality of the anti-terrorist police officers "make me feel confident about the safety of our capital".

Xu Jing, 27, who works for a consulting company in Beijing, said it's necessary to conduct such drills.

"I feel at ease and safe when I see police patrolling in places with large crowds," Xu said.

She said she hopes residents will have more chances to take part in the drills.

Hot Topics